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Last checked : 13/03/2017

Home country elections – Germany

When abroad, German nationals can vote or stand as a candidate in elections for the German Bundestag and the European Parliament.

The right to vote for German citizens usually requires either living in Germany or (for European Parliament elections) in another EU country. However, German citizens living abroad also have the right to vote if they had resided in Germany for at least one uninterrupted three-month period after attaining the age of 14, if that period was no more than 25 years before the election.

German citizens residing abroad who do not meet these conditions may still be entitled to vote if, for other reasons, they are personally and directly familiar with political circumstances in Germany and are affected by them.

The right to vote

If you are permanently resident outside of Germany you must register to vote in the German municipality in which you were last registered before leaving Germany.

If you have never resided in Germany, you must register in the municipality you are most closely associated with (for elections to the German Bundestag) or in Berlin, Bezirksamt Mitte (for European Parliament elections).

The right to stand as a candidate

The certificate of the right to stand as a candidate is issued to German nationals with the right to vote residing in Germany by their municipality of residence.

If you are not permanently resident in Germany, then the Federal Ministry of the Interior is responsible for issuing the certificate. You should apply for it either at the diplomatic or consular mission of the Federal Republic of Germany responsible for your place of residence, or otherwise directly at the Ministry of the Interior.

Otherwise, the procedures for standing as a candidate are the same as those for German nationals residing in Germany.

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