The European Parliament has today voted against setting up transnational lists for future European Parliament elections.
This would have meant common lists of candidates who could stand for election across the whole territory of the EU, enabling citizens from all parts of the Union to vote for a common list or party.
The majority of MEPs would still have been elected under existing arrangements based on the member states.
Supporters believe that this would help enforce European solidarity and a common sense of European identity for the benefit of all.
President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament and Vice President of the Greens/EFA, Josep-Maria Terricabras regretted the outcome of the vote but noted that the idea of transnational lists would not be abandoned.
He addressed the benefits of pan European lists in the earlier debate:
"Transnational lists are an important step in the process towards a single European constituency.
"Having the opportunity to vote for a list with candidates from different Member States helps to create a sense of European general interest and feeling of belonging in people's imagination.
"Transnational lists can open the window to greater solidarity, redistribution of wealth and can reinforce the idea of a European public sphere.
"All in all, what we are debating can only strengthen democracy, making our job more accountable."
Terricabras also backed proposals to allow member states to assign seats in the European Parliament to regions with legislative powers, such as the Åland Islands:
"With this proposal, we have an opportunity to reinvigorate the European project and to rethink it, especially from a ‘bottom-up’ perspective, for instance, by allowing Members States to assign seats to regions having legislative powers."