The Spitzenkandidat process is nonsensical and dishonest

Electing at least some MEPs on a cross-border basis, for example, would force candidates to articulate a vision for Europe, rather than count on preexisting party loyalties, to get elected.

Commissioner Maroš ŠefčovičCommissioner Maroš Šefčovič (Source: AP/SITA)

Statistics show that very few of you reading this will vote in next May’s European elections. Those who do vote are likely to support candidates from the party you support in domestic elections, with no thought that in voting for members of European Parliament (MEP) you are also impacting who will be the next leader of the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission.

Both things are bad for the future of the EU, and both need to change.

Amid consistent low turnouts for EU elections (just 13 percent of Slovaks voted in 2014), Brussels decided they needed to generate enthusiasm. Their innovation, five years ago, was the so-called Spitzenkandidaten process, whereby European Parliament party groupings nominate individual “candidates” for the EC presidency.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: European Union

Read more articles by the topic
This article is also related to other trending topics
Election, Maroš Šefčovič, EP election 2019

Top stories

News digest: Former state secretary describes the corruption at courts

Schools will definitely not open on Monday. Coronavirus vaccine could be available starting in mid-December. Slovakia joins campaign to fight violence against women.

The Presidential Palace lit in orange, to support the Orange the world! campaign.

Pass a Slovak language dictation so you can work with foreigners

The draft migration policy proposal is out. Where does a foreigner find the official, certified list of cultural realities and traditions they are supposed to respect?

Some problems with the Foreigners’ Police continue.

One in five women has experienced violence

The situation is far from satisfactory, said President Čaputová.

Secret votes and public lies

There are uncanny echoes today of Slovakia’s agonies over its choice of chief prosecutor ten years ago.

Dobroslav Trnka (left) and Jozef Čentéš (right), the candidate who was eventually selected by MPs in 2011, never got to take up the post because the then president, Ivan Gašparovič refused to appoint him for reasons that were never clearly explained.