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Voting rights for EU citizens at the upcoming European elections

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Voting rights for EU citizens at the upcoming European elections


Rita from Seville in Spain sent in the following question concerning voting rights for the upcoming European elections.

“I recently read that in 2014 we will vote for the European Parliament but I don’t really know when. Moreover, given that I’m from Italy but live in Spain, do I have the right to vote in my current place of residence?”

In response Raquel Moreno Vicente from centre Europe Direct Andalucía Rural said :

“Hello, you are right! The next elections to the European Parliament will take place between 22 and 25 May 2014 – the exact day is decided by each country. EU citizens will once again choose who will represent them in the European Parliament. Next year’s elections do matter, for a number of reasons.

First of all, MEPs pass laws that affect many aspects of our lives, for example, how many maximum hours employees throughout the EU are required to work and how much rest and holiday they must be given and how much mobile phone calls cost you when you visit another EU country.

Moreover, since the last European elections, the rules of the game have changed. The European Parliament now has more power, both to set the political direction of Europe and over the day-to-day decisions which affect us all.
A more powerful European Parliament means more ability to change what needs changing within the EU.

Last but not least, for the first time, the EP will elect the president of the European Commission, based on your wishes as expressed in these elections.

And about your question regarding the conditions to vote for a European citizen residing in another Member State: he/she has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in European elections under the same conditions as the nationals of that country.
In your case as an Italian citizen residing in Spain, you’ll have to meet the same conditions as Spaniards. Make sure that you express your intention to vote and ask to be put on the electoral roll in Spain. You will also have to declare that you will only vote once at the same elections, that means you can either vote for the Italian or the Spanish candidates, but not for both.

Finally, if voting in European elections is compulsory in your new country, you are obliged to vote. Voting is not compulsory in Spain.”

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