The Slovenia Times

European Elections Campaign to Begin on 25 April



Since its inception, the European Parliament has gained in influence but lost in voter turnout. In 1979, the turnout was 62% while at the election in 2009, the rate dropped to only 43%.

The elections campaigns have thus been marked by debates over low turnout and the rise of Euroscepticism, making the European elections a fertile ground for political squabbles in individual member states.

Slovenians first elected representative to the directly elected parliamentary institution of the now 28-member bloc in June 2004 and then again in June 2009.

In both elections, seven Slovenian MEPs were elected, but the number of Slovenian seats was increased with the Lisbon Treaty to eight in 2011.

The election campaign in Slovenia can start as early as 30 days before the vote and must end at least 24 hours before the polls open. Individual organisers of the election campaign must open special bank accounts used for all expenses related to the campaign at least 45 days before the vote.

This year's elections will be the first since the National Assembly adopted tougher rules on campaign financing, which bar legal entities with the exception non-profits from donating to campaigns.

Under the new law, donations of individuals must not exceed ten Slovenian average gross wages in the last full year. The average gross wage was just over EUR 1,500 in 2013, according to the Statistics Office. Contribution in cash must not exceed EUR 50 - all bigger sums must be donated via bank transfers.

Most Slovenian parties have said they were readying for a frugal campaign mainly financed with their own funds. Opposition Democrats (SDS) said it was "improper and irresponsible" to expect external donations, while senior coalition PS said they expect the candidates themselves to do a better job convincing the voters than election ads.

Coalition Social Democrats (SD) said their bet was on direct contact with people and campaign of solidarity, while opposition New Slovenia (NSi) and the People's Party (SLS) said they wanted to reach out to people on the ground. Coalition Citizens' List (DL) said their ticket was the innovativeness of content.

Parties have so far been keeping a tight lid on their candidates, but most incumbent MEP are likely to go after a re-election. Among those that have already made their ambitions for the five-year office clear are incumbent MEPs Ivo Vajgl (Zares/ALDE) and Lojze Peterle (NSi/EPP) and SD leader Igor Lukšič.


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