8 things you need to know before voting in the European Parliamentary elections

Watford Observer: 8 things you need to know about voting in the European Parliamentary elections 8 things you need to know about voting in the European Parliamentary elections

Thinking of voting in the European Parliamentary elections? Here’s our essential eight-point guide.

1. Hertfordshire is represented by the East of England constituency, which elects seven MEPs every five years.

2. MEPs win their seats via the party-list proportional representation system. This means each political party fields seven candidates, who are ranked first to seventh, and seats are allocated on a proportional basis. In the ballot box, you’ll simply vote for a party and depending on the percentage of the vote the party receives, it takes one or more of the seven seats - between 10 and 15 percent is one seat and the party’s first candidate would go to Brussels, 25 percent is two seats and that party’s first and second candidates would go to Brussels. The process continues until all seven seats are filled.

3. Currently, we are represented by three Conservatives, two UKIP, one Liberal Democrat and one Labour MEP. Once elected MEPs form political groups - rather than national groups.

4. This election, candidates are standing for the Conservative Party, Green Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, UK Independence Party (UKIP), No2EU, English Democrats, Christian Peoples Alliance, An Independence from Europe and British National Party.

5. MEPs receive a basic yearly salary of €84,000 (£68,014.54) and are expected to attend four-day meetings in Strasbourg every month (not August) and two-day meetings in Brussels six times a year, where the Parliament's committees, political groups and other organs also mainly meet.

6. MEPs have few or no powers over health, education, housing, law & order or defence, but significant powers over environmental standards, consumer protection, trade, employment law.

7. Amongst other things MEPs: have to approve nearly all EU legislation, table parliamentary questions for Question Time or written answer, approve international agreements (such as trade agreements) and accession of new member states to the union, jointly with the Council of the European Union agree the EU’s annual budget.

8. Since the last election in 2009, the European Parliament has brought in a price cap on mobile roaming charges, worked on new financial regulations for banks - including capping bonuses, implemented farming reform by bringing in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies, brought in reform to save fish stocks by giving more powers back to fishing regions and backing down on quotas and written a number of anti tobacco laws.

Comments (7)

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9:56am Thu 22 May 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Good luck UKIP.

This is our strongest region so please get out there and vote UKIP today and we will send a shock-wave through the complacent other parties.

UKIP is the future. Get out there and make it happen.
Good luck UKIP. This is our strongest region so please get out there and vote UKIP today and we will send a shock-wave through the complacent other parties. UKIP is the future. Get out there and make it happen. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 6

10:11am Thu 22 May 14

bishopofwatford says...

Anyone under 50 years old has NEVER voted on membership of this organisation.

If you think that is democracy then one of us is confused.
Anyone under 50 years old has NEVER voted on membership of this organisation. If you think that is democracy then one of us is confused. bishopofwatford
  • Score: 14

12:25pm Thu 22 May 14

TRT says...

An example of a trade agreement standardisation made in 1999/2000 was to repeal the UK law from the 1890s which meant all UK toilet cisterns had to use a syphon mechanism. From 2000 plumbers and householders were free to install cisterns which used dump valves, notorious because when they fail they do so in a way that pours water straight down the toilet pan. It's estimated that we now require 12% more water than we did purely because of that "harmonisation". EU water waste reduction policy focuses on smaller and smaller flush volumes; the UK were pushing for an even smaller volume than the EU are currently voting on.

I know. Boring isn't it? But you know, hosepipe bans etc. In perspective, we waste 25% of our water through leaks in the distribution system. Dozens of water companies all free to set their own agenda for repairing and replacing pipework and always doing so with an eye on their profits and shareholder dividends.
An example of a trade agreement standardisation made in 1999/2000 was to repeal the UK law from the 1890s which meant all UK toilet cisterns had to use a syphon mechanism. From 2000 plumbers and householders were free to install cisterns which used dump valves, notorious because when they fail they do so in a way that pours water straight down the toilet pan. It's estimated that we now require 12% more water than we did purely because of that "harmonisation". EU water waste reduction policy focuses on smaller and smaller flush volumes; the UK were pushing for an even smaller volume than the EU are currently voting on. I know. Boring isn't it? But you know, hosepipe bans etc. In perspective, we waste 25% of our water through leaks in the distribution system. Dozens of water companies all free to set their own agenda for repairing and replacing pipework and always doing so with an eye on their profits and shareholder dividends. TRT
  • Score: 4

12:41pm Thu 22 May 14

bishopofwatford says...

TRT wrote:
An example of a trade agreement standardisation made in 1999/2000 was to repeal the UK law from the 1890s which meant all UK toilet cisterns had to use a syphon mechanism. From 2000 plumbers and householders were free to install cisterns which used dump valves, notorious because when they fail they do so in a way that pours water straight down the toilet pan. It's estimated that we now require 12% more water than we did purely because of that "harmonisation"
. EU water waste reduction policy focuses on smaller and smaller flush volumes; the UK were pushing for an even smaller volume than the EU are currently voting on.

I know. Boring isn't it? But you know, hosepipe bans etc. In perspective, we waste 25% of our water through leaks in the distribution system. Dozens of water companies all free to set their own agenda for repairing and replacing pipework and always doing so with an eye on their profits and shareholder dividends.
Far from boring TRT I just don't understand how you can have one organisation let alone one currency ,interest rate and other financial/trade
Regulations for countries as diverse as Germany in the north to Cyprus in the south.

The whole idea was put to the electorate as the EEC , a Trading bloc NOT
as has morphed into FIRST THE European Community and now the EU.

I would ask everyone who voted in the referendum in the seventies if they
Would still vote the same way.?

I was one of the 10% then who did not swallow the mainstream political parties confidence trick and propaganda.
[quote][p][bold]TRT[/bold] wrote: An example of a trade agreement standardisation made in 1999/2000 was to repeal the UK law from the 1890s which meant all UK toilet cisterns had to use a syphon mechanism. From 2000 plumbers and householders were free to install cisterns which used dump valves, notorious because when they fail they do so in a way that pours water straight down the toilet pan. It's estimated that we now require 12% more water than we did purely because of that "harmonisation" . EU water waste reduction policy focuses on smaller and smaller flush volumes; the UK were pushing for an even smaller volume than the EU are currently voting on. I know. Boring isn't it? But you know, hosepipe bans etc. In perspective, we waste 25% of our water through leaks in the distribution system. Dozens of water companies all free to set their own agenda for repairing and replacing pipework and always doing so with an eye on their profits and shareholder dividends.[/p][/quote]Far from boring TRT I just don't understand how you can have one organisation let alone one currency ,interest rate and other financial/trade Regulations for countries as diverse as Germany in the north to Cyprus in the south. The whole idea was put to the electorate as the EEC , a Trading bloc NOT as has morphed into FIRST THE European Community and now the EU. I would ask everyone who voted in the referendum in the seventies if they Would still vote the same way.? I was one of the 10% then who did not swallow the mainstream political parties confidence trick and propaganda. bishopofwatford
  • Score: 3

2:10pm Thu 22 May 14

TRT says...

I don't understand the motive behind any confidence trick. Who stands to profit? There's no motive for increasing Eureaucracy. Who stands to gain financially on an individual basis?
I don't understand the motive behind any confidence trick. Who stands to profit? There's no motive for increasing Eureaucracy. Who stands to gain financially on an individual basis? TRT
  • Score: 2

2:53pm Thu 22 May 14

cgpc Rob says...

Brussels for part of the month, then decamp to Strasbourg,

Its like having Westminster for three weeks and then Newcastle as the political centre for the other week, crazy!
Brussels for part of the month, then decamp to Strasbourg, Its like having Westminster for three weeks and then Newcastle as the political centre for the other week, crazy! cgpc Rob
  • Score: 2

7:04am Fri 23 May 14

garston tony says...

There are many idiotic things about the EU and how it is run, moving between two centres is just one of them.

As Bishop said the original idea was a trading block and I dont think many people even now would object to that but trying to unite all these diverse countries is doomed to failure and it shouldnt be attempted without the express consent of us Joe public which in this country at least we have not been asked for
There are many idiotic things about the EU and how it is run, moving between two centres is just one of them. As Bishop said the original idea was a trading block and I dont think many people even now would object to that but trying to unite all these diverse countries is doomed to failure and it shouldnt be attempted without the express consent of us Joe public which in this country at least we have not been asked for garston tony
  • Score: 1

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