Ireland will definitely gain an additional seat in the next term of the European Parliament, with a second seat possible.

The number of seats allocated to member states is being reviewed by the parliament's constitutional committee, AFCO, and a decision will be taken next month - well ahead of European Parliament elections pending in May 2024.

Ireland currently has 13 MEPs and is now on course to have at least 14, with the Midlands-North-West constituency being tipped as a possible beneficiary.

Any recommendation from AFCO would have to be backed by the European Parliament's plenary - however, Ireland is being given at least one additional seat under all existing scenarios.

Irish MEP Sean Kelly, who is a substitute member of AFCO for the European People's Party (EPP), told RTÉ News: "It is very welcome to see smaller EU countries increasing their representation in the Parliament, where EU laws that directly affect people in Ireland, are shaped."

The Fine Gael MEP for Ireland South added: "We could be looking at Ireland gaining two additional MEPs next term - that is positive news and we support that proposal."

He was referencing an amendment being proposed by his EPP block, which is co-sponsored by the French, Belgian and Irish members.

However, Fianna Fáil MEP for Dublin, Barry Andrews told RTÉ News: "I don't know if we deserve additional seats having thrown away seats to far left extremists."

The Renew Europe group member added: "If we optimised the 13 we have, it would go a long way to increasing Ireland's voice and influence in the European parliament."

Other countries expected to gain a seat include Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Latvia

There are currently 705 seats in the European Parliament, with a rule stipulating that the total can never exceed 750, plus the President.

Just what mechanism will be employed to increase the number of MEPs has yet to be decided.

The proposals being debated include increasing the number of seats by 11 and taking the total to 716; adding 28 members through the adoption of an EU-wide list system; or reassigning 11 seats from existing countries.

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne is a supporter of the transnational list system, saying: "I think this has real merit as it will help ensure that European Parliament elections are contested at least partly on issues affecting the whole of Europe, rather than just predominantly on domestic issues as is the case at present."

How Ireland's European Parliament constituencies will be configured for the 2024 election is currently being considered by the new Electoral Commission.

It would take into account the upcoming decision by MEPs.

Following the publication of the census results in the coming months, and an evaluation of public submissions, the Electoral Commission's final report will be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas no later than 30 August.

Other countries expected to gain a European Parliament seat include Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Latvia.

It is also proposed that Spain and the Netherlands will get two additional seats.

The principle of "degressive proportionality" is used to decide the issue: no less populous state shall receive more seats than a more populous state; and the ratio of population/seats shall increase as population increases, before rounding to whole numbers.