The election of MEPs (Members of the European Parliament)

In the European Parliament elections, citizens of EU countries elect representatives to the European Parliament, one of the main institutions of the European Union, to represent the interests of EU citizens at a European level.

European Parliament elections are held every five years, with a fixed time period for each country in Europe. In Hungary, the exact date of the elections is set by the President of the Republic. The next European Parliament elections will be held between 6 and 9 June 2024 in the EU Member States, with the next elections in Hungary expected to take place on 9 June, subject to the common principles. The organisation of the elections is the responsibility of each country, with the common principles to be applied by the countries:

  • the elections run for four days, from Thursday to Sunday,
  • the number of MEPs elected from a political party is proportional to the number of votes it receives,
  • under a partial right of European citizenship, EU citizens residing in another member state can vote (suffrage, right to vote) and stand as a candidate (eligibility, right to stand as a candidate) in the EU country where they live,
  • each citizen can vote only once.

The substantive legal rules of elections in Hungary are governed by Act CXIII of 2003 on the Election of Members of the European Parliament, which defines the elements of the electoral system, the conditions for drawing up lists and the rules for determining the results.

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    In Hungary, the following persons shall be entitled to exercise their right to vote in the European Parliament elections,

    • has reached 18 years of age by the day of the election or marries before reaching 18 years of age,
    • a Hungarian or EU citizen residing in Hungary (in the case of EU citizens, if they declare their intention to exercise their right to vote in Hungary and provide proof of residence in Hungary; the application form can be submitted here),
    • if you are a Hungarian citizen and do not reside in Hungary or the European Union (prior registration is required),
    • your right to vote has not been taken away following a binding resolution made by the court.  

    Find out more about the rules for voter turnout of the European Parliament elections here.


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    The number of MEPs elected from each EU country is agreed before each election and is based on the principle of degressive proportionality, which means that an MEP from a larger country represents more people than an MEP from a smaller country.

    The number of MEPs is set at no more than 750 + 1 (President) members.

    In the forthcoming 2024 election, 720 MEPs will be elected, 15 more than in the previous election. Hungary will elect 21 MEPs in the 2024 elections, the same number as in the 2019 elections.

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    In the election of MEPs, EU law requires each Member State's electoral system to ensure proportional representation, which means that the number of MEPs elected from each party depends on the proportion of votes that party wins.

    In Hungary, the MEPs are elected by a proportional list system of voting, whereby voters can vote for one list. Votes can be cast to those parties which obtain the required number of valid nominations by the date laid down by law.

    Once elected, most MEPs join a transnational political group. MEPs are therefore grouped into political groups based on shared ideals --  not nationality -- while those who do not join political groups are independent. To form a political group, at least 23 MEPs are needed, representing at least 1/4 of the Member States. Members may belong to one political group at a time. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament.

  • The territory of Hungary forms one constituency, which means that everyone can vote for the same list.

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    Lists may be drawn up by parties registered in Hungary which are legally registered in the court register of NGOs at the time of the election. A party intending to put up a list for the election must register as a nominating organisation with the National Election Commission or any regional election commission after the election has been called. A party may put forward a list if it collects at least 20 000 nominations. Parties may draw up a list individually or jointly. A voter may propose several lists, but only once for a single list. A person may only accept nomination on one list.

    Find out more on how to register a nominating organisation here.

    Find out more on how to submit a list here.

  • The threshold for obtaining a mandate

    The Hungarian electoral system applies a threshold of 5%. The threshold is not affected by the number of parties participating in the list. The total number of valid votes cast on the lists is used to determine which lists do not receive more than 5% of the total number of valid votes cast. These lists are not eligible for a mandate.

    Allocation of seats

    The seats are allocated to the lists that meet the threshold for the number of seats, using the so-called d'Hondt method:

    • a spreadsheet must be drawn up, the first line of which is the number of votes cast for each list,
    • under the votes of each list, a column of numbers is formed, the first number being half of the votes of that list, the next number a third, a quarter, etc.,
    • find the largest number in the table; the list in whose column it occurs shall receive one mandate; then find the next largest number; the list in whose column it occurs shall receive one mandate; this procedure shall be continued until all the mandates have been allocated. If the last mandate to be allocated would, because of the identity of the next highest number, be allocated to more than one list, the mandates shall be allocated in the order of the draw made in advance by the National Election Commission.

    The candidates on the list obtain their seats in the order predetermined by the nominating organisation, which cannot be influenced by the voter's vote (closed list).

     For more information on the European elections, click here.

    For more information on the European elections in Hungary, click here.