Between 23 and 26 May, European citizens went to the polling stations to elect their future MEPs. European elections have been regularly boycotted by citizens since 1979. However, this year, the participation rate has increased significantly in many Member States.
Declining from election to election, the turnout rate reached 42.61% in the 2014 European elections, up from 61.9% in 1979. It reached 50.9% this year.
However, a gap remains between the Eastern European and Western European States. Indeed, the participation rate is high, even increasing in France (50.1%, compared to 42.3% in 2014), Germany (61.4%, compared to 48.1%), Spain (64.3% compared to 43.8%). While it is increasing significantly, it is still low in Slovakia (22.7%, compared to 13.05%), Slovenia (28.3%, compared to 24.5%) and the Czech Republic (28.7%, compared to 18.2%). On the other hand, in the East, some States are facing a significant increase in the participation rate, such as Poland (45.7%, compared to 23.8%) or Romania (51.1%, compared to 32.4%), while b some western states are seeing their rates decrease, such as Portugal (31.4%, compared to 33.7%) or Italy (54.5%, compared to 57.2%).
Overall, this increase of the turnout rate is the great success of these elections. It now remains to be seen how the political groups will evolve and which coalition will be negociated to build the European Parliament version 2019-2024.