On 13 June 2004, 6,857,986 voters elected 24 MEPs. Belgium is one of the few EU countries – beside Luxembourg and Greece – where voting is obligatory, which explains the relative high turnout of 90.8 per cent. Belgium is a federal state where regional parliaments are elected on the same day as the EP, so new representatives for the regional parliaments in Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels and the German-speaking area were elected as well. Belgium’s federal state structure also generates territorially split political parties, so different parties operate independently in each region. As a result of the Nice Treaty, Belgium had one EP seat less than in 1999. Its 24 seats are divided between three constituencies: Flanders has 14, Wallonia nine, and the German-speaking community one. This means that three separate EP elections by PR are run in Belgium: in Flanders, in Wallonia and in the German-speaking community.1
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