This is an increase that reflects "demographic changes in the Member States". The number of MEPs will increase from 705 to 720 after the European elections scheduled for June 2024, with twelve countries including France gaining additional seats, the European Council announced on Friday.
The France is allocated two more seats (to a total of 81 MEPs), as are Spain (61 in total) and the Netherlands (31). Nine countries won one seat: Austria (20), Denmark (15), Belgium (22), Poland (53), Finland (15), Slovakia (15), Ireland (14), Slovenia (9) and Latvia (9).
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The European Council, representing the leaders of the Twenty-Seven, assures that this decision is "budgetary neutral", that is to say that it does not entail an increase for the Union's budget.
A maximum of 751 elected representatives
The number of MEPs is reviewed before each European election. The Treaty of Lisbon provides for a maximum of 751 MEPs (including the President), no less than six elected representatives per country and no more than 96. Germany, the EU's most populous country, has 96 MEPs. The number of seats had decreased on 1 February 2020, from 751 to 705, due to the departure of British MEPs linked to Brexit.
Elections to the European Parliament will take place in all 27 EU countries from 6 to 9 June 2024. They will lead to a renewal at the head of the European institutions, including the Commission and the European Council. MEPs are elected by direct universal suffrage for a period of 5 years.