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EU citizenship - Newsroom

Disenfranchisement: Commission acts to defend voting rights of EU citizens

Date: 29/01/2014

The European Commission has today issued guidance to EU-Member States which have rules in place leading to a loss of voting rights for citizens in national elections, simply because they have exercised their right to free movement in the EU. Five Member States (Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom) currently apply regimes which have that effect. Whilst under the existing EU Treaties, Member States are competent to determine who can benefit from the right to vote in national elections, disenfranchisement practices can negatively affect EU free movement rights. Disenfranchisement practises are also at odds with the founding premise of EU citizenship which is meant to give citizens additional rights, rather than depriving them of rights.

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