Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware that national provisions in a number of Member States provide for disenfranchisement of their citizens due to residing abroad. Consequently, EU citizens of the Member States concerned cannot participate in any national elections.
In accordance with Article 22 TFEU, EU citizens living in another Member State have the right to vote in municipal and European elections. It should be noted, however, that, according to current EC law, the participation of EU citizens in national parliamentary elections falls within the responsibility of the Member States.
The Commission is focusing its efforts on eliminating the obstacles EU citizens face when exercising their rights across national borders. To this effect, it adopted, on 27th October 2010, the EU Citizenship Report 2010, which provides an overview of obstacles standing in the way of citizens' enjoyment of their rights and sets out concrete actions that the Commission will take to remove these obstacles. In this context, the Commission will also tackle obstacles citizens face when they exercise their right to free movement and in the exercise of their political rights. Specifically regarding the issue of the loss of voting rights in national parliamentary elections, it was announced in the report that the Commission will launch a discussion to identify political options to prevent EU citizens from losing their political rights as a consequence of exercising their right to free movement.