Four days, 370 million voters, 27 countries: here’s your guide to the EU elections

The EU elections have kicked off across Europe, where 370 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots in one of the biggest polls ever.
EU elections have started across 27 countries.

Four days of voting across 27 European Union countries is underway as the EU elections kick off.

370 million voters will elect the European parliament’s 720 members in one of the world’s largest democratic elections.

This year’s election will be Europe’s first election without the UK, after it formally left the EU in 2020.

Here’s what you need to know.

EU Parliament

The European Parliament is the world’s only democratically elected transnational organisation.

The EU Parliament was set up as a body to oversee EU institutions, such as the European Central Bank and Court of Justice, and to promote human rights.

It’s made up of representatives from all 27 EU states and passes laws that affect the whole continent.

EU elections

Parliamentary elections are held every five years. Additionally, 720 members of the Parliament will be voted in this year.

EU countries elect MPs based on the size of their population, ranging from Malta’s six to Germany’s 96.

Elected MPs are responsible for choosing a President to oversee EU activities and bodies, and to represent the EU at summits like the G7 and G20.

Once EU members are elected, they organise themselves into political groups.

The last European Parliament was mostly governed by a coalition of centrist groups, with far-left and far-right members on the fringes.

Opinion polling has also shown growing support across Europe for anti-EU candidates who’ve expressed scepticism about the purpose and legitimacy of the transnational body.

Likely outcome

The European Council on Foreign Relations (an international think tank) predicted a “major shift to the right” ahead of the elections.

Anti-government sentiments have increased in recent years across Europe, around issues including immigration and aid for Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the EU has sent extensive funding, military, and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

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