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The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections

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The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections

It sets out the arrangements under which EU citizens may vote or stand as candidates in municipal elections* in any EU country in which they live.

ACT

Council Directive 94/80/EC of 19 December 1994 laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals

SUMMARY

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

It sets out the arrangements under which EU citizens may vote or stand as candidates in municipal elections* in any EU country in which they live.

KEY POINTS

Any EU citizen who is not a national of the EU country in which they live has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in that country under the same conditions as the nationals of that country.

In order to take part in elections, EU citizens must apply to be on the electoral roll of the country of residence, providing the same supporting documents as national voters. In countries where voting is compulsory, they will also be covered by this obligation.

If, in order to vote or to stand as candidates, nationals of the EU country of residence are required to have been resident for a minimum period, EU citizens from outside the country may count an equivalent period spent in other EU countries towards the requirement.

EU countries may refuse EU citizens the right to stand as a candidate if they:

have lost this right under the law of their EU country of origin as a result of an individual decision under civil or criminal law;

cannot produce a nationality and residence declaration or certain other documents attesting to identity, if required.

EU countries can decide in some circumstances that the holding of elected municipal office in the country of residence is incompatible with the holding of offices in other EU countries.

EU countries may decide to reserve certain senior elected posts for their own nationals, or that elected citizens of other EU countries may not take part in designating delegates who are then able to elect members of a parliamentary assembly or vote in that assembly.

The directive also recognises exceptions for:

any EU country where the proportion of EU citizens of voting age who reside there, but are not its own nationals, exceeds 20 % of the total electorate; and

EU citizens who already have the right to vote in elections to the national parliament of their EU country of residence.

SINCE WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

From 20 January 1995.

KEY TERM

* Municipal elections: elections open to all eligible adult residents at the basic local government level, as listed in the annex to the directive.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 94/80/EC

20.1.1995

31.12.1995

OJ L 368, 31.12.1994, pp. 38-47

The successive amendments to the annexes to Directive 94/80/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 24.09.2015

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