MEPs move to ease participating in elections for Europeans from another EU country

In a vote on February 14, the European Parliament backed proposals to improve the situation for EU citizens who live in another member state and wish to vote or stand in European and local elections.

The European Parliament adopted two sets of closely aligned proposals on the electoral rights of EU citizens residing in another member state, in relation to European and municipal elections.

It called for the scrapping of the so-called “derogation” provisions, which allow a member state to restrict the electoral rights of nationals of other EU countries when they represent more than 20 per cent of all EU citizens residing in its territor.

The possibility of reserving top local government positions for their own nationals should also be removed, according to the vote in the European Parliament.

The vote also called for binding rules on systems to proactively proceed with voter registration, as soon as a citizen registers as a resident in another EU country; information on electoral rights and deadlines to be offered to newly registered EU residents in an official EU language that they speak; and applying identical standards to all EU citizens (be it nationals of the country or from another member state) seeking to stand for election.

The European Parliament also called on EU countries to make it easier for vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities and mental illnesses, to exercise their electoral rights.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the orange button below. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage.