Elections to the European Parliament take place in Member States of the European Union (the EU). On joining the EU, Slovenia gained the right and obligation to participate in the work of EU bodies.
The European Parliament is the only body to be constituted through direct elections. Since for the most part the legal basis for these elections has been left to the individual Member States, Slovenia adopted a special act for the implementation of these elections – the Election of Slovenian Members to the European Parliament Act – which regulates primarily voting rights, the electoral system, standing as a candidate and determining the outcome of elections.
Members of the European Parliament from Slovenia are elected directly on the basis of universal and equal suffrage through a secret ballot for a term of five years. Elections of Members of the European Parliament from Slovenia (referred to below as simply “elections”) are called by the President of Slovenia.
Voting is based on the proportional system with preferential votes – a personalised election where voters are able to influence the selection of candidates and not just the selection of political parties.
The country as a whole constitutes a single constituency. The division of mandates is performed for the entire country as a whole, with seats being allocated to candidate lists under the d’Hondt method. The preferential voting method means that mandates are not allocated in the order in which they appear on the candidate list, but that the candidates from the individual list who have received the highest number of preference votes are elected, whereby preference votes are taken into account only if the number of preference votes for an individual candidate exceeds the quotient calculated by dividing the total number of votes cast for the list by double the number of candidates on the list.
Citizens of the EU who have permanent residence in Slovenia (as at the last day for submission of candidacies), have the right to vote under the same conditions as apply for Slovenian citizens, provided such right has not been revoked. Alien citizens are subject to the general condition that they are listed in the voting rights register. The voting rights of Slovenian citizens and aliens from other Member States are entirely equal, and cover both the right to stand and to vote in elections, and citizens of other Member States therefore enjoy voting rights under the same conditions as those for Slovenian citizens.
The voting procedure does not differ significantly from the procedure for elections to the National Assembly. The same is true of standing as a candidate, where just eight Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected; candidates can be proposed by political parties and by voters. The organisation and work of polling stations, voting and determining the outcome of voting are all governed by analogy by the provisions of the National Assembly Elections Act, unless otherwise provided by law.
Mandates for seats are divided up by the state election commission, since for these elections Slovenia is treated as a single constituency. Confirmation of MEP seats takes place within the individual country and in the European Parliament. The National Assembly confirms the election of MEPs in the same way as it does for its own deputies. Following verification, the President of the National Assembly notifies the President of the European Parliament of the outcome of the elections. The European Parliament must be notified of any change in the situation, including any termination of an MEP’s mandate.