European elections 2024: In the polls Europeans of 27 EU states – Where and how we vote

The citizens of the European Union are coming to the polls today on Sunday (9.6.2024) to vote for the MEPs of the next five years, as their process is now culminating in its 27 Member States. At 7 am the polls in Greece open. Today, then, the 720 members of the European Parliament will emerge. The European elections have begun since Thursday, in the Netherlands, since Friday in Ireland and the Czech Republic, since yesterday, Saturday, in Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and Italy and since this morning in other countries, including Greece. The polls have been opened at dawn, while the last ballot box will be closed in Italy, today, at 24:00 Greek time, according to official information from the EP services in Brussels. It is estimated that around 360 million are European citizens who have the right to vote in these European elections, of whom two million are young voters, aged 16 and 17, that is, they are invited to vote for the first time. This late evening and by Monday morning, the seats that each national party will have won are expected to be finalized, and the results will remain validated, the counting of crosses and the announcement of the names of those elected, based on the electoral system implemented by each Member State. Immediately thereafter, the names of those elected should be notified to the European Parliament in order to initiate the procedures necessary for the first plenary session, during which the European Parliament will be set up in a House in order to elect the President and the 14 Vice-Presidents. The plenary session is scheduled for 16-19 July in Strasbourg. Where and how we vote Citizens to inform the electorate and school complex in which they vote may refer to the home ministry’s website in the section “Learn where you vote” ( ) or communicate with the telephone number: 213 136 1500 daily from 09:00 to 21:00. The election candidates shall be recognised for the exercise of their electoral right by showing their police identity or the relevant temporary confirmation of the competent authority or passport or driving licence or individual health booklet of all insurance funds. The recognition of military and those serving in security bodies is made by their military or service identities. It is noted that any ‘cut’ police identity cards are acceptable. Recognition can also be done using digital identity. European Union citizens shall be identified on the basis of a valid identity card or valid passport or driving licence. In order to serve the electors the Identities Offices and Passport Offices of Police Services, around the country, will operate today until 19:00. Those who do not tolerate the prolonged waiting in the queues outside the polling stations such as pregnant women, seniors, disabled people, patients, etc., as well as those who meet service needs (such as officers of the Armed Forces, the Greek Police or officials performing an election service), have the right to ask the representative of the judicial authority to vote with absolute priority. Persons with disabilities and generally electors with physical weakness can exercise their electoral right in a special area located on the ground floor of the electoral centre and allowed to enter help dogs (drivers) for disabled persons. The voters can put up to four crosses next to the candidates of their preference. However, if more than four crosses are placed, the ballot is not invalid but is counted in favour of the combination, without any preference cross being taken into account. The epistolic votes At the time the citizens come to the polls throughout the country, at the Center for the Collection of Epistolic Votes in Peristeri, the screening committees open the polls, and then return files to see if the necessary accompanying documents exist, i.e. the copy of the identity and complete the form of the responsible declaration. If the integrity of the electoral dossier is established, then the closed file contained in the ballot is thrown into the final ballot. If an accompanying document is missing, the ballot shall be left out of the ballot box and recorded as invalid. When will the results become known? During the vote, judicial representatives will inform the interior ministry of the number of votes cast at around 11:30, 14:30 and 17:30 and then the ministry will release the relevant data grouped by region. The counting and sorting of votes, including epistolics, will be done as usual, immediately after the ballot is closed. The first safe results with the power of parties are expected to be made public by Singular Logic around 21:00 and the crusade at around 23:00. The minimum number of MEPs is 6 and the maximum 96 last year, the EU Council decided, with the assent of the EP, to increase the number of seats of the European Parliament to 720 for the 10th parliamentary term 2024-2029, i.e. an increase of 15 seats. The EP had 705 seats after the redistribution that occurred due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom. Kingdom from the EU. It should be noted that EU legislation allows the maximum number of 750 MEPs plus the President, and stipulates that the number of seats per country is decided before the European elections. The allocation of seats takes into account the size of the population of the Member States, as well as the need for a minimum level of representation for European citizens from smaller countries (based on the principle of ‘advanced proportionality’ enshrined in the EU Treaty). However, the minimum number of MEPs per country is six and a maximum of 96. Thus, the distribution of seats is as follows: Germany 96 seats, France 81, Italy 76, Spain 61, Poland 53, Romania 33, Netherlands 31, Belgium 22, Greece, Czech Republic, Sweden, Portugal and Hungary from 21, Austria 20, Bulgaria 17, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia from 15, Ireland 14, Croatia 12, Lithuania 11, Slovenia and Latvia from 9, Estonia 7 and Cyprus Malta and Luxembourg from 6 seats. The political groups and their composition MEPs are not organized by the EP on the basis of their nationality, but by their political position. So immediately after their election they will join one of the political groups to be formed after the negotiations that will begin tomorrow morning. The exact number of MEPs’ political groups will be known in the near future, as, in addition to the seven groups formed during the last parliamentary term (2019-2024), new ones may also be established due to European political processes. However, in order for a political group to be officially recognised, it must notify the EP of its name, its political declaration and their composition by 15 July (Rule 33 of the EP’s Rules of Procedure), i.e. one day before the beginning of the plenary session. However, political groups can be formed later during the 5 years. The seven (7) political groups in the European Parliament in the period 2019-2024 were the following: Parliamentary Group of the European People’s Party (EPP-ED, D) Christian Democrats) (https://www.epgroup.eu/), Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (https://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/), Renew Europe Group (https://www.reneweuropegroup.eu/), Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/), Group of European Conservatives and Reformers (ECR) (https://ecrgroup.eu/), Group of Identity and Democracy (ID) (https://www.idgroup.eu/) and Group of the Left at the EK-GUE/NGL (https://left.eu/). It should be noted that some Members may not wish to join a political group, so they will no longer belong to the so-called Non-attached Members, to whom the EP provides a special secretariat for their duties. The European Parliament does not normally need to assess the political affinity of members of a political group. When MEPs form the group, they accept by definition that they have a relative political position. Only if the Members concerned do not accept this, the European Parliament must assess whether the formation of the group is in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure (EC). The inclusion of an MEP in more than one political group is prohibited. Each political group shall ensure its internal organisation by defining a president (or, in some groups, two co-chairmen), a bureau and a secretariat. Before each vote in plenary, the political groups shall examine the reports of the parliamentary committees and submit amendments. The position of each political group is decided following a debate within the group, while MEPs cannot be obliged to give a specific vote. In particular, the positions of MEPs in the Chamber shall be decided on the basis of their political position, from left to right, following an agreement between the group chairmen. The heads of political groups (chairmen or co-chairs) always sit in the first series of the semi-cycle either meet in Brussels or Strasbourg. MEPs share their time between their constituency in Strasbourg, where 12 plenary sessions are held each year (except in August), and Brussels, where they participate in additional meetings, as well as meetings of committees and political groups. Negotiations on the composition of committees The political and legislative work of the European Parliament is organised on twenty standing committees and four subcommittees, each electing one/one president and up to four vice-chairmen. The European Parliament may also set up temporary committees on specific questions and committees of inquiry to investigate infringements or cases of misuse of Community law. At the beginning of the new parliamentary term, the European Parliament decides which Members will participate in which committees on the basis of their preferences, but at the same time each Commission must reflect the overall political composition of the EP plenary. The negotiations on the appointment of posts will start tomorrow morning, as the political message of the choice of persons who will take over the Commission presidency is particularly important. The Committees play a decisive role in policymaking, since they are responsible for preparing the positions of the European Parliament, in particular with regard to new legislative proposals. In summary, the committees amend legislative proposals through the adoption of reports, submit amendments to the plenary and appoint negotiating groups to carry out trade with the EU Council. They also adopt own-initiative reports, organise expert hearings and control the work of the other EU institutions and bodies. The meetings of the committees are public and are broadcast over the Internet.