By Juliet Lodge
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Additional info for Direct Elections to the European Parliament: A Community Perspective
24-7. This led to complaints by some parties in France, for example, that the institutions' campaign had begun before the parties were legally allowed to commence theirs. See chs 3 and 4. France, FRG, Italy and the United Kingdom, 81 seats each; the Netherlands, 25; Belgium, 24; Denmark, 16; Ireland, 15; and Luxembourg, 6. 44 Turning-out the Vote 15. What is interesting about this process is the way in which the EP, on Mr Schuijt's initiative, used its limited budgetary powers to block expenditure on the institutions' information programmes pending the creation of a committee to monitor it; and to impose, by co-decision, a parliamentary veto over the Commission's information programme.
The Commission has press and information offices in the capital of every EC member state, in addition to a sub-office in West Berlin and regional offices in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh. It also maintains offices in Caracas, Santiago, Ottowa, Washington, Athens, Tokyo, Geneva and Ankara, and a The Institutions' Information Programmes 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 43 sub-office in New York. 54-7. In January 1979, there were twenty Directorate-Generals in the Commission. For details, see ibid.
To a degree this contradicted both the notion of the Commission maintaining a low profile, and the idea that it should, as far as possible, desist from becoming involved in debates which would inevitably become politically partisan, especially in Britain, Denmark and France where any involvement by the Commission would be contested by some or all governing parties. To avoid, as far as possible, the Commission becoming a target of, if not embroiled in, inter-party contests, it was realized that any EEIPs purporting to be 'neutral' and 'objective' would have to finish before the start of the political parties' campaigns.