European Parliament Elections, 2014: CSOs Need to Influence Political Agendas

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European Parliament (EP) Elections will be held on 22-25 May, 2014. The 2014 EP Elections provides a chance for citizens of the 28 EU member states (MS) to elect their representatives to the EP for 2014-2019. It is the first EP Election held under the Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty creates expectations because it provides an enhanced role for citizens as political actors in the EU and strengthens the powers of the EP (e.g. allows MEPs to have the last word on international agreements), consolidating its role as co-legislator and giving it an additional responsibility: the election of the president of the Commission. This gives an opportunity for the EP to use its new powers under the Lisbon treaty to shape the new Commission. Lale Azak, advocacy and Lobbying Intern at BCSDN under the OSI TTF Young Professional Development Program, has prepared a short analysis on the 2014 EP Elections. In this analysis she highlights and examines some of the new aspects of the 2014 election and discusses what is to be expected in 2014. The analysis also pays special attention to the enlargement policy of each political group in the EP towards the Western Balkans and Turkey. Lale Azak concludes that as most of the groups are currently busy formulating or refining their election manifestos for the 2014 elections an opportunity exists, especially for CSOs, to make sure that the issues for which they advocate are included in these. She includes a list of resources which can be useful for doing this.

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