An Intergovernmental conference tomorrow is expected to agree to changes to the treaties increasing the number of MEPs in the European Parliament by 18.
Of the 18 new seats in the European Parliament, Spain will get four new seats. Austria, France and Sweden will get two, while Bulgaria, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and the United Kingdom will all have one more MEP.
So why is this change happening? The European Parliament says that this is because the European elections in June of last year were held under the Nice treaty's rules, whereas the Lisbon Treaty is now in force. The changes to the treaties will allow these 18 MEPs to take their seats without doing the elections across the EU all over again. The proposed changes also allow for the appointment of national parliamentarians to the European Parliament, essentially meaning that elections for those 18 seats may not need to take place.
The agreed changes will need to be ratified in each member-state subject to their own constitutional requirements.
The proposed textual changes can be viewed here.