Should mobile EU citizens be allowed to vote in national elections in their country of residence?


The freedom of movement is a fundamental EU right. However, mobile EU citizens cannot vote in the national elections of the country where they reside, unless they first acquire the citizenship of that country. In several member states, they also lose their right to vote in national elections of their country of origin, when they have lived abroad for too long. (1.)


The loss of democratic participation rights due to the exercise of free movement rights is contrary to the spirit of EU citizenship. (1.) Granting mobile EU citizens the right to vote in national elections would give full meaning to European citizenship and the principle of equality for all Europeans. An EU national within the EU is not a foreigner and must not be treated as such. (1.)


Some commentators assert that the right to vote should be linked to citizenship, especially in national elections. (2.) Others suggest that it is more urgent to improve the current situation regarding participation in municipal and European elections, and prudent to limit the demand for new rights for Europeans to regional elections. (1.)