European Elections

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The European Parliament is elected to promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union. It has legislative, budgetary and supervisory powers through which it plays an important part in the EU legislative process, in shaping the annual EU budget and in the supervision of the economy.

Direct elections to the European Parliament are held every five years. Elections take place within a four day period, normally in May or June, throughout the European Union. The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government makes an order setting the day and the hours for polling, which must be at least 12 hours between 7:00am and 10:30pm.

European Electorate (pdf, 13kb)
Information Leaflet – How Ireland’s MEPs are Elected (pdf, 344kb)

Constituencies

The State is divided into three constituencies for European elections: Dublin ; South; and Midlands-North-West.  The constituencies are set out in the European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2014.

2014 European Parliament Elections

European Elections were held in Ireland on Friday 23 May 2014.  Eleven MEPs were elected in the three constituencies for the 2014 – 2019 parliamentary term.

The election results, collated and published by the Department are available at 2014 European Parliament Election Results (pdf, 735kb)

Candidate Spending and Donation Limits

Expenditure

Rules for expenditure at European elections, and a limit to expenditure by candidates are provided for in the Electoral Act 1997.

  • The control of expenditure operates through a system of agents.
  • Expenditure by a party at national level must be channeled through a national agent.
  • An election agent is responsible for expenditure on behalf of each candidate.
  • The spending limit for a candidate at a European election is 230,000 euro.  This is set out in S.I. No. 87 of 2004.
  • A statement in writing of all election expenses must be submitted to the Standards in Public Offices Commission within 56 days of polling day at the election.
  • Statements are laid before each House of the Oireachtas.
    Please see the Standards in Public Office Website for further information.

Donations

  • MEPs are required to furnish a donation statement to the Standards in Public Office Commission each year indicating whether a donation exceeding 600 euro was received during the year and giving particulars of any such donation.
  • A donation consists of any contribution made for political purposes and may include money, property, goods or services.
  • Following a European Parliament election, unsuccessful candidates must furnish a similar statement in relation to donations received by them at the election.
  • A member of the European Parliament or a candidate at a European election must open a political donations account in a financial institution if they receive a monetary donation which exceeds 100 euro.
  • The annual statement of a member or the statement of an unsuccessful candidate must be accompanied by a statement from the financial institution and a certificate stating that all monetary donations received were lodged to the account and that all amounts deducted from the account were used for political purposes.
  • A member of the European Parliament or a candidate at a European election may not accept a donation which exceeds 1,000 euro in any year from the same donor.
  • Donations in cash which exceed 200 euro are also prohibited.
  • Acceptance of anonymous donations exceeding 100 euro is prohibited and any such donations must be surrendered to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

Please see the Standards in Public Office Website for further information.

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