Article 190 paragraph 1 of the Treaty establishing the European Community
The European Parliament is the only body of the European Union legitimized directly by the peoples of the Member States. Therefore, the European election as a democratic act is the instrument by which the citizens may exert direct influence upon EU policy.
The Members of the European Parliament are elected in a universal, direct, free and secret ballot on the basis of proportional representation for a period of five years. There are no uniform European rules for the election. Therefore, the Members of the European Parliament are elected separately in the 28 Member States according to their respective procedures.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, the 96 Members of the European Parliament are elected in a general, direct, free, equal and secret ballot.
Elections are held according to the principles of proportional representation with lists of nominated candidates.
Lists of nominated candidates may be established for one Land or as a common list for all Länder.
Each person entitled to vote may cast one vote.©2013 The Federal Returning Officer