The number of seats in the European Parliament, after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, should be restricted to 699. This is in place of the current 750 and is indicated in the draft report, which the Belga press agency has had sight of. The number of seats allotted to Belgium is likely to remain fixed at 21.
Brexit will be a reality in 2019, bringing in its wake the disappearance of 73 British MEPs. There is presently an ongoing discussion regarding the fate of these British seats. The two MEPs responsible for the review, the Pole, Danuta Maria Hübner (EPP – European People’s Party), and the Portuguese, Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D – Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), have now finished their report.
They say that only 22 of the 73 seats should be allocated to other member states. The total number of MEPs will consequently go from 750 to 699, which will give the European Parliament leeway to accommodate MEPs coming from potential new member states, or MEPs elected from so-called “transnational” lists. The latter concept results from Danuta Hübner and Pedro Silva Pereira deciding, in principle, in favour of elections in which candidates on the present electoral lists from all European countries may participate.
The report says that the major beneficiaries of the 22 seats, in absolute terms, are likely to be France and Spain (each receiving an additional four seats). Italy could receive a further three seats under these proposals. The report will be discussed next Monday by the Committee for Constitutional Affairs in the European Parliament. However, the last word will go to the European Council, bringing together the heads of state and governments.