Members' Research Service By / September 12, 2023

Length of the election campaign and the electoral silence period in European Parliament elections

During election campaigns in the EU, candidates and political parties carry out communication and other activities to inform and engage with the electorate about their plans and policies in the effort to win support.

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Written by Micaela Del Monte and Silvia Kotanidis.

In May 2023, the Council of the EU confirmed that the next elections to the European Parliament – the tenth since the first direct elections in 1979 – will take place from 6 to 9 June 2024. Ahead of Election Day, candidates and political parties will carry out electoral activities throughout the European Union (EU) to explain their political programmes and vision for the future of the EU to the electorate. In the same context, debates will take place on national platforms and media.

Currently, election campaigns are largely regulated at national level, which means that there are differences among the EU Member States as to the activities allowed during the election period. However, election campaigns across the EU share a number of traits in terms of prohibitions and limitations. For example, although not all Member States have rules on whether and as from when election silence applies, most of them restrict election canvassing or the publishing of election polls on Election Day or immediately before the opening of the ballots.

Pending the adoption of an electoral reform intended to harmonise at least some of the aspects of the election campaign, such as its start (not earlier than 8 weeks before Election Day) and its end, as well as the start and the end of the election silence period (48 hours before Election Day), this briefing looks at the Member States’ rules on the length of the election campaign period and the election silence period ahead of the European Parliament elections (European elections).

This briefing is one in a series published in the run-up to the 2024 European Parliament elections. It does not focus on election advertising, election funding or how election procedures are regulated in the individual Member States.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Length of the election campaign and the electoral silence period in European Parliament elections‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

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