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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



Czech Republic

Act on elections to the European Parliament adopted 3/2003


Act on Municipal Elections adopted 12/2001



European Parliament Election Act adopted 12/2002


Local Government Elections Act adopted 3/2002



Draft law debated in the House of Representatives; not yet adopted (expected in January 2004)Draft law debated in the House of Representatives not yet adopted (expected in 2004)


Draft Act on Elections to the European Parliament debated in the Latvian Parliament; not yet adopted (expected in January 2004)Draft law, not yet adopted


The Law on Elections to the European Parliament adopted by the parliament 11/2003; will enter into force after publication.


Amendment of Constitution adopted 6/2002; Amendment of Law on Elections to Municipal Councils adopted 9/2002



Act on European Parliament elections adopted 12/2003


Draft legislation being discussed in the parliament; not yet final adoption.


A Bill to make provision for holding of elections to the European Parliament adopted 11/2003


A Bill to make provision for participation of EU citizens to local elections adopted 11/2003



Act on elections to the European Parliament adopted by the Polish parliament 1/2004 (to be signed by the President, into force 1.3.2004)


Legislation being prepared; not yet adopted


Act on elections of Slovene representatives to the European Parliament adopted 10/2002 OKLegislative package on right of EU nationals to participate to municipal elections adopted 5/2002 OK

Slovak Republic

Act on the European Parliament Elections adopted 7/2003


Amended Act on Elections to Municipal Self-Government Bodies adopted 3/2002


    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) 


NationalsNon-national Union citizens Non-national citizens of the acceding StatesCommunity voters in total
Germany61 432 0001 617 000412 0002 029 000
France41 812 0001 004 00053 0001 057 000
UK 42 870 000790 00062 700852 700
Belgium7 387 000456 0008 000464 000
Netherlands11 612 000194 0009 100203 100
Sweden6 566 000143 00023 000166 000
Spain31 365 000133 0008 500141 500
Luxembourg210 000108 0008 000116 000
Austria5 796 00095 000150 000245 000
Ireland2 659 00076 0001 00077 000
Italy46 552 00056 00035 50091 500
Denmark4 000 00048 0008 30056 300
Portugal7 751 00026 00050026 500
Greece8 244 00016 0007 50023 500
Finland 3 960 0009 00012 60021 600
Czech Rep.8 228 00017 20063 00080 200
Estonia1 152 0001 60020 00021 600
Cyprus576 00013 0002 00015 000
Latvia1 920 0007002 0002 700
Lithuania2 728 0006002 0002 600
Malta312 0001 0001001 100
Hungary8 070 0009 4005 50014 900
Poland30 794 00020 0002 00022 000
Slovenia1 606 0001 2003001 500
Slovakia4 316 0001 5002 0003 500
Grand Total337 922 0004 837 200898 6005 735 800

    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).

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