All Member States have adopted the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), Article 3 of which states that: ‘The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature’.
1. In view of the imminent likely accession of the European Union to the ECHR and to its first Protocol, what does the Commission intend to do about Member States who disenfranchise their own nationals who choose to live in another EU state for an extended period?
2. Likewise, what does it intend to do to encourage EU states to extend the right to vote in national elections to their long-term resident EU citizens of another nationality?
3. Does the Commission agree that it is unacceptable that a very large number of EU citizens are deprived of their basic civic right to choose the legislature either of the state in which they live or in their original state?
4. Will the Commission be ready to take action to ensure that all EU states comply with the provisions of the ECHR which guarantee the right to vote?