EU Activities Of Interest To Expats: Commission recommendation on voting rights of January 2014

F A C T   S H E E T

Subject : Commission Recommendation About Voting Rights for Expatriats

The European Commission adopted on January 29, 2014 a recommendation to all 28 EU member states about voting rights for EU citizens, who live outside their country of birth.

The recommendation points out very clearly that many citizens using one of the fundamental rights in the EU – the free movement of people – are punished by loosing some of their democratic rights.  It is true that voting rights to national parliaments is a national – not a European – competence.  But the Commission is of the opinion that the member states which automatically “punish” citizens who move create a lost electoratea group of second class citizens, from whom something essential has been taken away by their home country.

Five EU countries are at the moment directly concerned: Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom.

The Commission is calling on these countries to show greater flexibility, so that their own nationals are not automatically denied their vote after a certain period.

When the number of citizens directly affected is concerned the expats living in other EU member states are (2010 figures):

UK:  1,37 million

Ireland:  480.000

Cyprus:  90.000

Denmark:  140.000

Malta:  30.000

It is now for each member state to discuss this recommendation and hopefully do the necessary follow-up.


Read more here:


Niels Jørgen Thøgersen

President of ETTW 

January 30, 2014