Minister Commissioner Viviane Reding with Alan Shatter at Dublin Castle last year]
“We are calling on Member States to show greater flexibility and are issuing proportionate guidance to the five countries concerned so that citizens can get back on the electoral roll of their home country.”
EU’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding today.
This may change everything.
‘The European Commission has today issued guidance to EU-Member States which have rules in place leading to a loss of voting rights for citizens in national elections, simply because they have exercised their right to free movement in the EU. Five Member States (Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom) currently apply regimes which have that effect.
The main justification for disenfranchisement rules – that citizens living abroad no longer have sufficient links with their home country – seems outdated in today’s interconnected world.
Today’s guidance issued by the Commission aims to tackle the problem in a proportionate way by inviting Member States to:
1. Enable their nationals who make use of their right to free movement in the EU to retain their right to vote in national elections if they demonstrate a continuing interest in the political life of their country, ncluding by applying to remain on the electoral roll;
2. When allowing nationals resident in another Member State to apply to keep their vote, ensure that they can do so electronically.
3. Inform citizens in a timely and appropriate way about the conditions and practical arrangements for retaining their right to vote in national elections.
Complete ballots or a vital intervention?