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Parliamentary questions
3 April 2014
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

The recommendation ‘Addressing the consequences of disenfranchisement of Union citizens exercising their rights to free movement’(1) is addressed to the five Member States(2) whose current disenfranchisement rules automatically deny the right to vote in national parliamentary elections to those of their nationals who reside in another Member State for a certain period, without giving them any option to remain on the electoral rolls.

In its Recommendation the Commission put forward constructive solutions, inviting the concerned Member States to enable their nationals who make use of their free movement rights to retain their right to vote in national elections, if they demonstrate a continuing interest in the political life of their country.

According to the information of the Commission, nationals of the other Member States who reside abroad are not denied the right to vote in the national parliamentary elections of their own country. It is to be noted that nationals of Austria and of Germany residing abroad may be denied the right to vote in these elections but they have the option to remain on the electoral rolls(3). The Austrian law requires the nationals concerned to apply before leaving the country to remain registered on the electoral roll and to renew this application every 10 years. German citizens residing abroad are eligible to vote in national elections provided they fulfil one of the following conditions: either: i) that they had resided in Germany for an uninterrupted period of at least three months after reaching the age of fourteen years and this period dates back not more than 25 years; or ii) that they have become familiar, personally and directly, with the political situation in Germany and are affected by it.

(1)C(2014) 391 final.
(2)Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom.
(3)COM(2014) 33 final.

OJ C 305, 09/09/2014
Last updated: 7 April 2014Legal notice