Turnout levels in the last European Parliament (EP) elections have been hailed as a sign of renewed interest in European Union (EU) politics. In almost all Member States, including France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain, turnout rates ended up being significantly higher than in the previous polls. With a global rate of 50.66 %, these EP elections have in fact reached the highest level of turnout in 25 years.
Still, this somewhat unexpected outcome should not hide the inconvenient truth of a generally modest participation in EP elections. While turnout in May 2019 was 8.1 percentage points higher than in 2014 (it was then 42.6 %), the fact remains that nearly half of all potential voters did not seize the opportunity to choose their representatives in the EP, the only directly-elected body of the EU.