Extracts from the press conference by Viviane Reding, on voting rights of EU citizens abroad

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-085810   Duration: 10:03:04  Lieu:
End production: 29/01/2014   First transmission: 29/01/2014
On 29 January 2014, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, gave a press conference following the action taken by the European Commission to help EU citizens who lose the right to vote in national elections after moving abroad in the EU. The Commission issued guidance for Member States with such disenfranchisement practices in place, recommending they allow their nationals living elsewhere in the EU to retain their right to vote in national elections if they demonstrate a continuing interest in the political life of their country.

Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium 00:00:03
10:00:08 Arrival of Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, to the press room 00:00:08
10:00:17 Soundbite by Viviane Reding (in ENGLISH): According to the EU Treaties, Article 20, every EU citizen has the right to vote in European and in local elections in his or her Member State of residence. This is one of the key rights for the free movement of citizens and you know that 14 million of citizens are living in another Member State than their own. And under national law, every citizen should have the right to participate in the national election of his or her country on the basis of conditions laid down by that Member State. 00:00:43
10:01:01 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:01:05 Soundbite by Viviane Reding (in ENGLISH): I have heard that again and again in the Citizen's dialogues, letters, petitions, complains. Why? Because citizens lose the right to vote in national elections and they do not receive a corresponding right in their country of residence, as they do in European and local elections. Instead, they are disenfranchised entirely, they are left without the right to vote anywhere in the EU. In a certain way, such practice is punishing EU citizens for exercising the free movement. 00:00:47
10:01:52 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:01:56 Soundbite by Viviane Reding (in ENGLISH): Today the Commission is delivering on its promises. That is why we have issued guidance to those Member States which apply disenfranchisement policies. Five countries are still concerned today. Some others have solved the problem. It is Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom. 00:00:26
10:02:22 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
10:02:26 Soundbite by Viviane Reding (in ENGLISH): I am inviting those countries to enable their nationals who make use of free movement rights to retain their right to vote in the national elections if they demonstrate a continuing interest of course. We believe these citizens should have the option of applying to remain on the electoral roll and should be informed about the conditions for retaining their right to vote in their country of origin. 00:00:38
10:03:04 Viviane Reding leaving the press room 00:00:05
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© European Union, 2014