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Infographic – Redrawing the Map: European Parliament Elections in Ireland

13 Mar 2014

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On Friday, 23 May 2014, voters in Ireland will go to the polls as part of EU-wide elections to choose Members of the European Parlaiment (MEPs) for the next five years. The Netherlands and the UK will be the first countries to vote, on Thursday, 22 May, and over the following days elections will take place in all EU Member States, with the complete results available on Sunday, 25 May. 

In Ireland, one feature of particular interest in this year’s elections is the redrawing of the electoral map. The number of constituencies has reduced from 4 to 3 since the last European elections in 2009. The Dublin constituency remains unchanged, with the other 3 (East, North-West and South) now amalgamated into 2 large constituencies (Midlands-North-West and South).

The reason for the new configuration is that the number of MEPs to be elected in Ireland has reduced from 12 to 11. Under the Lisbon Treaty, the total number of MEPs in the Parliament must be reduced from the current level of 766 below the new ceiling of 751 (750 plus the President). This means that 13 countries will see a reduction in their number of seats: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania will each lose one seat and Germany will lose three.

As an independent forum, the Institute does not express any opinions of its own. The views expressed in the article are the sole responsibility of the author.


Posted in: Future of Europe | 5 comments

Comments 1-5 of 5

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Linda Barry says: 20 Mar 2014 10:42

Thanks for your comment, Jim. The governments of the EU Member States (including the Irish Government) decided to introduce the 751-seat limit as part of the Lisbon Treaty. They could have decided, and could still in the future, to expand it. However, bear in mind that the EP is already one of the largest democratically-elected assemblies in the world. Ireland was one of the countries to lose a seat on this occasion, but each time changes are made the distribution will be reassessed on the basis of population and other factors. Smaller Member States are always more represented than strict proportionality would dictate. This means that even if Ireland loses a seat, Irish citizens are still better represented in the Parliament than German, French or British citizens. Also, since MEPs usually vote with their party groups, and not along national lines, losing a seat is not a simple case of 'Ireland' losing power.

Jim Larkin says: 13 Mar 2014 12:08

Can we not just make the EP bigger. Does this mean every time a country joins the EU we loose power in the EP?

Paul D says: 13 Mar 2014 12:05

very interesting!

admin says: 13 Mar 2014 11:47

Errors are rectified and the graphic is changed now. Thanks.

A Voter says: 13 Mar 2014 11:38

There are errors in this map (Clare, Lapis). See Dept. of Environment re correct constituency boundaries.

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