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This month we have focused on the Elections to the European Parliament. There are articles on how to vote, list of East Midlands candidates and the powers of the European Parliament.
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Vote and Make a Difference
The Regional Returning Officer for the East Midlands has published the nominated candidates for the European Elections due to be held on 23rd May 2019. It is worthwhile familiarising yourself before you go to the polling station on the day or make your postal vote.
The full list of parties and candidates for the European Elections can be found on the link below produced by Broxtowe Borough Council. You’re own local authority will have a similar page with information about voting locally and the list of parties and candidates.
Information on where and how to vote can be found by visiting your local authorities website. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected using a system of proportional representation know as the d’Hondt system. The European Parliament’s Liaison Office in the United Kingdom has produced a useful webpage to explain the system with a helpful video.
Ahead of the European Elections leaders are set to meet to discuss its priorities for the period 2019-2024. Last week the European Commission set out a number of policy recommendations that are:
- a protective Europe because peace is power in today’s world;
- a competitive Europe that invests in the technologies of tomorrow and supports our greatest assets: the single market, our industry and our common currency;
- a fair Europe that upholds our fundamental principles of equality, the rule of law and social justice in the modern world;
- a sustainable Europe that takes the lead on sustainable development and in fighting climate change;
- and an influential Europe that seeks touphold and update the rules-based systemthat has served us so well for so long.
Below you can read the European Commission’s press release in full which contains links to factsheets.
Now that we know the UK will participate in the European Parliamentary elections on 23rd May it is a good time to reflect on the powers and procedures of the Parliament. MEPs perform a central role, ensuring the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. We have published this article to help UK citizens why it is important to vote in the forthcoming elections. Historically turnout has been low, around 50%. The European Union is seeking to reverse this trend and achieve the maximum turnout through its #thistimeimvoting campaign.
The European treaties have given Parliament a broad range of powers as the EU’s directly-elected body. Together with the representatives of EU governments in the Council, Parliament is responsible for adopting EU legislation. Under the ordinary legislative procedure, both institutions act as equal co-legislators. In some special cases, other procedures may apply.
Parliament and Council have to agree on the annual EU budget. Find out about the procedure.
The Lisbon treaty, which came in force in late 2009, brought new law-making powers to the European Parliament and put it on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers in deciding what the EU does and how money is spent. It also changed the way the Parliament works with other institutions and gave MEPs more influence on who runs the EU. All these reforms ensured that by casting your vote in the European elections, you get to have an even greater say on where Europe is heading.
Learn more by following the link and find out how the procedures work.
The European Commission has issued its latest economic forecast for spring 2019. The official press release states;
“European economy is forecast to continue expanding for the seventh year in a row in 2019, with real GDP expected to grow in all EU Member States. As global uncertainties continue to weigh, domestic dynamics are set to support the European economy. Growth is expected to gather pace again next year.
The recent slowdown in global growth and world trade, together with high uncertainty about trade policies, is weighing on prospects for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2019 and 2020. The continued weakness of the manufacturing sector also plays a role, especially in those countries encountering specific problems in the automobile industry.”
The full statement with video and links to date can be read here.