European Parliament Flags European Parliament/Flickr

Europas politische Transzendenz

WASHINGTON, DC – Diesen Monat begeben sich die europäischen Bürger an die Wahlurnen, um die 751 Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments zu wählen, die 507 Millionen Menschen vertreten werden. Der Ablauf des Wahlkampfs stellt einen kleinen, aber bedeutsamen Schritt im Entstehen des ersten transnationalen politischen Raums in der europäischen – ja sogar der Weltgeschichte – dar.

Zwar nimmt die Wahlbeteiligung an den Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament ab: 43 % im Jahr 2009 im Vergleich zu nahezu 60 % zwischen 1978 und 1994. Aber trotzdem ist die Wahlbeteiligung im Laufe der letzten zehn Jahre mit der durchschnittlichen Teilnahme an den Wahlen zum amerikanischen Kongress vergleichbar. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass das Europäische Parlament als weit weg wahrgenommen wird, und dem weit verbreiteten Frust über die Bürokratie der Europäischen Union ist die Wahlbeteiligung und die Bewegung hin zu einer transnationalen Politik bemerkenswert.

Die Transnationalität der Wahlen ist dieses Mal stärker, weil die großen gesamteuropäischen Parteien zum ersten Mal spezielle Kandidaten für die Präsidentschaft der Europäischen Kommission nominiert haben und die Kandidaten Wahlkampf machen, auch in Fernsehdebatten. Der Europäische Rat wird, wie es der Vertrag von Lissabon verlangt, die Wahlergebnisse bei der Auswahl der Kandidaten, die er dem Parlament zur Bestätigung vorstellt, berücksichtigen müssen.

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