The Council reached agreement on new measures to update EU electoral law.
On 7 June 2018 it approved a draft decision amending the 1976 Electoral Act which lays down a number of common rules concerning elections to the European Parliament.
Once the text has been finalised in all official languages, it will be submitted to the European Parliament, which will be asked to give its consent to the package as it stands.
The new rules seek to enhance citizens' participation in the EP elections, raise awareness of their European character and prevent irregular voting, while respecting the constitutional and electoral traditions of the member states.
Among a series of measures, the Council suggests setting an obligatory threshold of 2% to 5% for constituencies with more than 35 seats. This rule would also apply to single-constituency member states. Member states would have to comply with this obligation at the latest in time for the EP elections in 2024.
"This is a welcome agreement after two and a half years of negotiations within the Council on a list of reform proposals. Member states considered it appropriate to modernise certain aspects of the EU electoral law and establish a minimum threshold at EU level, while ensuring that this will be carefully targeted."
Ekaterina Zaharieva, deputy prime minister for judicial reform and minister of foreign affairs of Bulgaria
Other changes to the EU electoral law include new provisions on 'double voting', voting in third countries, different voting methods, and the visibility of European political parties in the member states.
Read the full press release on the website of the Council of the European Union.