Judgment Pl. ÚS 14/14 – Five-Percent Electoral Threshold in the Law Governing European Elections is Constitutional

11 June 2015

On 19 May 2015 the Constitutional Court dismissed the petition of the Supreme Administrative Court proposing the annulment of the provision of the Act on the European Parliament Elections providing for a five-percent electoral threshold in the European Parliament elections.
The Constitutional Court considered that the threshold constitutes the interference with the equal right to vote, the free competition among political parties and the equal access to public office. However the interference is compatible with principles of the democratic constitutional state, it is proportionate, in accordance with the system of proportional representation and capable of effective contribution to reaching of the pursued aim – the effective representation of the will of citizens in the European Parliament. It is also necessary for the proper exercise of the powers conferred upon the European Parliament on the basis of Article 10a of the Czech Constitution.

The Constitutional Court underlined that the European Parliament has been gradually accorded with increasing competences within the legislative, budgetary and institutional spheres. The Member States share the collective responsibility over its smooth functioning. Although the natural electoral threshold, which lies below the imposed five-percent electoral threshold and which would otherwise affected two seats in the European Parliament, also contributes to the integration of political forces in the European Parliament, it is unforeseeable and dependent on numerous conditions. The five-percent threshold has not in the recent Czech history lead to the restriction of variety of political forces in the European Parliament. Moreover, the stability of electoral results is fundamental for the public confidence in the representative democracy both at the domestic and the transnational level.

The judgment will be translated and published in English shortly.