European Parliament elections brought forward

Elections to the European parliament in 2014 are likely to be brought forward to May to give MEPs time to prepare for the election of a new European Commission president in the July.

The draft decision, which was backed by an overwhelming majority of the constitutional affairs committee, still needs to be voted on by parliament as a whole and then by the council of ministers.

If it gets the go-ahead, the elections will be held from May 22 to 25, instead of June 5 to 8. The Netherlands will go the polls on Thursday 22, most other countries on the Sunday 25.

The European parliament is the only directly-elected body within the EU. Citizens choose who represents them in parliament every five years

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