Disenfranchisement: Commission acts to defend voting rights of EU citizens abroad

The right to vote is one of the fundamental political rights of citizenship. It is part of the very fabric of democracy. Depriving citizens of their right to vote once they move to another EU country is effectively tantamount to punishing citizens for having exercised their right to free movement. Such practices risk making them second-class citizens,” said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. “In letters, petitions and citizens’ dialogues, citizens have made clear to us just how important this issue is to them. This is why, in the 2013 EU Citizenship Report, the Commission made a pledge to address the matter. Today we are doing our part of the job. 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. I hope Member States will be ready to address these very concrete concerns, because disenfranchisement is a big deal for the individuals concerned.

EU Press Release – 29th January 2014

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