Killarney based MEP Seán Kelly has welcomed the European Council’s decision to increase the number of seats in the European Parliament for the next legislative term from 705 to 720, meaning an extra seat for Ireland.
Ireland will now have 14 seats to fill in the next election which is justified by the population increase.
The 2022 Census showed that Ireland’s population crept up to over 300,000 since the previous one in 2016.
“The European Parliament is becoming more and more important. Its legislative role has grown considerably,” said Mr Kelly.
“Therefore, every MEP counts, as especially since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, we have lost our traditional allies,” he added.
It is still unknown which of the three European constituencies in Ireland will gain the extra seat. There are currently 13 Irish MEPs across three constituencies with five seats in Ireland South, four in Dublin and four in the Midlands Northwest constituency.
“It is important to get clarity on the constituencies as soon as possible so voters are aware of their position well ahead of the elections next June,” Mr Kelly added.
The European Parliament’s composition is assessed before each election, in line with the principles set out in the Treaties and based on the most recent population figures.
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