Problem niskiej frekwencji w wyborach do Parlamentu Europejskiego – przyczyny i sposoby jej zwiększenia

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2010

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Wydział Nauk Politycznych i Dziennikarstwa UAM

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The low and constantly decreasing voter turnout in the European Parliamentary elections has recently become a significant concern for both the EU and national authorities. The reasons for this state of affairs, however, to a large extent should be sought in the ‘statistical’ effect of the EU enlargement by the new member states, where the turnout tends to be low in all types of elections. It should be observed that after the third elections, the turnout in the ‘old’ EU has stabilized at the level of 52–53%, and the claims that it has decreased dramatically are erroneous. The situation is quite different in the new member states, where the turnout has actually decreased by several percent since the 2004 elections. It can be claimed then that the low turnout is not a result of the member states’ citizens’ decreasing interest in EU matters, but rather of a general aversion towards politics and politicians. Comparing the turnout in the elections to the European Parliament, and national parliaments, one can observe that the difference is similar in all the countries, and amounts to approx. 30%. This difference follows from the fact that EU citizens treat the European Parliamentary elections as ‘second-division elections’ (of secondary significance) that in their opinion do not have a significant influence. Therefore, it appears that one should look for the reasons why general turnover has fallen, rather than exclusively at that in EP elections. What will be the remedy for this low turnout? Firstly, the voters need to be informed about the significance of the decisions taken by the EP to their everyday life. Advantageous outcomes could also be provided by the reforms of election law, such as the changed time of the polls or the introduction of preferential voting in all the states. It is also important to continue and develop the campaign which promotes voting, conducted by NGOs, as well as by the EU institutions.

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Przegląd Politologiczny, 2010, nr 1, s. 115-124.

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego