MEPs want to reduce European Parliament by 51 seats

After Brexit, MEPs suggest bringing EP down from 751 to 700 MEPs

A new proposal suggests cutting 51 of the 73 UK seats from the European Parliament after Brexit, bringing the institution down from 751 to 700 elected representatives.

These vacated seats would then be kept in store in case of a future EU enlargement, and could also be used for the envisaged pan-European lists of Parliament members.

The remaining “minimal fraction” of 22 British seats could be re-distributed among the remaining 27 EU countries, to better take into account the principle of “degressive proportionality”.

No EU country will lose seats

“We should bear in mind that the current distribution of seats is unfair “, said Pedro Silva Pereira, one of the proponents on the reduction.

“It only partially respects the principle of ‘degressive proportionality’ of the Lisbon Treaty. We know the issue is sensitive. It requires a unanimity in the European Council and for many member states, there is a balance to ensure between their representation in the EP and the voting system in the Council. (...) This new distribution is reasonable, reduces the size of the EP and is politically viable”.

According to the Treaty on European Union, the number of Members of the European Parliament cannot exceed 750, plus the President. It provides for representation to be “degressively proportional”, with a minimum threshold of 6 members per member state, and that no member state is to be allocated more than 96 seats.

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