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14 Million people in the EU need a political voice
September 7, 2020 @ 6:45 pm - 7:30 pm
Several EU directives support the free movement and non-discrimination of EU citizens moving across the EU, but it is those on political rights that are working “least well,” campaigners argue. EU citizens are “discriminated against when it comes to having a political say,” according to a briefing by the ECIT Foundation.
Despite current rules, EU citizens living in other EU countries are often deterred from voting in municipal and European elections due to administrative hurdles and lack of information. As a result, only 10% voted in the country of residence and 20% in the country of origin in the 2019 European elections.
In addition, they are excluded from the “fundamental choices” being made in regional and national elections, campaigners argue.
The most glaring example was the Brexit referendum, when 3.7 millions EU citizens living in the UK (except for Maltese and Cypriots, who are part of the Commonwealth) were not allowed to vote.
It is also estimated that 60% of the 1.2 million British citizens living in the EU could not cast their vote, having lost their political rights under UK law because they had lived abroad for more than 15 years.