(Paris) Around one in two European voters voted in Sunday’s vote, a stable participation compared to 2019, but which varied greatly from one member state to another, according to provisional data released Tuesday by Parliament European.

Participation in the European elections in all 27 Member States amounted to 51.01% of those registered, the same order of magnitude as in 2019 (50.66%).  

On the other hand, it is significantly higher than during the elections of 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, when it oscillated between 40% and 50%, but much lower than the 61.99% of the first European election by direct universal suffrage in 1979.

As in every European election, the Belgians and the Luxembourgers are the champions of participation, at 89.8% and 82.3% respectively. Voting is compulsory in these two countries, but that is not enough to explain such good citizenship. Indeed, with participation rates of 41.4% and 33.8%, Greeks and Bulgarians go to the polls less despite the obligation to vote.

Malta (73%), Germany (64.8%) and Hungary (59.3%) also recorded high participation.

While the Hungarians had shunned the ballot boxes for the European elections in the past, the country also shows the biggest progression in the EU compared to 2019 (15.9 points), ahead of Cyprus (13.9 pts, at 58.9%) and Slovenia (12.6 pts, at 41.4%).

In Cyprus, this renewed participation is partly attributed by observers to the “Fidias factor”, named after an influential YouTuber with 2.6 million subscribers, Fidias Panayiotou (24), who was a candidate and was elected in the European Parliament.

Slovakia, whose campaign was marked by the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15, also experienced a strong increase in participation (11.6 pts, to 34.4%), a record for Slovaks , who were, election after election, the people who abstained the most in the EU.

This year, it is the Croats who hold the abstention record (78.7%), ahead of the Lithuanians (71.6%), the country where abstention has increased the most (25.1 pts).

Among the most populous countries in the Union, Italy (6.2 pts) also saw an increase in abstention. Historically, abstention was very low in Italy, where voting was compulsory until 1993. But since then, participation has declined in almost every election.

Abstention, on the other hand, fell slightly in France (-1.7 pt, to 48.5%).

Participation figures are final in twelve countries, but still provisional in fifteen others. Ireland is the last country to provide figures on Tuesday.