Just as you reduce the number of politicians in one area, up they sprout in another. The UK plans to reduce the number of domestic Westminster Members of Parliament from 650 down to 600 after the next general election. But the EU has plans to increase the number of Members of the European Parliament by another 25 on top of their already more than sufficient 751 (750 MEPs plus the president of the parliament).


The BBC reports that this proposal was put forward by LibDem MEP Andrew Duff who said it would give the European Parliament more 'popular legitimacy' and it could be in place for the next EU elections in June 2014.

In a further twist, the extra 25 MEPs would not be constituency based. They would represent single transnational constituencies.

This would lead to a slight complication of the EU voting system. Voters would have two votes. One for their standard MEP and one to be cast to choose from MEPs based on their EU political group, not their national one.

To back this up a new EU elections watchdog would be set up to monitor voting.

So instead of voting for one of these new MEPs because they were Tory, LibDem or Labour you would vote for them based on whether they were affiliated with the 'Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)', the 'Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament' or the 'Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe' for example. There are seven of these groups and a breakdown of them can be found here.

This is not just a strange way of planning to increase the popular legitimacy of the EU, it also comes at a time of austerity across the region when everyone else is looking to scale down.

Conservative MEP Ashley Fox said in the BBC report "This kind of nonsense is the reason why people are turning against the EU. At a time of economic austerity the last thing the British taxpayer wants to pay for is an extra 25 MEPs across Europe plus the cost of a European electoral authority to oversee the process."

Now, there are 27 member states of the EU. So arguably these new 25 MEPs could claim to have at least equal legitimacy to power (number of votes) as the leader of any single country within it. Food for thought for the EU conspiracy theorists.


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