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The 2019 European Parliament elections: Looking back and ahead

At the end of May 2019, European citizens will be called to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. These elections are both uncertain, as the situation in which they intervene is unique, and crucial because the European Union arguably faces one of the most acute legitimacy crises since the beginning of the European integration process. At the same time however, these elections also mark the 40th anniversary of the direct elections to the European Parliament and a balance of this experience appears to be in order. Against this background, this article proposes both a reflection on the evolution over the past fourty years, and some thoughts as to the way forward. In particular, it critically considers some of the solutions that have been put forward to improve democratic legitimacy within the European Union.
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