European elections 2024, how they work, how to vote and who we will elect on 8 and 9 June

The European elections 2024 will take place from 6 to 9 June throughout Europe and in particular in Italy on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June, in five constituencies. Every five years the citizens ofEuropean Union vote for the renewal of the members of European Parliamentwhich this year will be 720, 15 more than the last electoral round held in 2019. But how do the European elections take place? How will we vote in Italy and how it works vote for those out of office hey citizens residing abroad?

A premise: what the European Parliament does

The European Parliament it's the only one institution of the EU elected directly by European citizens and is precisely for this reason considered the European institution that best expresses the representative democracy, guaranteeing the direct participation of citizens in decisions taken at a supranational level. Together with the Council of the European Union it has the power to legislative and budgetary co-decisionpower of check on all institutions and bodies of the Union (in particular on the European Commission) e consultative powers.

In the founding treaties of the EU (EEC and ECSC) it was initially called the Assembly and in 1962 he decided to transform his name into European Parliamenta term which was later included in theSingle European Act of 1987.


The importance of the European Parliament and of voting in European elections lies in its co-legislative role: the Parliament can in fact ask the European Commission to present legislative proposals, approves or rejects laws presented by the latteralso proposing some amendments. The areas of expertise are divided into commissions: human rights, labour, defence, international trade are just some of the twenty commissions of which it is made up. It is therefore an important tool through which European citizens can participate in the legislative life of the European Union and ask candidates for the monitoring the work of other EU bodiesespecially the European Commission, e the representation of their interests.

How the European Parliament is elected

The 720 members of the European Parliament are elected by universal suffrage and remain in office for five years. Before the European Parliament elections, the number of MEPs who will be elected in each country of the Union is agreed on the basis of principle from the degressive proportionality. According to this principle, countries have a number of seats proportional to the population, having to represent the number of citizens (proportional), but at the same time it is guaranteed that the less populated member states have more seats than they would be entitled to with the sole principle of proportionality (digressive). This principle was created precisely to best represent the minorities and to prevent small states from seeing their interests less represented within the assembly.

With the Treaty of Lisbon of 2007, the number of MEPs was raised to a maximum of 750: currently the highest number is represented by Germany with 96 MEPswhile the minimum for any country it is 6 MEPs. Our country is the third largest and will have to elect one 76. Each country manages the elections autonomously, while respecting common principles: each citizen can vote only once, the elections take place from Thursday to Sunday for four days, if a citizen resides in another EU country he can vote and also stand for election in your country of residence.

Who will we elect at the 2024 European elections: the political groups of the European Parliament

Although elections take place at a national level in individual member countries, once elected, MEPs belong to a specific political group supranational depending on political ideology.

They are currently present in the European Parliament 7 political groups: Group of European People's Party (Christian Democrats), Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, RenewEurope, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Group of European Conservatives and Reformists, Identity and Democracy Groupgroup of Left in the European Parliament – ​​GUE/NGL.

Each group must be made up of at least 23 members, representative of at least a quarter of EU countries: it is not possible to form a political group with a majority of a single State of the Union. In Italy, almost all political parties are affiliated with a corresponding European political party.

European Parliament, 1985. Credit: Olaf Kosinsky

How to vote in Italy: who can vote and the ballot

European elections will be held in Italy Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June 2024: all citizens who have completed the year will be able to vote 18 yearsItalians or from another EU country who however have residence in Italy ei Italian citizens residing abroad. The polls will be open from 3.00pm to 11.00pm on Saturday 8 June 2024 and give them 7.00 to 23.00 on Sunday 9 June 2024, time after which the electoral counting will begin. However, it is advisable to check the timetables on the website of the municipality you belong to.

In Italy, as in other European countries, a proportional electoral system is used, i.e. the number of deputies elected by a political party is proportional to the number of votes it receives. This system is regulated by Italian electoral law for the European Parliament of 1979. Furthermore, Italy (along with Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands) uses the preferential votethat is, voters indicate the list they like and can express up to 3 preferences indicating the name of the candidates (indicating name and surname) of the list chosen in the vote, provided that they are of different sex, under penalty of cancellation of the card. Therefore, if the voter expresses more than one preference, he must indicate both sexes. For example, in the case of three preferences, two men and a woman can vote or vice versa, two women and a man. The so-called is also prohibited split vote, i.e. the expression for the preference of a list and of candidates who present themselves for another list. To vote you must go with your ballot paper and identification document to the polling station where you are registered.

For lists there is one barrier threshold: Lists must reach at least 4% of the votes expressed at a national level in order to be elected. The candidates who have the highest number of preferential votes in each constituency will be elected. To be elected the candidates they should be Italian citizens who have reached the age of 25 or citizens of other EU member countries who are regularly resident in Italy and registered on the electoral lists.

The vote for non-residents and for those who live abroad

For what concern vote out of office, students or workers who have lived for at least 3 months in a municipality other than their place of residence will also be able to vote in the 2024 European elections. This is possible by submitting the application to your municipality of origin within 35 days of the vote. The municipality of residence has 15 days to accept it and send it to the municipality where the off-site student/worker lives.

As for the citizens abroad who live in another EU member country, it will be possible vote by going to the electoral sections of the consular-diplomatic network. Those who reside abroad, in fact, are registered with theAire (Register of Italians residing abroad) and will receive the electoral certificate within five days before the vote.

It should be underlined that, for residents abroad, voting will take place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 June 2024. For those who reside outside the European Union it will not be possible to vote by post, but only by returning to your municipality of origin. Despite numerous proposals, the so-called “postal vote” has not yet been introduced.

The Italian constituencies and where you vote

In Italy there are five European electoral constituencies where it will be possible to vote. Each electoral constituency includes various regions and has a certain number of polling stations depending on the resident population. The districts in question are: North Western, North Eastern, Central, Southern and Insular. Voters will choose the candidates present in their constituency lists, which will therefore be different depending on the territorial constituency of residence. This means that, for example, the candidates for the Southern constituency on a given list will not be the same as those for the North-East constituency.

Italian constituencies in the European elections. Credit: Romano1979