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POLAND: PKW informs of EP elections uncertainties

The President of the State Electoral Committee has signalled that the uncertainties regarding Brexit may create a legal problem in regard to the EP elections. According to the European Council Decision (EU) 2018/937 of 28 June 2018 establishing the composition of the European Parliament, 52 representatives are to be elected in Poland. However, in the event that the United Kingdom is still a member of the Union at the beginning of the 2019-2024 parliamentary term, the number of representatives will fall to 51. Once the UK’s withdrawal from the Union becomes legally effective, the number of representatives in the EP will again return to the level specified in the decision. All member states of the EU will have to face the same issue if Brexit does not legally occur according to plan.

The PKW points out that the Polish Electoral Code does not account for such a situation and consequently does not allow to determine, which elected representative will lose a seat. Therefore, it will be necessary to introduce a mechanism will allow to avoid these uncertainties. The PKW indicates the law must come into force prior to the beginning of the next EP term and that voters have to be aware of the situation. It further suggests that it should be determined that the representative with the lowest number of votes should be considered the “52”. Politically it will also be important to set this issue clear and avoid unnecessary speculations, which may appear if this matter is left unresolved.