In Greece, more people abstained than those who voted in the European elections

Although abstention from European elections remained essentially stable in the European Union as a whole compared to 2019, in Greece, it increased by 17.3 percentage points from the previous European elections, reaching 58.61% —meaning that for the first time in our country, abstainers outnumbered participants.

Published On: June 21st, 2024

©Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Once again, high abstention rates were a major talking point following the European elections on June 9, 2024 — particularly in Greece, where, for the first time in the country’s history of European elections, abstention rates surpassed participation rates.

While abstention from the European Parliament elections remained relatively stable at the European level compared to 2019 (when it had decreased by eight percentage points from 2014), Greece recorded the highest abstention rate, reaching 58.61% of the electorate. In contrast, the overall abstention rate for the EU was 48.92%.

Greece ranked 11th on the list of countries with the highest abstention rates in European elections. Croatia topped the list, with an abstention rate of 78.65%, followed by Lithuania (71.65%), Bulgaria (66.21%), and Latvia (66.18%). Conversely, the highest turnout was recorded in Belgium and Luxembourg, with abstention rates of just 10.18% and 17.71%, respectively.

Focusing on changes in abstention compared to previous European elections, Lithuania, Greece, and Spain saw the largest increases this year compared to 2019.

According to the European Data Journalism Network’s (EDJNet) cross-border project on abstention from all types of elections across Europe from 1974 to 2019, both Greece and Spain were among the countries with relatively low—although still high—abstention rates from European elections in 2019.

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