Romania needs a competitive electoral system for the European elections

Author: Ciprian Ciucu

In 2014, Romania will organize , for the third time, elections for the European Parliament. After previous elections being shadowed by absenteeism, non-combat, irrelevant election bids, with no connection to European debates, the 2014 elections risk  following a similar scenario.

Now, in early 2013, is the best time to start discussion on changing the voting system for European elections. After a year and 3 months (May, 2014)  the new European Parliament elections -will take place. The current electoral system does not meet democratic requirements, it is stiff and uncompetitive. Romania practices a proportional electoral system with closed party list (the list is locked and candidates are chosen in the order decided by the party), with one constituency (the whole country is one constituency) and a threshold (the maximum allowed) 5% of the total valid votes cast nationally. Moreover, it is inhibitory for independent candidates and candidates from small parties, requiring record amounts of signatures necessary for registration in the electoral competition. In this report we provide alternative solutions and advocate for adoption of a better system. Romanian Center for European Policies provides a comparative analysis of electoral systems used by other Member States from which we can draw to improve European elections on the national territory. The time we have available is sufficient for a thorough debate but the decision should not be delayed: candidates need predictability in order to think their electoral strategies.

Fully report is available(only in Romanian), here

The report was elaborated as part of the project “Advocacy for truly democratic European elections”, funded by the Foundation for Development of Civil Society (FDSC).