As Westminster debates controversial reforms to the electoral system and its parliamentary procedures in an attempt to reconnect with the voters, time has come for reform to an institution that is perhaps facing bigger problems connecting with the public – the European Parliament.
The Foreign Policy Centre and the European Representation in the United Kingdom’s pamphlet, sets out a radical agenda for reforming the European Parliament’s relationship with the public. Edited by FPC Policy Director Adam Hug, it contains important contributions from leading experts including Dr Richard Corbett (former MEP and member of the Cabinet of President Van Rompuy), Dr Michael Shackleton (Head of the UK office of the European Parliament) and Dr Christian Kaunert alongside key stakeholders Dr Adam Marshall (British Chambers of Commerce), Liz Atkins (formerly NCVO) and Cllr Flo Clucas (Local Government Association).
Reconnecting the European Parliament and its people proposes scrapping the current closed-list electoral system. It proposes a radical new system that mixes individual local constituencies with a national top-up list to ensure that every vote matters and that gives a clear answer to the question – ‘who is my MEP?’ It sets out ideas for reforming expenses, breaking the Strasbourg deadlock, making MEPs more accountable for their views and giving them greater powers in certain areas. The pamphlet recommends improvements in the way the European Parliament and its members work with stakeholders, the media and national parliaments.