Hungarian MEPs divided over EP’s rejection of pan-EU party lists
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 György Schöpflin 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,”
Schöpflin 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. Schöpflin 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”.
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”.