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Electoral Threshold

Electoral Threshold

Electoral Threshold

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on 11 November 2015 based on a legislative initiative report on the reform of the electoral law of the EU. Among the changes was a measure on thresholds. Based on Parliament’s initiative, Council made a modified proposal for a decision, to which Parliament gave its consent on 4 July 2018. Following the Parliament’s consent, the Council adopted the decision on 13 July 2018. The new rules set an obligatory threshold in certain cases for the allocation of seats. At national level, this threshold may not exceed 5 % of valid votes cast. Moreover, Member States in which the list system is used shall set a minimum threshold for the allocation of seats for constituencies which comprise more than 35 seats. This threshold shall not be lower than 2 %, and shall not exceed 5 % of the valid votes cast in the constituency concerned, including a single-constituency Member State. In practice, this provision concerns only the largest Member States. Member States will have to comply with this obligation at the latest in time for the Parliament’s election in 2024.
NB: There is currently no electoral threshold in Germany. This is due to a 2014 German Federal Constitutional Court decision that declared the 3% electoral threshold unconstitutional.

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