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.

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