Procedure : 2018/2767(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000069/2018

Texts tabled :

O-000069/2018 (B8-0039/2018)

Debates :

PV 02/10/2018 - 18
CRE 02/10/2018 - 18

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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21 June 2018
Question for oral answer O-000069/2018
to the Council
Rule 128
Cecilia Wikström, on behalf of the Committee on Petitions

 Subject: Disenfranchisement of voting rights in the EU
 Answer in plenary 

The right to vote in elections is a fundamental right common to the constitutional traditions of the Member States, and recognised in the EU Treaties as related to the right of political participation. Participation in the democratic life of the EU and the enjoyment of electoral rights by EU citizens living abroad in another Member State has frequently been the subject of petitions.

Six EU Member States (Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom) deprive their nationals of the right to vote in national elections on account of residence abroad, on the basis of the assumption that expatriates are not affected by political decisions taken in their country of origin. These Member States also disenfranchise their nationals in European elections if they live permanently in a third country, and two of them (Ireland and the United Kingdom) even do so in respect of nationals who are resident in the EU. In some Member States (e.g. Spain and Portugal) there are insufficient or no facilities to vote from abroad, which is an obstacle to the exercise of the right to vote. Limiting or depriving citizens of their right to vote once they move to another EU country could be seen as an infringement on freedom of movement under EU law.

1. Is the Council planning to take further measures in order to fully protect the right of EU nationals living in another EU Member State to vote in elections and referenda taking place in their home country? How is the Council planning to enhance the conditions to preserve their right to vote?

2. Is the Council, particularly in view of the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, planning to foster cooperation and the exchange of best practices among Member States in order to ensure the right to vote for disenfranchised people?

3. Is the Council intending to propose measures allowing the exercise of voting rights for EU citizens in their host Member State? Would the Council guarantee the choice for all EU citizens to vote in European elections either in their Member State of origin or in the host Member State?

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