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26-02-2013

MEPs debate your voting rights when living abroad

As a European citizen you are entitled to live and work in any member state, but did you know it could affect your right to participate and vote in national elections in your country of origin? Some member states strip citizens of their electoral rights if they choose to live elsewhere in the EU. This issue will be discussed at a conference on democracy in EU organised by the EP's constitutional affairs committee on 26 February. Follow it live on our website from 10.00 to 18.00 CET.

EU citizens are entitled to vote and stand as a candidate in local elections and elections for the European Parliament regardless of where they live in the EU.  However, when it comes to national elections it is a different story.

Some countries do not let their citizens take part in national elections if they live in another member state and generally their new host country will not allow them to in their national elections either. The conference on 26 February will deal with the loss of electoral rights in the afternoon session.

Carlo Casini, chair of the constitutional affairs committee and an Italian member of the EPP group, said: "These questions are especially timely now, when we are having the Year of European Citizens. Citizens' right to elect their government is one of the most fundamental rights."

Click here for further information and to watch the Conference live