Recurring Kremlin narrative about the European Parliament and uselessness of elections.
The European Parliament is one of the two EU law-making bodies. Parliament has constitutional-type and ratification powers. So Latvian MEPs will help pass EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals. It has budgetary powers, scrutiny over the executive, it hears citizens’ petitions, and appoints the European Ombudsman. A detailed overview of the European Parliament’s role in the European decision-making process can be consulted here.
Since 1979, the European Parliament is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.
According to the Latvian media, this year’s elections may be the most important in Parliament’s history, given the political context, the departure of the United Kingdom and major political and cross-border challenges that need to be addressed. In Latvia, 16 parties will contest the elections and 246 individuals will have a theoretical chance of a seat in Brussels. Latvia has just eight mandates in the European parliament, so the number of candidates with a realistic prospect of being elected is fairly small, in most cases limited to the first few candidates on a party list. Seats will be distributed to parties on a proportional representation basis, so support of around 12.5% of votes case is enough to win a seat.