What is the legitimacy of MEPs elected by just a fraction of voters?

Dariusz Kałan, Polish Institute of International AffairsThe brutal truth is that the factual legitimacy is the same as of these who received many more votes. Furthermore, some of these who lagged behind can be awarded with better positions in the new Parliament’s bodies, as they are quite often the party’s favourites. But personally for them it should be nothing but a warning sign. It is not to their credit.

Dariusz Kałan, Polish Institute of International Affairs
The brutal truth is that the factual legitimacy is the same as of these who received many more votes. Furthermore, some of these who lagged behind can be awarded with better positions in the new Parliament’s bodies, as they are quite often the party’s favourites. But personally for them it should be nothing but a warning sign. It is not to their credit.

Christopher Howarth, Open Europe
A democratic mandate of 13 percent is not much of a mandate to do anything. The European Parliament’s experiment in pan-European democracy was based on the premise that the more power you give MEPs the greater the voter involvement. The experiment has failed. As we have seen in the eurozone crisis, when big decisions need to be taken, including in Slovakia, it is national parliaments the people look to.

Andrej Stuchlik, Bertelsmann Foundation
Judicially speaking, there is of course no voting threshold for MEPs to be regarded as legitimate. If the election is correct, every legitimacy derives from that. But in real terms, this may even further alienate the public from “those in Brussels”.

Juraj Marušiak, Institute of Political Science, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Obviously it is a problem, but from a legal perspective the MEPs are legitimate. Voters deliberately give up their right to influence processes at the EU level. Another thing is whether the EP convinced them with their activities.

Miroslav Kusý, political analyst, Comenius University
Formally it is not a problem, it is legitimate. But obviously, it is not representative. In this case the representativeness is minimal, very low. That poses a big question for these elections. How can we be represented with a deputy who gets only 4,000 preferential votes, as it happened in the past elections with one MEP. That is incredibly low, much less than a candidate needs to get to the national parliament.

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