Dies ist eine HTML Version eines Anhanges der Informationsfreiheitsanfrage 'Documents filed by member states regarding "Electoral Act"'.

Brussels, 20 November 2017
WK 12583/2017 REV 1
N° prev. doc.:
14743/15 PE 184 INST 428 JUR 753 FREMP 281
7038/16 JUR 114 INST 96 FREMP 48 PE 36 AG 3
Proposal for a Council Decision adopting the provisions amending the Act
concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct
universal suffrage (the 'Electoral Act')
Further to the meeting of the Working Party on General Affairs held on 10 November 2017, delegations
will find attached a revised version of the overview of the discussions held in the Council since December
2015 on the above-mentioned EP's proposal. Without prejudice to the principle that 'nothing is agreed
until everything is agreed', the state of play on individual provisions (as of November 2017) is also
The document has three annexes. Annex I includes a general overview of the discussions in the Council
which the Presidency intends to present to COREPER and subsequently to the European Parliament. 
Annex II presents a detailed description of the discussions and forms the basis for the general overview
given in Annex I. Changes in Annexes I and II are highlighted in  bold underlined  and strikethrough.
The latest Presidency drafting suggestions for each article are set out in Annex III. Changes in Annex III
are highlighted in yellow. 
Delegations are invited to take note of this document and present, if necessary, their comments at the
GAG meetings on 23 November 2017.
WK 12583/2017 REV 1

General overview of the discussions held in the Council on the EP's proposal for amending the 

Electoral Act (as of November 2017) 
1.  During discussions in the Council since December 2015, delegations have voiced support for 
the general aim of the Parliament's proposal to enhance public interest and voter turnout in the 
EP elections.  
2.  Throughout the discussions a number of delegations stressed the importance of respecting the 
constitutional and electoral traditions of the Member States, as well as the principles of 
subsidiarity and proportionality, when discussing European electoral reform. It was pointed out 
that Article 8 of the current Electoral Act leaves any matters pertaining to the electoral 
procedure which are not regulated in this act for Member States to decide. Delegations 
therefore generally took the view that harmonisation should only be pursued in case of strict 
necessity and after rigorous examination of the added value it would bring. They also 
considered that, in some cases, the Parliament's proposals did not meet these criteria to a 
sufficient extent. 
3.  Regarding some specific elements of the proposal, delegations have stressed the importance of 
avoiding 'double voting' by EU citizens in several Member States and agreed on the desirability 
of increased transparency and awareness regarding the European character of the EP elections. 
In this context, they discussed among other issues how Member States could help to create 
'common momentum' at the end of the EP elections and supported the idea of better 
coordinating the communication of the results of elections, while avoiding a formalised and 
possibly bureaucratic approach.  
4.  As regards the affiliation of parties and candidates to European political parties, after detailed 
discussions delegations took the view that it was above all for the candidates and parties 
themselves to provide any such information, without interference from the public authorities, 
which should uphold their freedom of association and freedom of expression, as well as media 
freedom, in particular in the sensitive context of the electoral debate.  
5.  In a similar vein, there has been general support among the delegations for the aims pursued by 
the Parliament in terms of increased participation of women in political decision-making, and 
the selection of candidates via transparent and democratic procedures. However, delegations 
have also highlighted the need to protect the autonomy of political parties and the freedom to 
stand for elections. Moreover, some doubts were expressed as to the possibility of regulating 
such matters under Article 223(1) TFEU, which focuses on the electoral procedure. In this 
context a number of delegations felt that, for addressing these issues, non-binding measures 
should be preferred. 
6.  The possibility of establishing a compulsory minimum threshold at the EP elections has been 
discussed at length. This idea gathered the support of a number of several delegations, which 
felt that the EP could benefit from less fragmentation, as this would enable it to perform its 
legislative and political functions better. Other delegations preferred to protect citizens' ability 
to vote even for the smallest parties and noted that the EP did not need a stable majority to 
support a coalition government. Some furthermore stressed that their constitutional traditions 
did not support the establishment of thresholds.  

7.  As regards the Parliament's proposals to set a deadline for the nomination of lead candidates 
for the position of the President of the Commission and provide a legal basis for the 
creation of a joint constituency in which lists are headed by such lead candidates, most 
delegations took the view that the formalisation of the so-called  Spitzenkandidaten  process 
would not comply with the institutional balance resulting from the Treaties and might end up 
encroaching on the institutional prerogatives of the European Council as defined in Article 
17(7) TEU.  While few  Some delegations have expressed their general position on the 
creation of a joint constituencyWhile a few delegations support it, several others have 
been opposed. 
8.  In the light of these considerations and  the detailed discussions in the Council, and without 
prejudice to the principle that 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed', the Presidency takes 
the view that the articles with respect to which agreement between delegations currently seems 
most likely to be achieved are the following: 
  −  Article 1(1) – addition of treaty language on MEPs as representatives of Union citizens, 
−  Article 3a – a harmonised three-week deadline of at least three weeks for the submission of 
−  Article 3e(1) –  reference to the possibility for Member States to allow the display of the 
name or logo of European political parties on ballot papers, 
−  Article 3e(2) – a new provision stipulating that the rules concerning the sending of electoral 
materials, by public authorities, to voters in EP elections shall be equivalent to those applied 
for national elections, without prejudice to the means by which such materials are sent and 
any communications concerning the organisation of the elections, 
−  Article 4a –  reference to the possibility for Member States to provide, under certain 
conditions, for advance voting, postal voting, and electronic and internet voting in EP 
−  Article 9, new second paragraph –  obligation for Member States to ensure effective, 
proportionate and dissuasive penalties in case of double voting, 
−  Article 9b – obligation for Member States to designate a contact authority for exchanging 
data on voters and candidates and a deadline for the start of such an exchange of data. 
9.  The Presidency also notes that in the event of amendments to the Electoral Act, it would be 
advisable to update some of its provisions to bring them into line with the Lisbon treaty. This 
would concern, above all, Articles 11 and 14 of the Electoral Act, which govern the fixing of 
the electoral period and 'measures to implement' the Electoral Act. It believes that agreement 
among the delegations could also be achieved on those provisions.  
10.  The Presidency consulted with the Member States regarding  the deadlines for having the 
changes to the current Electoral Act approved in accordance with their constitutional 
requirements and for adopting the necessary domestic measures in time for the 2019 EP 
elections. In this context, some Member States referred to the opinion of the Venice 
Commission on electoral matters  which  recommends avoiding any changes to the voting 
systems just before (within one year of) the elections. While several delegations noted that the 
exact deadline would depend on the nature of the agreed changes, it appears, based on the 
information received, that a number of delegations would need any changes to the Electoral Act 
to be adopted by early 2018 at the latest in order to be able to apply them for the 2019 EP 

Overview of the detailed discussions held in the Council on the EP's proposal for 
amending the Electoral Act (as of November 2017) 
1)  MEPs as representatives of Union citizens (Articles 1(1) and 6) 
In its proposal the EP suggested stipulating  in Article 1(1) that MEPs shall be elected 'as 
representatives of the citizens of the Union'. It also proposed adding  in Article 6, which 
includes provisions on voting by MEPs, that 'They shall represent all Union citizens.
During the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs, delegations generally 
considered the addition to Article 1(1) as unproblematic, since it follows  the wording of 
Article 14(2) TEU, as modified by the Lisbon Treaty ('The European Parliament shall be 
composed of representatives of the Union's citizens.'). As regards Article 6, however, some 
delegations felt that the reference to MEPs as representatives of 'all  Union citizens'  went 
beyond  the original text of Article 14(2) TEU. They stressed that  there was a difference 
between MEPs representing their electorate and their representing  all Union citizens 
regardless of whether they participated in the electoral process, calling for the treaty language 
to be strictly respected. In order to accommodate  the concerns of such delegations, the 
Presidency  proposed  that  this provision be deleted while the addition to Article 1(1)  be 
These drafting suggestions have been acceptable to the delegations. 
  2)  Joint constituency and Spitzenkandidaten (Articles 2a and 3f) 
With the proposed Articles 2a and 3f, the EP suggested providing  a legal basis for the 
creation of a joint constituency and institutionalising the so-called Spitzenkandidaten process, 
whereby the main European political parties put forward their 'lead candidates' for the post of 
President of the Commission.  For  Article 2a, the EP proposed:  'The Council decides by 
unanimity on a joint constituency in which lists are headed by each political family's 
candidate for the post of President of the Commission.'  Article 3f further provided for a 
deadline by which European political parties have to  nominate their candidates for the 
position of President of the Commission. 
In its opinion of 15 March 2016, the Council Legal Service noted that 'draft Article 2a does 
not provide any element substantiating the features of the proposed joint constituency 
(number of seats, relationship with national constituencies, composition of the list of 
candidates, etc.)'. More crucially, it considered both Article 2a and 3f 'highly problematic in 
terms of compliance with the institutional balance resulting from the Treaties'. In particular, 
the Council Legal Service considered that 'the institutionalisation of a 'Spitzenkandidaten' 
practice based on the so-called precedent of 2014 might end up encroaching on the 
institutional prerogatives of the European Council as defined in the Treaties'
Based on discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs and in the light of the opinion 
of the Council Legal Service, the Presidency concluded in the non-paper presented to the 
COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016 that these provisions appear to be unacceptable to 


link to page 5 all delegations but one as a matter of principle and/or on legal grounds, constituting a 'red 
line' for the Council. The Working Party on General Affairs has not discussed these 
provisions in detail after the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016.  However,  a few 
some delegations have expressed their general position on this idea the creation of a joint 
constituency, either to support or to reject this proposal. While a few delegations support it, 
several others have been opposed
There is no agreement on these provisions as of November 2017. 
  3)  Minimum threshold (Article 3)  
This issue was discussed in COREPER on 30 November 2016 as one of the five outstanding 
issues identified by the Presidency. 
The EP proposed revising Article 3 so as to impose an obligation on Member States to set a 
threshold of 3 to 5 % of the votes cast at constituency level in EP elections. Such an 
obligation would apply to constituencies in which the list system is used and which comprise 
more than 26 seats. 
Due to concerns raised in the Working Party on General Affairs, the Presidency suggested 
modifying the EP's text so that the obligation to set a threshold would apply only to 
constituencies (including single-constituency Member States) which comprise more than 
32 seats. It explained that this was a 'natural threshold', which could justly replace the one 
suggested by the EP1. In addition, it proposed that if a Member State came to be affected by 
this provision due to a redistribution of seats in the EP, it would not have to apply it to the 
upcoming EP elections. 
The majority of the delegations could accept such an approach. However,  during the 
COREPER discussion on 30 November 2016 some  delegations deemed the proposed text 
problematic.  A few of them  expressed principled opposition to the idea of regulating the 
matter at EU level. One delegation referred to difficulties achieving the majorities needed to 
incorporate the proposed minimum threshold in its legal system. Another delegation did not 
see the Presidency wording as 'future-proof' and remained concerned about the possibility of 
becoming affected by the provision after a redistribution of seats in the EP. Finally, one 
delegation preferred to set the threshold at national rather than constituency level. 
Some  of these difficulties were confirmed on 31 March 2017 when this article was last 
discussed at working party level. There is no agreement on this provision as of November 
1 In single-constituency Member States or constituencies with more than 32 seats in the EP, each political party 
or individual candidate that gets more than 3 % of the total amount of votes is always guaranteed to get at least 
one seat in the EP. 


4)  Deadline for the lists of candidates (Article 3a) 
This provision was also brought to the attention of COREPER in November 2016 as one of 
the main outstanding issues.  
In a new Article 3a, the EP proposed setting  a harmonised deadline of at least 12 weeks 
before the start of the electoral period for the establishment of lists of candidates for the 
elections. This would create a level playing-field for electoral campaigns across the EU and 
allow for a long period of campaign. 
In the light of the comments presented  in the Working Party on General Affairs, the 
Presidency suggested referring to the 'submission of candidacies', which would be easier to 
establish and would also cover individual candidates. It also proposed reducing the deadline 
to four weeks to accommodate the concerns of a number of delegations, and suggested 
counting the four weeks from the date fixed by each Member State for the EP elections. In 
addition, it limited the scope of application of the provision to Member States in which 
national provisions set a formal deadline,  in order to take account of the situation in one 
Member State where, due to constitutional traditions, the formal deadline is very close to the 
elections, with most political parties nevertheless respecting an informal deadline of about 
three months. 
A few delegations remained opposed to the compromise wording and asked for a shorter 
common deadline, if any. One of these delegations also  took the view that the proposed 
drafting suggestion would impose a disproportionate obligation on those Member States 
which have a deadline compared to those which do not. In  the  latest Presidency drafting 
suggestions the deadline has therefore been further reduced to three weeks, which has been 
acceptable to the delegations at working party level. 
5)  Deadline for the electoral roll (Article 3b) 
In a new Article 3b, the EP also proposed setting a harmonised deadline of eight weeks 
before the first election day for the 'establishment and finalisation of the electoral roll'. In the 
resolution accompanying its proposal, it argued that the differences in the deadlines for 
finalising the electoral roll 'may render the exchange of information between Member States 
on voters difficult, if not impossible'
During the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs, several delegations 
considered the proposed deadline to be too long. It was pointed out that an early finalisation 
of the electoral roll would negatively impact turnout and that later corrections would in any 
case be needed. Several delegations also, more generally, felt that managing their electoral 
register was a matter of national competence. 
Against this background, the Presidency decided to discuss Article 3b together with Article 
9b, which includes provisions on exchange of information between Member States with a 
view to avoiding 'double voting'. After having heard from the Commission, which is 
responsible for the implementation of Article 13 of Council Directive 93/109/EC  on the 
relevant exchange of information, it concluded that harmonisation of the deadline for the 
electoral roll would not be a proportionate measure for addressing the issue of 'double voting', 
given that the exchange of information would in any case have  to take place gradually. It 


therefore proposed deleting Article 3b and focusing efforts instead on the exchange of 
information under the proposed Article 9b (see below). This approach was supported by the 
  6)  Selection of candidates according to a democratic procedure and gender equality 
(Articles 3c and 3d) 
The EP proposed in a new Article 3c that political parties participating in the elections to the 
European Parliament 'shall observe democratic procedures and transparency in selecting 
their candidates'. It also suggested a new Article 3d which provides that 'The list of 
candidates for election to the European Parliament shall ensure gender equality.
During the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs, delegations supported the 
selection of candidates via transparent and democratic principles. They also agreed with the 
EP on the importance of an increased presence of women in political decision-making. 
Nevertheless, different views were expressed on the provisions suggested by the EP. Certain 
ambiguities in the EP's text were highlighted, and some doubts were raised as to whether the 
EP's proposals, in particular on Article 3c, fall within the scope of Article 223 TFEU, which 
covers provisions 'necessary' for the EP elections (the electoral procedure). Some delegations 
rejected the provisions as a matter of principle, on the grounds that they would unduly 
interfere with the internal life and autonomy of political parties, restricting the freedom of 
association and freedom to stand for elections. 
Against this background, the Presidency  suggested moving these provisions to recitals, in 
order  to show the Council's general support for the EP's aspirations whilst avoiding any 
binding provisions. The latest Presidency drafting suggestions, however, were not acceptable 
for some delegations due to concerns over the protection of fundamental freedoms. In 
addition, one delegation took the view that the issue of gender equality should be covered in 
an article rather than a recital. 
There is no agreement on these provisions as of November 2017.  
7)  Visibility of European political parties and posting of electoral materials (Article 3e) 
In a new Article 3e, the EP proposed a number of measures aimed at informing citizens about 
the affiliation of national parties to European political parties. It suggested establishing that 
the ballot papers used in elections to the EP must give 'equal visibility'  to the names and 
logos of national parties and to those of the European political parties. Member States would 
have to promote the provision of the different affiliations in television and radio campaign 
broadcasts and on electoral campaign materials. National political parties would also have to 
refer to the manifesto of the European political party to which they are affiliated in their 
electoral campaign materials. In addition, the EP proposed stipulating in Article 3e(3) that: 
'The rules concerning the posting of electoral materials to voters in elections to the European 
Parliament shall be the same as those applied for national, regional and local elections in the 
Member State concerned.' 
The discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs focused on the issue of ballot 
papers, which the Presidency  also highlighted as one of the five outstanding issues with a 


view to the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016. In the light of the comments from 
delegations, it suggested requiring the display of the name or logo of a European political 
party on the ballot papers only in case (i) the national political party requires such display and 
(ii) the Member State concerned already allows the display of the name or logo of a national 
political party in its national legislation. Despite these suggestions, a  few delegations 
maintained their reservations. Two of them took the view that the issue should be regulated in 
national law and should not be for national parties to decide. The latest Presidency drafting 
suggestions therefore provide that Member States 'may allow' for the display of the name or 
logo of a European political party on ballot papers where such a display is also allowed for a 
national political party under national law, which has been acceptable to all the delegations. 
As to the provision of information on affiliations in the media and on electoral materials, 
delegations  took the view that any binding provisions in this regard would be difficult to 
reconcile with the freedom of expression and freedom of association, as well as media 
freedom, in particular in the sensitive context of the electoral debate. The Presidency 
explored the possibility of drafting a recital with some general language on the provision of 
information on affiliations. However, a few delegations took a principled stand that Member 
States should not interfere in this issue, which was a matter for the candidates and parties 
As regards 'the posting of electoral materials', delegations raised a number of concerns over 
the EP's text. They took the view that it should be clarified, concern the sending of materials 
by public authorities and only refer to  national elections, given that the rules for national, 
regional and local elections vary in some Member States. A few delegations also asked for 
specific language which would allow them to keep their different arrangements regarding the 
funding of EP and national elections, the provision of additional information to 'mobile 
voters' at EP elections and the means by which the electoral materials are sent. The latest 
Presidency drafting suggestions, which accommodate these concerns, are acceptable to all the 
  8)  Voting methods (Articles 4a and 4b) 
The EP proposed including in the Electoral Act new Articles 4a and 4b which would allow 
Member States to introduce electronic and internet voting under certain conditions, and to 
provide for postal voting at elections to the European Parliament. Member States already 
have the faculty to use such voting methods under Article 8 of the Electoral Act. The 
Parliament's aim was to encourage their use in order to increase participation at EP elections, 
while laying down the conditions to be met in case of electronic and internet voting. 
Based on the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs, the Presidency suggested 
merging Articles 4a and 4b and adapting them so as to use a more neutral wording ('provide 
for' rather than 'introduce' for all voting methods) and to explicitly refer to the possibility of 
advance voting. It also proposed that certain requirements would have to be met for all the 
voting methods mentioned, while it would also have to be clear that the list of requirements is 
not exhaustive.  
Delegations could in principle agree to the latest drafting suggestions, although discussions 
have not been concluded on the corresponding recital. The Presidency considers that, with 


some further efforts, agreement between delegations could likely be reached in this regard as 
  9)  Incompatibility for members of regional parliaments with legislative powers (Article 
The EP proposed amending Article 7 in order to introduce a new incompatibility with the 
office of an MEP, that of being a member of a 'regional parliament or assembly vested with 
legislative powers'
The Working Party on General Affairs discussed different possibilities for clarifying the 
interpretation of the concept of a 'regional parliament vested with legislative powers' 
(notification by each Member State, listing the relevant parliaments in an Annex to the 
Electoral Act or including a definition in Article 7 itself). Some delegations opposed the 
proposed provision in its entirety.  
Against this background, the Presidency proposed deleting this provision, which has. This 
has been acceptable to  all the  most  delegations, bearing in mind that under Article 7(3) 
Member States would remain free to introduce such an incompatibility at national level
while one delegation continues to prefer the original EP proposal on this issue
  10) Vote of citizens residing in third countries (Article 9a) 
This issue was discussed in COREPER on 30 November 2016 as one of the five outstanding 
issues identified by the Presidency. 
The EP proposed a new Article 9a,  which would impose a general obligation on Member 
States to allow their citizens 'living or working' in third countries to vote in the EP elections.  
During the discussion in the Working Party on General Affairs, several delegations raised a 
number of political concerns and practical difficulties in relation to the EP's proposal. The 
Presidency therefore clarified that the provision would apply to Union citizens 'residing' in a 
third country. It also suggested that the conditions (e.g. time limits) and modalities for the 
exercise of their right to vote (via postal, internet and embassy voting, or by physical 
presence in the home Member State) should be subject to national legislation.  
Despite these efforts, some delegations maintained their reservations during the COREPER 
discussion on 30 November 2016, referring to the sensitivity of the issue and difficulties with 
implementing the provision. One delegation, on the other hand, stressed that it attached 
importance to this provision. 
The  latest  Presidency  drafting suggestions provide that  'Member States should take the 
necessary measures to allow their citizens residing in third countries to vote in elections to 
the European Parliament.'  One delegation still  considers this wording to be too strong, 
whereas another has stressed that it would not be able to accept a weaker text or a deletion of 
this provision. Some delegations have also said that they could only accept this proposal if it 
was made clear that Member States can set limitations to the right to vote for their citizens 
residing in third countries, along the lines of the previous Presidency proposals.    


There is no agreement on this provision as of November 2017. 
  11) Measures against 'double voting' (Articles 9 and 9b) 
In a new Article 9b, which is intended to prevent citizens from casting more than one vote, 
the EP proposed establishing an obligation for Member States to designate a contact authority 
to exchange data with other Member States on EU citizens who are nationals of more than 
one Member State (with 'dual nationality') or who are not nationals of the Member State in 
which they reside ('mobile voters'). It also proposed a deadline of 'at the latest six weeks 
before the first day of election' for exchanging the relevant data and specified that the data 
exchanged 'shall include at least the surname and forename, age, city of residence and date 
of arrival in the Member State concerned, of the citizen in question'.  
In the light of the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs, the Presidency 
suggested broadening the scope of these provisions to also cover exchanging data on those 
EU citizens who exercise their right under Article 22(2) TFEU to stand as a candidate in a 
Member State where they reside but of which they are not nationals ('mobile candidates'). It 
therefore also adapted the EP's wording to enable Member States to designate, if necessary, 
two separate authorities for transmitting data on voters and candidates. On the other hand, it 
also suggested limiting the exchange of data to EU citizens who, in a Member State of which 
they are not nationals, 'have been entered on the electoral roll' (rather than all mobile 
citizens). Moreover, it proposed removing voters with 'dual nationality' from the scope of this 
article, on the grounds that Member States did not gather such data and that establishing a 
central register of all EU citizens would not be a proportionate measure for addressing the 
issue. In parallel, it suggested strengthening Article 9, which  establishes a ban on 'double 
voting', by imposing an obligation on Member States to provide for 'effective, proportionate 
and dissuasive penalties' to sanction such 'double voting'.  
The Working Party on General Affairs  also considered in detail the issue of coordination 
between the Electoral Act and Council Directive 93/109/EC, which has its legal basis in 
Article 22(2) TFEU and includes in Article 13 detailed provisions on exchange of data on 
mobile voters and candidates to prevent 'double voting'. In this regard, the Presidency 
considered, in line with the opinions of the Council and Commission legal services, that the 
details regarding the data to be exchanged should be regulated by Directive 93/109/EC. 
However, the Electoral Act could usefully give some indications as to when Member States 
should start exchanging data, 'without prejudice to national provisions on the entry of voters 
on the electoral roll and submission of candidacies' i.e. without harmonising the relevant 
deadlines in the Member StatesIt suggested that Member States could begin exchanging 
data six weeks before the first day of the electoral period. An early start with the exchange of 
data could be useful i.a. for the process of advance voting (by post or other means) in certain 
Member States. Such a deadline was supported by some delegations, while others preferred 
to shorten it to 'at least four weeks' before the beginning of the electoral period.  In addition, a 
few delegations remained sceptical as to the feasibility of regulating the matter in the 
Electoral Act, as it is also covered by Directive 93/109/EC and the data would in any case 
have to be transmitted gradually.  
The Presidency considers that,  with some further efforts, agreement between delegations 
could likely be reached on these provisions. 


12) End of elections and publication of results (Article 10) 
The EP proposed a number of modifications to Article 10 with a view to creating common 
momentum for a 'European election night' and preventing leakages of information on election 
results before the close of polling in all Member States. It thus suggested stipulating that the 
election to the EP must end in all Member States by 21.00 hours CET on the Sunday 
concerned.  It also proposed that  'First official projections of the results shall be 
communicated simultaneously in all Member States at the end of the electoral period'. On the 
other hand, to prevent leakages, it proposed establishing a ban on publishing exit poll-based 
forecasts and on the counting of postal votes before the close of polls in all Member States. 
Delegations supported the general idea of trying to raise awareness among the general public 
of the European character of the EP elections. The Presidency  organised a dedicated 
exchange of views in order to explore the different possibilities for doing that. During the 
discussion, delegations were open to considering ways of better cooperating with the EU 
level in order to transmit their results as they come in. They cautioned, however, against a 
formalised and possibly bureaucratic approach. It was also pointed out that the time needed 
for the counting of votes differed considerably across the Member States, which is why any 
'simultaneous' announcement would not be possible. The Presidency therefore proposed that 
Member States must publish the results of their count 'without undue delay' after the end of 
the electoral period. 
As regards the end of the electoral period, COREPER discussed at its meeting on  30 
November 2016 a drafting suggestion whereby the election would end in all Member States 
no later than 21.00 hours CET, without prejudice to voting by Union citizens in a third 
country. The discussion confirmed that one delegation was opposed to this suggestion as its 
polling stations close at 23.00 CET on Sunday. The latest Presidency  drafting suggestions 
therefore propose reverting to the original text of the Electoral Act, which does not specify 
the end time of the elections on Sunday.  
As to the other proposals of the Parliament, delegations did not support the proposed 
prohibition of the publication of exit-poll-based forecasts,  on the grounds that it would be 
difficult to reconcile with the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. They could 
not agree either to the proposed ban on early counting of postal votes, on the grounds that it 
would unnecessarily hinder the work of electoral commissions. On the issue of a ban on the 
publication of results, a more general discussion was also held which revealed Member 
States'  different concerns in this regard. In order to accommodate them,  new drafting 
suggestions provided assurances that Member States would be able to keep their traditions of 
public counting of votes. The latest Presidency  drafting  suggestions also proposed  that 
Member States cannot officially make public 'the final result' of their count. One delegation 
insisted on Some delegations supported this wording, arguing that publishing results from 
individual polling stations before 23.00 CET was important for enhancing public interest in 
the elections., while others  Some other delegations, however,  expressed doubts or were 
opposed to it on the grounds that the publication of partial results would jeopardise the spirit 
of the EP proposal and the formal ban on the release of official results, possibly influencing 
the vote in the other Member States. 
There is no agreement on this article as of November 2017.  


13) Electoral period (Article 11)  
The EP proposed amending Article 11 to give the Parliament the power to determine, after 
consulting the Council, the electoral period for the EP elections at least one year before the 
end of the five-year term of MEPs. It thus suggested replacing the current system,  which 
provides for a fixed electoral period and gives the Council the power  to change it by a 
unanimous decision, after consulting the EP, when it proves 'impossible' to hold the elections 
at the prescribed time. 
In this regard, delegations supported the view of the Council Legal Service that the 
amendment proposed by the EP does not comply with Article 291 TFEU, which does not 
provide for any role for the Parliament in the adoption of implementing acts. Instead, the 
Presidency  proposed a new wording which kept the current system, with limited changes 
aimed mainly at bringing the provision into line with the Lisbon Treaty. Thus, the current 
provision concerning the consultation of the European Parliament (not provided for in Article 
291 TFEU) was replaced by a recital stressing that it was  important  for the Council to 
cooperate closely with the EP if  it wanted to change the normally applicable dates. The 
Presidency also introduced a recital justifying the conferral of implementing powers to the 
Council. The recital refers i.a. to the importance of the determination of the dates for the EP 
elections for the political life of the Union and of the Member States and the need to take into 
account Member States' national calendars. In addition, the current provisions, which link the 
default dates to the time of the first elections to the EP, were simplified. The new drafting 
suggestions refer to elections 'in the first full week of the month of June', which is when the 
EP elections took place in 1979 (on 7-10 June 1979).  
During the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs this approach gained the 
support of a large majority of delegations. However, a few delegations sought further 
guarantees that their national calendars (public holidays, holding EP elections at the same 
time as other elections, etc.) would indeed be taken into account when determining the 
electoral period. The latest drafting suggestions address  this concern in a recital which 
stresses that 'When exercising the implementing powers, the Council should in particular take 
into account Member States' national calendars and the importance of promoting the 
conditions for high voter participation.'  Other possible options, which would  either  not 
involve any default dates or would allow individual Member States to veto them, were 
rejected by the Presidency due to the risk of cross-vetoes. It was also suggested that 
individual Member States' difficulties have indeed been taken into account in the past, even if 
the process of deciding on the date of the EP elections has not always been easy,  due to 
Member States' diverging interests.  
The Presidency considers that,  with some further efforts, agreement between delegations 
could likely be reached on this article. 


14) Implementing measures (Article 14) 
The EP proposed adapting  Article 14 of the Electoral Act, which currently provides for  a 
special procedure for the adoption of 'measures to implement' the Electoral Act (EP proposal, 
Council decision by unanimity after consultation of the Commission and 'endeavouring to 
reach agreement' in a conciliation committee consisting of EP and Council representatives). It 
provided for a similar procedure, but replacing the unanimity rule in the Council by QMV 
and the conciliation committee procedure with a requirement to obtain the EP's consent.  
This EP proposal was also unacceptable to the delegations on the grounds that it does not 
comply with Article 291 TFEU, as also highlighted in the Council Legal Service opinion. The 
Presidency proposed deleting this provision entirely, with the proviso that a new provision 
would be drafted if there were a specific need to implement a provision of the Electoral Act 
uniformly at EU level. 
During the discussions in the Working Party on General Affairs no such need has been 
identified so far. A few delegations have, however, submitted scrutiny reservations.  
The Presidency considers that,  with some further efforts, agreement between delegations 
could likely be reached on this article. 

link to page 14 ANNEX III 

Note: In both versions, the proposed additions to the Electoral Act are marked in bold and italics  and the 
proposed deletions in strikethrough. 
Consolidated version of the Electoral Act 
Consolidated version of the Electoral Act 
based on the EP's proposal 
based on the latest Presidency drafting 
suggestions discussed1 in the Working 
Party on General Affairs 
Article 1 
1. In each Member State, members of the 
1. In each Member State, members of the 
European Parliament shall be elected as 
European Parliament shall be elected as 
representatives of the citizens of the Union on  representatives of the citizens of the Union 
the basis of proportional representation, using 
on the basis of proportional representation, 
the list system or the single transferable vote. 
using the list system or the single transferable 
2. Member States may authorise voting based 
2. Member States may authorise voting based 
on a preferential list system in accordance with  on a preferential list system in accordance 
the procedure they adopt. 
with the procedure they adopt. 
3. Elections shall be by direct universal suffrage  3. Elections shall be by direct universal 
and shall be free and secret. 
suffrage and shall be free and secret. 
Article 2 
In accordance with its specific national 
In accordance with its specific national 
situation, each Member State may establish 
situation, each Member State may establish 
constituencies for elections to the European 
constituencies for elections to the European 
Parliament or subdivide its electoral area in a 
Parliament or subdivide its electoral area in a 
different manner, without generally affecting 
different manner, without generally affecting 
the proportional nature of the voting system. 
the proportional nature of the voting system. 
Article 2a (new) 
The Council decides by unanimity on a joint 
constituency in which lists are headed by each 
political family's candidate for the post of 
President of the Commission. 
1 Between the end of 2016 and mid-2017. 

link to page 15 link to page 15 Article 3 
Member States may set a minimum threshold for  Member States may set a minimum threshold 
the allocation of seats. At national level this 
for the allocation of seats. At national level 
threshold may not exceed 5 per cent of votes 
this threshold may not exceed 5 per cent of 
valid votes cast. 
For constituencies, and for single-constituency  Member States in which the list system is 
Member States, in which the list system is used  used shall set a minimum threshold for the 
and which comprise more than 26 seats, 
allocation of seats for constituencies which 
Member States shall set a threshold for the 
comprise more than 32 seats. This threshold 
allocation of seats. which shall not be lower 
shall not be lower than 3 per cent, and shall 
than 3 per cent, and shall not exceed 5 per 
not exceed 5 per cent, of the valid votes cast 
cent, of the votes cast in the constituency, or 
in the constituency, including single-
the single-constituency Member State, 
constituency Member State, concerned. 
In case of changes in the number of seats 
allocated to a Member State, the obligation 
set out in the second subparagraph shall 
apply to that Member State as from the 
elections to the European Parliament which 
follow the upcoming ones.   
Article 3a (new) 
Each Member State shall set a deadline for the  Where national provisions set a deadline for 
establishment of lists of candidates for election  the submission of candidacies for election to 
to the European Parliament. That deadline 
the European Parliament, that deadline 
shall be at least 12 weeks before the start of the  shall be at least three weeksbefore the date 
electoral period referred to in Article 10(1). 
fixed by each Member State, in accordance 
with Article 10(1), to hold the elections to 
the European Parliament3. 
Article 3b (new) 
The deadline for the establishment and 
finalisation of the electoral roll shall be eight 
weeks before the first election day. 
2 Presidency drafting suggestions presented on 7 February 2017 (WK 1363/17), replacing the four week 
deadline submitted for discussion at the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016. 
3 Completed by the following recital, covering also Article 3e para 1: 
(…) Transparency of the electoral process and access to reliable information are important for raising 
European political awareness and for securing a solid election turnout, and whereas it is desirable that 
citizens of the Union be informed well in advance about the candidates standing in the European 
Parliament elections and about the affiliation of national political parties to a European political party. 

link to page 16 link to page 16 link to page 16 link to page 16 Article 3c (new) 
Political parties participating in elections to 
the European Parliament shall observe 
democratic procedures and transparency in 
selecting their candidates for those elections. 
Article 3d (new) 
The list of candidates for election to the 
European Parliament shall ensure gender 
Article 3e (new) 
The ballot papers used in elections to the 
1. Where national law allows for the display 
European Parliament shall give equal visibility  of the name or logo of a national party on 
to the names and logos of national parties and  ballot papers, Member States may allow for 
to those of the European political parties. 
the display of the name or logo of the 
European political party to which the 
Member States shall encourage and facilitate 
national political party or individual 
the provision of those affiliations in television  candidate is affiliated. 6
and radio campaign broadcasts and on 
electoral campaign materials. Electoral 
campaign materials shall include a reference 
to the manifesto of the European political 
party, if any, to which the national party is 
4 Replaced by recitals covering both, Article 3c and 3d: 
(…)  Articles 11 and 12 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union state that the right to 
freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart 
information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers, and the 
right to freedom of association at all levels, for example in political and civic matters, are fundamental 
rights of every citizen of the Union.   
(…) The Union is founded on the values of democracy, rule of law, non-discrimination, respect for human 
rights and equality between women and men. 
(. .) The autonomy of political parties is considered to be the governing principle of their internal 
(…)  It is important that political parties, in exercising their autonomy, adhere to these values and principles 
when nominating candidates for election to the European Parliament. 
5 See above. 
6 Presidency drafting suggestions presented on 27 April 2017 (WK 4463/17 REV 1). Earlier drafting 
suggestions submitted for discussion at the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016 read as follows: '1. 
Where national law allows for the display of the name or logo of a national party on ballot papers, the national 
party may require that the name or logo of the European political party to which it is affiliated also be 
displayed.' On 6 December 2016, the Presidency also proposed adding a new sentence at the end of this 
provision: 'In Member States where the list system is not used a candidate may require that the name or logo of 
the European political party to which the candidate is affiliated also be displayed.' 
7 For the recital, see footnote 3. 

link to page 17 link to page 17 The rules concerning the posting of electoral 
2. The rules concerning the sending of 
materials to voters in elections to the European  electoral materials8, by public authorities, 
Parliament shall be the same as those applied  to voters in elections to the European 
for national, regional and local elections in the  Parliament shall be equivalent to those 
Member State concerned. 
applied for national elections, without 
prejudice to the means by which such 
materials are sent and without prejudice to 
to the sending of communications 
concerning the organisation of the 
Article 3f (new) 
European political parties shall nominate their  Deleted 
candidates for the position of President of the 
Commission at least 12 weeks before the start 
of the electoral period referred to in Article 
Article 4 
Each Member State may set a ceiling for 
Each Member State may set a ceiling for 
candidates' campaign expenses. 
candidates' campaign expenses. 
Article 4a (new) 
Member States may introduce electronic and 
Member States may provide for the 
internet voting for elections to the European 
possibilities of advance voting, postal 
Parliament and, where they do so, shall adopt  voting, and electronic and internet voting, 
measures sufficient to ensure the reliability of  in elections to the European Parliament. 
the result, the secrecy of the vote and data 
Where they do so, they shall adopt 
measures sufficient to ensure in particular 
the reliability of the result, the secrecy of 
the vote, and the protection of personal data 
in accordance with the applicable Union 
8 To be completed by a recital providing examples of the materials concerned (ballot papers, and lists of political 
parties, their coalitions and candidates standing in the elections). 
9 Completed by the following recital: 
(.. )   In order to encourage voter participation in the elections to the European Parliament and to fully take 
advantage of the possibilities offered by technological developments, Member States could provide for 
the possibilities of inter alia advance voting, postal voting, and electronic and internet voting, while 
ensuring in particular the reliability of the result,  the secrecy of the vote, and the protection of personal 
data in accordance with the applicable Union law. 

link to page 18 link to page 18 Article 4b (new) 
Member States may afford their citizens the 
possibility of casting their vote by post in 
elections to the European Parliament. 
Article 5 
1. The five-year term for which members of the  1. The five-year term for which members of 
European Parliament are elected shall begin at 
the European Parliament are elected shall 
the opening of the first session following each 
begin at the opening of the first session 
following each election. 
It may be extended or curtailed pursuant to the 
It may be extended or curtailed pursuant to 
second subparagraph of Article 10 (2).11 
the second subparagraph of Article 11(2). 
2. The term of office of each member of the 
2. The term of office of each member of the 
European Parliament shall begin and end at the  European Parliament shall begin and end at 
same time as the period referred to in paragraph  the same time as the period referred to in 
paragraph 1. 
Article 6 
1. Members of the European Parliament shall 
1. Members of the European Parliament shall 
vote on an individual and personal basis. They 
vote on an individual and personal basis. 
shall not be bound by any instructions and shall  They shall not be bound by any instructions 
not receive a binding mandate. They shall 
and shall not receive a binding mandate. 
represent all Union citizens. 
2. Members of the European Parliament shall 
2. Members of the European Parliament shall 
enjoy the privileges and immunities applicable 
enjoy the privileges and immunities 
to them by virtue of the Protocol of 8 April 
applicable to them by virtue of the Protocol 
1965 on the privileges and immunities of the 
of 8 April 1965 on the privileges and 
European Communities Protocol No 7 on the 
immunities of the European Communities 
privileges and immunities of the European 
Protocol No 7 on the privileges and 
Union, annexed to the Treaty on European 
immunities of the European Union, 
Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the 
annexed to the Treaty on European Union, 
European Union and the Treaty establishing 
the Treaty on the Functioning of the 
the European Atomic Energy Community. 
European Union and the Treaty 
establishing the European Atomic Energy 
10 Covered by Article 4a. 
11 In Article 5(1), the second subparagraph is deleted. 

Article 7 
The office of member of the European 
1.  The office of member of the European 
Parliament shall be incompatible with that of: 
Parliament shall be incompatible with that 
−  member of the government of a Member 
−  member of the government of a Member 
−  member of a national or regional 
−  member of a national parliament, 
parliament or assembly vested with 
legislative powers, 
−  member of the Commission of the 
−  member of the Commission of the 
European Communities, 
European Communities, 
−  Judge, Advocate-General or Registrar of 
−  Judge, Advocate-General or Registrar of 
the Court of Justice of the European Union 
the Court of Justice of the European 
Communities or of the Court of First 
Union Communities or of the Court of 
First Instance, 
−  member of the Executive Board of the 
−  member of the Executive Board of the 
European Central Bank, 
European Central Bank, 
−  member of the Court of Auditors of the 
−  member of the Court of Auditors of the 
European Communities, 
European Communities, 
−  European Ombudsman of the European 
−  European Ombudsman of the European 
−  member of the Economic and Social 
−  member of the Economic and Social 
Committee of the European Community 
Committee of the European Community 
and of the European Atomic Energy 
and of the European Atomic Energy 
−  member of the Committee of the Regions, 
−  member of the Committee of the 
−  member of committees or other bodies set 
−  member of committees or other bodies 
up pursuant to the Treaties establishing the 
set up pursuant to the Treaties 
European Community and the Treaty on 
establishing the European Community 
the Functioning of the European Union 
and the Treaty on the Functioning of 
or the Treaty establishing the European 
the European Union or the Treaty 
Atomic Energy Community for the 
establishing the European Atomic 
purposes of managing the Communities' 
Energy Community for the purposes of 
Union's funds or carrying out a permanent 
managing the Communities' Union's 
direct administrative task, 
funds or carrying out a permanent direct 
administrative task, 
−  member of the Board of Directors, 
−  member of the Board of Directors, 
Management Committee or staff of the 
Management Committee or staff of the 
European Investment Bank, 

link to page 20 European Investment Bank, 
−  active official or servant of the institutions 
−  active official or servant of the 
of the European Union or of the specialised 
institutions of the European Union or of 
bodies attached to them or of the European 
the specialised bodies attached to them 
Central Bank. 
or of the European Central Bank. 
2. From the European Parliament elections in 
2. From the European Parliament elections in 
2004, the office of member of the European 
2004, the office of member of the European 
Parliament shall be incompatible with that of 
Parliament shall be incompatible with that of 
member of a national parliament. 
member of a national parliament. 
By way of derogation from that rule and 
By way of derogation from that rule and 
without prejudice to paragraph 3 
without prejudice to paragraph 3: 
— members of the Irish National Parliament 
— members of the Irish National Parliament 
who are elected to the European Parliament at a  who are elected to the European Parliament 
subsequent poll may have a dual mandate until 
at a subsequent poll may have a dual 
the next election to the Irish National 
mandate until the next election to the Irish 
Parliament, at which juncture the first 
National Parliament, at which juncture the 
subparagraph of this paragraph shall apply; 
first subparagraph of this paragraph shall 
— members of the United Kingdom Parliament  — members of the United Kingdom 
who are also members of the European 
Parliament who are also members of the 
Parliament during the five-year term preceding  European Parliament during the five-year 
election to the European Parliament in 2004 
term preceding election to the European 
may have a dual mandate until the 2009 
Parliament in 2004 may have a dual mandate 
European Parliament elections, when the first 
until the 2009 European Parliament 
subparagraph of this paragraph shall apply. 12 
elections, when the first subparagraph of this 
paragraph shall apply.  
3. In addition, each Member State may, in the 
23. In addition, each Member State may, in 
circumstances provided for in Article 7, extend  the circumstances provided for in Article 8, 
rules at national level relating to 
extend rules at national level relating to 
4. Members of the European Parliament to 
34. Members of the European Parliament to 
whom paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 become applicable  whom paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 become 
in the course of the five-year period referred to  applicable in the course of the five-year 
in Article 3 shall be replaced in accordance with  period referred to in Article 5 shall be 
Article 1312. 
replaced in accordance with Article 13. 
Article 8 
Subject to the provisions of this Act, the 
Subject to the provisions of this Act, the 
electoral procedure shall be governed in each 
electoral procedure shall be governed in each 
Member State by its national provisions. 
Member State by its national provisions. 
12 Paragraph 2 is deleted. 

link to page 21 link to page 21 These national provisions, which may if 
These national provisions, which may if 
appropriate take account of the specific 
appropriate take account of the specific 
situation in the Member States, shall not affect 
situation in the Member States, shall not 
the essentially proportional nature of the voting  affect the essentially proportional nature of 
the voting system. 
Article 9 
No one may vote more than once in any election  No one may vote more than once in any 
of members of the European Parliament. 
election of members of the European 
Member States shall take necessary 
measures to ensure that double voting in 
the elections for the European Parliament 
is subject to effective, proportionate and 
dissuasive penalties. 
Article 9a (new) 
All Union citizens, including those living or 
Member States should take the necessary 
working in a third country, shall have the right  measures to allow their citizens residing in 
to vote in elections to the European 
third countries to vote in elections to the 
Parliament. Member States shall take the 
European Parliament.1314 
necessary measures to ensure the exercise of 
this right. 
Article 9b (new) 
Each Member State shall designate the contact  Each Member State shall designate a 
authority responsible for exchanging data on 
contact authority responsible for 
voters with its counterparts in the other 
exchanging data on voters and candidates 
Member States. That authority shall transmit 
with its counterparts in the other Member 
to those counterparts, at the latest six weeks 
before the first day of the election and via 
uniform and secure electronic means of 
communication, data concerning Union 
citizens who are nationals of more than one 
Member State and Union citizens who are not 
nationals of the Member State in which they 
13 Presidency drafting suggestions presented on 10 May 2017 (WK 5277/17)Earlier drafting suggestions 
submitted for discussion at the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016 read as follows: 'Union citizens 
residing in a third country shall have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament. Member States 
shall define the conditions and modalities for the exercise of this right by their nationals.' 
14 In addition, the following recitals covering this Article would be included: 
(. .) Citizens of the Union have the right to participate in its democratic life by voting or standing as 
candidates in elections to the European Parliament. 

link to page 22 are residing. 
The information transmitted shall include at 
Without prejudice to national provisions on 
least the surname and forename, age, city of 
the entry of voters on the electoral roll and 
residence, and date of arrival in the Member 
submission of candidacies, the authority 
State concerned, of the citizen in question. 
referred to in the first paragraph shall, in 
accordance with EU data protection 
standards, begin transmitting to those 
counterparts, [six weeks] before the first day 
of the electoral period referred to in Article 
10(1), the data indicated in Directive 
93/109/EC concerning Union citizens who, 
in a Member State of which they are not 
nationals, have been entered on the electoral 
roll or are standing as candidates. 
Article 10 
1. Elections to the European Parliament shall be  1. Elections to the European Parliament shall 
held on the date or dates and at the times fixed 
be held on the date and at the times fixed by 
by each Member State. For all Member States 
each Member State. For all Member States 
this the date or dates shall fall within the same 
this date shall fall within the same period 
period starting on a Thursday morning and 
starting on a Thursday morning and ending 
ending on the following Sunday. The election 
on the following Sunday.  
shall end in all Member States by 21:00 hours 
CET on that Sunday. 
2. Member States shall not officially make 
2. Without prejudice to the possibility of 
public the results of their count until after the 
providing for public counting of votes in 
close of polling in the Member State whose 
line with their electoral traditions, Member 
electors are the last to vote within the period 
States shall not officially make public the 
referred to in paragraph 1. First official 
final result of their count until after the close 
projections of the results shall be 
of polling in the Member State whose 
communicated simultaneously in all Member 
electors are the last to vote within the period 
States at the end of the electoral period 
referred to in paragraph 1.15 
specified in paragraph 1. Prior to this no exit 
poll-based forecasts may be published. 
15 Presidency drafting suggestions presented on 2 March 2017 (WK 2252/17)Earlier drafting suggestions 
submitted for discussion at the COREPER meeting on 30 November 2016 read as follows: 
'1. Elections to the European Parliament shall be held on the date and at the times fixed by each Member State. 
For all Member States this date shall fall within the same period starting on a Thursday morning and ending on 
the following Sunday.  Without prejudice to voting of Union citizens in a third country, the election shall end 
in all Member States no later than 21:00 hours CET on that Sunday. 
2. Member States shall not officially make public the results of their count until after the close of polling in the 
Member State whose electors are the last to vote within the period referred to in paragraph 1. Member States 
shall publish the results of their count, without undue delay, after the end of the electoral period specified in 
paragraph 1. 
Without prejudice to the possibility of providing for public counting of votes in line with their electoral 
traditions, Member States shall not officially make public the results of their count prior to the close of 
polling in all Member States.' 

link to page 23 3. The counting of postal votes shall begin in 
3. Deleted 
all Member States once the polls have closed 
in the Member State whose voters vote last 
within the electoral period referred to in 
paragraph 1. 
Article 11 
1. The Council European Parliament, acting 
1. Elections to the European Parliament 
unanimously after consulting the European 
shall be held in the first full week of the 
Parliament Council, shall determine the 
month of June in the final year of the five-
electoral period for the first elections. at least 
year term referred to in Article 5. The 
one year before the end of the five-year term 
Council, acting unanimously after consulting 
referred to in Article 5. 
the European Parliament, shall determine the 
electoral period for the first elections. 
2. Subsequent elections shall take place in the 
2.  Subsequent elections shall take place in 
corresponding period in the last year of the five- the corresponding period in the last year of 
year period referred to in Article 3. 
the five-year period referred to in Article 3. 
Should it prove impossible to hold the elections  Should it prove impossible to hold the 
in the Community during that period, the 
elections in the UnionCommunity during that 
Council acting unanimously shall, after 
period, the Council acting unanimously shall, 
consulting the European Parliament, determine,  after consulting the European Parliament, 
at least one year before the end of the five-year  determine by means of an implementing act, 
term referred to in Article 3, another electoral 
at least one year before the end of the five-
period which shall not be more than two months  year term referred to in Article 5, another 
before or one month after the period fixed 
electoral period which shall not be more than 
pursuant to the preceding subparagraph. 
two months before or one month after the 
period fixed pursuant to the preceding 
3. Without prejudice to Article 139229 of the 
3. Without prejudice to Article 139229 of the 
Treaty on the Functioning of the European 
Treaty on the Functioning of the European 
Union, establishing the European Community 
Union, establishing the European 
and Article 109 of the Treaty establishing the 
Community and Article 109 of the Treaty 
European Atomic Energy Community, the 
establishing the European Atomic Energy 
16 Completed by the following recitals: 
(.. )   Member States should be given the possibility to fix the date and the time of the elections to the 
European Parliament within a common electoral period. Such common electoral period should 
correspond to the one chosen for the first elections to the European Parliament. 
(.. )   Where it is impossible to hold the elections to the European Parliament during that period, an 
alternative period can be determined by means of an implementing act. Given the importance of such 
a determination for the political life of the Union and of the Member States, and its impact on the 
electoral agenda of the Member States, and in order to take into account of Member States´ national 
calendars, implementing powers should be conferred on the Council. When exercising the implementing 
powers, the Council should in particular take into account Member States' national calendars and the 
importance of promoting the conditions for high voter participation. 
(.. )   The Council should closely cooperate with the European Parliament when assessing the existence of the 
impossibility to hold the elections in the period corresponding to the one of the first elections and in view 
of determining an alternative electoral period. 

European Parliament shall meet, without 
Community, the European Parliament shall 
requiring to be convened, on the first Tuesday 
meet, without requiring to be convened, on 
after expiry of an interval of one month from 
the first Tuesday after expiry of an interval of 
the end of the electoral period. 
one month from the end of the electoral 
4. The powers of the outgoing European 
4. The powers of the outgoing European 
Parliament shall cease upon the opening of the 
Parliament shall cease upon the opening of 
first sitting of the new European Parliament. 
the first sitting of the new European 
Article 12 
The European Parliament shall verify the 
The European Parliament shall verify the 
credentials of members of the European 
credentials of members of the European 
Parliament. For this purpose it shall take note of  Parliament. For this purpose it shall take note 
the results declared officially by the Member 
of the results declared officially by the 
States and shall rule on any disputes which may  Member States and shall rule on any disputes 
arise out of the provisions of this Act other than  which may arise out of the provisions of this 
those arising out of the national provisions to 
Act other than those arising out of the 
which the Act refers. 
national provisions to which the Act refers. 
Article 13 
1. A seat shall fall vacant when the mandate of a  1. A seat shall fall vacant when the mandate 
member of the European Parliament ends as a 
of a member of the European Parliament ends 
result of resignation, death or withdrawal of the  as a result of resignation, death or withdrawal 
of the mandate. 
2. Subject to the other provisions of this Act, 
2. Subject to the other provisions of this Act, 
each Member State shall lay down appropriate 
each Member State shall lay down 
procedures for filling any seat which falls 
appropriate procedures for filling any seat 
vacant during the five-year term of office 
which falls vacant during the five-year term 
referred to in Article 3 for the remainder of that  of office referred to in Article 5 for the 
remainder of that period. 
3. Where the law of a Member State makes 
3. Where the law of a Member State makes 
explicit provision for the withdrawal of the 
explicit provision for the withdrawal of the 
mandate of a member of the European 
mandate of a member of the European 
Parliament, that mandate shall end pursuant to 
Parliament, that mandate shall end pursuant 
those legal provisions. The competent national 
to those legal provisions. The competent 
authorities shall inform the European 
national authorities shall inform the European 
Parliament thereof. 
Parliament thereof. 
4. Where a seat falls vacant as a result of 
4. Where a seat falls vacant as a result of 
resignation or death, the President of the 
resignation or death, the President of the 
European Parliament shall immediately inform 
European Parliament shall immediately 
the competent authorities of the Member State 
inform the competent authorities of the 
concerned thereof. 
Member State concerned thereof. 

Article 14 
Should it appear necessary to adopt measures to  Should it appear necessary to adopt measures 
implement this Act, the Council, acting 
to implement this Act, the Council, acting 
unanimously on a proposal from the Assembly 
unanimously on a proposal from the 
after consulting the Commission, shall adopt 
Assembly after consulting the Commission, 
such measures after endeavouring to reach 
shall adopt such measures after endeavouring 
agreement with the Assembly in a conciliation 
to reach agreement with the Assembly in a 
committee consisting of the Council and 
conciliation committee consisting of the 
representatives of the Assembly. Measures to 
Council and representatives of the Assembly. 
implement this Act shall be proposed by the 
European Parliament, acting by a majority of 
its component members, and adopted by the 
Council, acting by a qualified majority, after 
consulting the Commission and obtaining the 
consent of the European Parliament. 
Article 15 
This Act is drawn up in the Danish, Dutch, 
This Act is drawn up in the Danish, Dutch, 
English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Irish,  English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, 
Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish 
Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and 
languages, all the texts being equally authentic.  Swedish languages, all the texts being equally 
Pursuant to Accession Treaties, the Bulgarian,   
Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian,  
Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, 
Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian versions of 
this Act shall also be authentic. 
Annex I 
The United Kingdom will apply the provisions 
The United Kingdom will apply the 
of this Act only in respect of the United 
provisions of this Act only in respect of the 
United Kingdom. 
Annex II 
As regards the procedure to be followed by the 
As regards the procedure to be followed by 
Conciliation Committee, it is agreed to have 
the Conciliation Committee, it is agreed to 
recourse to the provisions of paragraphs 5, 6 
have recourse to the provisions of paragraphs 
and 7 of the procedure laid down in the joint 
5, 6 and 7 of the procedure laid down in the 
declaration of the European Parliament, the 
joint declaration of the European Parliament, 
Council and the Commission of 4 March 19751.  the Council and the Commission of 4 March