Number of MEP's to be cut in 2014
The European Parliament will ‘slim down’ from 766 MEPs this summer to 751 after the 2014 elections. MEPs decided to opt for the fairest and most equitable solution when they adopted a proposal on how and where to cut down MEP’s on March 13.
The EP currently boasts 754 MEPs but this will be increased to 766 once Croatia joins in July. After next year's elections, this number will have to be reduced to 751. Under the proposal adopted by MEPs on March13, Germany will lose three seats and 12 countries; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Romania, will each lose one seat. EP elections should take place in May 2014, as requested by a resolution adopted by Parliament on 22 November 2012.
When the Lisbon treaty was being negotiated, it was decided to put a cap on the total number of MEPs to prevent the European Parliament growing indefinitely every time a new member state joins the EU. This is why the treaty sets a number of restrictions.
The maximum number of MEPs is 750 plus the president and the maximum number of MEPs per country is 96, whilst the minimum number of MEPs per country is six. The division of seats should be according to degressive proportionality, meaning the more citizens a member sate has, the more seats it will get, but also the more citizens each MEP will represent. So MEPs from smaller countries represent fewer people than their colleagues from larger states.
The allocation of seats is also being adjusted to take into account changes in the population of member states. Whilst some got bigger, others became smaller.
Parliament can submit a proposal on its composition to the European Council, which must then decide by unanimous vote. The EP can then approve or reject the decision by the Council, but it cannot change the content of the proposal.
In response to a request by MEPs, the European Commission announced on March 12 that it recommends political parties to nominate a candidate for the next Commission president in the next EP elections.