Hungarian MEPs on Wednesday were divided on the European Parliament’s rejection of a proposal for pan-EU lists of candidates for seats in the EP. Fidesz welcomed the move while the Socialists said such lists would make the bloc stronger.
Under the proposal, 27 of the 73 seats freed up by Britain’s departure from the bloc would have been decided in Europe-wide constituencies instead of being distributed among member states.
Fidesz MEP Gyorgy Schopflin said that a pan-European list “would be the first step in the wrong direction” for the EU.
“The use of supranational lists assumes that there exists a European demos somewhere waiting for someone to represent it,” Schopflin said in a statement. “And such a list would be designed to do just that. But this is a fallacy. There is no European demos and it is wrong to state otherwise,” the MEP added. Schopflin argued that “giving political power to 27 free-floating” lawmakers who would not be accountable to any country “would not be good for the EP’s reputation”.
“Not only is there no legal base for such an experiment, what we’re looking at is yet another elite-driven project in Europe that will only end up making the EU even more remote from the voters than they already are”,
Socialist MEP Tibor Szanyi said the compilation of pan-European party lists would “strengthen the European character” of the EP elections. At the same time, it would send a message to nationalist and Eurosceptic groups that “Europe is strong and can resist populism”, he said. Szanyi argued that setting up a list of young candidates could boost the EP representation of “a group that is generally underrepresented in legislation”.