Objections from Irish members of parliament

Objections from Irish members of parliament

The European Parliament has voted in favour of proposals which would see 12 countries, including Ireland, lose one seat each in the parliament following next year's European elections.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the number of MEPs will fall from 754 to 751. In addition, Croatia will join the European Union in July and will be entitled to 12 seats.

Ireland would go from 12 seats to 11 under the proposal which must now be unanimously approved by the heads of state and government in the European Council. Germany will lose three of its 99 seats to comply with the maximum allowed by the Lisbon Treaty.

Some 536 voted in favour of the vote, with 111 rejecting it and the remaining MEPS abstaining.


Dublin MEP Emer Costello said she was gravely disappointed with the vote as it ran contrary to the principle that smaller countries should have a more favourable ratio of population to seats than larger member states. "Under the current proposal, Ireland, with the fastest growing population in the EU, would lose a seat and would have a worse ratio of population to seats than Finland and Slovakia which have 900,000 more people," she said.

"Indeed Finland and Slovakia with populations of 5.4 million retain their 13 seats, while Ireland with a population of 4.5 million has been reduced to 11 seats."

Ireland East Nessa Childers called on Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to activate the Boundary Commission as soon as possible to redraw the MEP constituencies.

She also called on Mr Hogan to legislate for the banning of the placing of election posters on local authority poles. "The average cost of printing, erecting and properly disposing of an election poster is €12, with candidates feeling obliged to put up hundreds of such posters," she said.

Alison Healy

Alison Healy

Alison Healy is a contributor to The Irish Times