Brussels, 29 January 2004
Towards the first European Parliament "enlarged elections" : participation of a further one million EU citizens living in outside their home country successfully guaranteed
The follow up for the Commission Communication on participation of all EU citizens to the 2004 European parliamentary elections confirms that the member states have taken measures for early electoral registration of all EU citizens, including nationals of ten new member states. This guarantees that they can vote and stand as a candidate in the June elections also when living outside their home country.
"Participation to political life at in the member state of residence is an extremely important part of being a citizen of the Union. I am therefore very satisfied that member states and acceding states have taken the matter seriously and arranged for early registration of all non-national EU citizens living in their area to electoral rolls for the 2004 European parliamentary elections", said António Vitorino, European Commissioner responsible for Justice and Home Affairs. "This guarantees the fundamental right to vote in the polling day in June."
A recent meeting of the electoral experts confirmed that all member states had taken legislative or administrative measures to allow the registration of nationals of the new member states to their electoral rolls even before the date of accession. The main rule is the new voters will be treated similarly to existing Community voters. This was recommended by the Commission Communication in April 2003.
The transposition of the relevant Union legislation by new member states has also progressed well. Eight out of ten new member states have adopted legislation on the European parliamentary elections by now: After Poland approved its new legislation on EP elections last week, it is only for Latvia and Cyprus to complete their laws.
Enlargement - Monitoring
Transposition of directives on voting rights
Community voters covered by Directive 93/109/EC at the 2004 elections
Non-national citizens of the Union and citizens of acceding States (in voting age) residing in Member States and acceding States(1)
Grey boxes = new Community voters at 2004 elections, in total 964 800
(1)The numbers are very rough estimates that serve to give an overall picture of new Community voters. They are based on population statistics of Eurostat, but come from different years, from different collections of population data (e.g. estimations drawn from total population/active population etc).