European elections – Belgium
Affected by Brexit?
To be eligible to vote in European Parliamentary elections non-Belgian nationals must:
- be EU citizens
- be 18 years of age on the day of the election
- be registered in a population register in a Belgian municipality
- be registered on the electoral roll in Belgium
- not be legally excluded from voting
- not be registered to vote in their home country
To inform the authorities where they will vote for European Parliamentary elections, non-Belgian EU nationals should contact the Belgian municipality where they reside no later than 31 January 2019.
Once you have registered on the electoral roll, failing to take part in the vote can lead to fines.
Standing as a candidate
To be eligible to stand as a candidate in European Parliamentary elections you must:
- be an EU citizen
- be a resident of an EU country
- be 21 years of age on the day of the election
- not be disqualified from standing
If you are a non-Belgian EU national, you must make a declaration stating, amongst other things:
- that you are not standing as a candidate at the same European Parliamentary election in any other EU country, and
- that you have not been disqualified from standing for election in your home country due to a judicial or administrative decision
You must provide this declaration to the electoral office, together with your candidacy application.
The right to vote
Belgians registered in the population register of a Belgian municipality do not have to register for elections. They are automatically entered on the electoral roll.
It isn't possible to vote per post (unless you are a Belgian national living in another EU member state).
Different rules for registering to vote apply to nationals living in another EU member state.
Voting in the European elections is compulsory for everybody on the electoral roll.
When an EU citizen leaves their host country, they have the possibility to deregister from the electoral roll.
If voting is compulsory for everybody on the electoral roll, and you don't vote, you could incur sanctions: a first unjustified abstention is punishable by a reprimand or a fine of €5 to €10 (multiplied by 8), i.e. €40 to €80. In the case of repeated abstention, there is a fine between €10 and €25 (= €80 to €200).
More information can be found on the Belgian electoral website.