Published: Tue, 13 June 2023
Yesterday, MEPs voted to approve the European Council’s decision to increase the number of seats in the European Parliament for the next legislative term from 705 to 720.
Ireland was among the recipients, set to gain one additional seat for the next legislative term.
The European Council’s proposal was based on Parliament’s report on the composition of Parliament of June 2023. This started the process and was prompted by demographic changes in the EU since the last elections in 2019.
“Ireland will now have 14 seats to fill in the next election. The population increase in Ireland justifies us getting one extra seat. The 2022 Census showed that Ireland’s population crept up to over 300,000 since the previous one in 2016.”
Parliament’s composition is assessed before each election, in line with the principles set out in the Treaties and based on the most recent population figures.
“The European Parliament is becoming more and more important. Its legislative role has grown considerably. Therefore, every MEP counts, as especially since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, we have lost our traditional allies.”
It is still unknown which of the three European constituencies in Ireland will gain the extra seat. There are currently 13 Irish MEPs across three constituencies — South (five seats); Dublin (four seats) and Midlands Northwest (four seats).
“It is important to get clarity on the constituencies as soon as possible so voters are aware of their position well ahead of the elections next June.”