Lists for European elections considered

Kaili, Georgoulis cases paving way for changes to secure qualitative representation in EU Parliament

Lists for European elections considered

If reelected, the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will reportedly seek the return of lists for European elections.

A list election is one in which eligible voters within a specific constituency vote for a list or lists of candidates. This differs from candidate elections, in which voters can only vote for individual candidates. 

This scenario has gained further traction after the embarrassing cases of PASOK MEP Eva Kaili, who faces charges of corruption, and, more recently, SYRIZA MEP Alexis Georgoulis, who is accused of rape and physical abuse.

The government feels that both SYRIZA and PASOK would get on board as the quality of the people representing Greece in the European Parliament is ultimately a “national issue.”

The issue was reopened by conservative lawmaker Makis Voridis, who in recent statements reiterated the argument that the list will not favor the election of prominent national figures, such as athletes and TV stars, who start their election campaign from an advantageous position over other, unknown, candidates.

“Who can campaign on an individual level to claim the vote nationwide if they don’t have a strong public profile?” asked Voridis.

Moreover, electing MEPs with a nationwide vote favors those who have access to more funding, as a nationwide campaign requires a large amount of money, widening the gap between wealthy and less financially powerful candidates. 

Although the government had thought of introducing the lists for European elections from the outset of its term in office four years ago, it never got round to it as it was distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, Greek-Turkish relations and the war in Ukraine, which kept pushing the issue back. 

As a result, the government, if reelected, will introduce the change in its next term in office, along with other institutional changes such a review of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Mitsotakis announced that Parliament will close on April 22, and the election period will officially begin.

Speaking in Corfu on Wednesday, Mitsotakis referred to the achievements and mistakes over the last four years, saying that his government “never hid its weaknesses and has acknowledged its mistakes.” 

“This is how we will approach the election period that begins on Saturday,” he said.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.