First Step Towards ‘Directly Elected EU President’
Come its next elections in 2014, the parliament’s constitutional affairs committee wants voters across the 27 European Union states to pick 751 constituency MEPs in essentially national contests, but now also 25 super MEPs from an EU-wide list of candidates.
The bill’s sponsor, Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff, told AFP on Tuesday that his plans are based in no small part on experience in Scotland, where a second, regional list effectively decides the identity of its head of government.
“The second vote is used by the parties as a way of electing the First Minister,” said Mr Duff. “Alex Salmond’s Scottish National Party have used this already to good effect,” stating it bluntly on ballots.
He predicted that as in Scotland, where the opposition have complained that such electoral tactics have transformed their May 5 vote into a “presidential” poll, “parties will put up champions for election this way”.
“It will scare the Brussels machine,” Mr Duff conceded, “but in the end they will buy into it because it only takes one to see the potential for a directly-elected EU president.”