Europe: European Parliament backs (modest) electoral reform changes | Politico
Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday backed changes to the rules governing European elections — but the reforms were a long way from the ambitious plans that many lawmakers had hoped for. At the end of more than two years of tricky negotiations with EU member countries, MEPs voted by 397 votes to 207 in favor of the changes, with 62 abstentions. Some of the proposals will be in place in time for next year’s election. They agreed to allow internet voting, allow EU citizens to vote from non-EU countries, and put in place tough penalties for those who vote in more than one country. They also agreed to put names and logos of EU political parties next to national ones on the ballot paper, but only on a voluntary basis. There was also success for Germany and Spain which, unlike most other EU countries, don’t have mandatory thresholds of votes in EU elections but will now be able to introduce a limit of between 2 and 2.5 percent. Berlin had lobbied hard for electoral thresholds despite a 2014 German court ruling which declared them unconstitutional.