Dear Samuel, we agree, the voting system in the EU, for non-nationals living in other countries is far from being perfect. Nevertheless, people who have made a home abroad do have the possibility to vote in Parliament elections when the time comes. It is true, local elections are not accessible to people living abroad, but then, again, if you don’t live in your original community anymore, is it right to have a say on who should run it? Just a thought…
> Nevertheless, people who have made a home abroad do have the possibility to vote in Parliament elections when the time comes. Sorry, I didn’t know that. I checked, and it seems we do indeed have a law for that.
I find it curious, however, that there’s a big fuss in the European cities when we have an election for President, but I don’t recall to have heard much about the voters from abroad during parliament elections.
Anyway, in my country I see this problem: Even though people do have the possibility to vote in the Parliament election from a different EU country, as you have corrected me, there are tougher laws inside our country – hence, perhaps, my assumption that outside is no better. That is, if you’re originating from, say, a small town, and found a life in a big city, then, when there is election for Parliament, in this country you can only vote if you’re going back to the county where you originated from (where your ID card says your home is). And I believe that this gives an unfair advantage to our largest political party, whose greatest part of the electorate are the elders. You know, if it’s difficult for the youngsters to vote (because they may have studies, or work, and travel is a hurdle), then most of them will probably not go to vote. Besides the fact that we have only ONE day for voting, so if you’re having problems to solve in that very day, then there’s no way you can go to vote. I think it would be great if we had some uniformity amid the EU countries in regard to elections. Some EU countries have better laws on elections and others have poorer, some offer more flexibility (time frame, electronic vote, etc.) others offer poor. I think it woul be great if all countries had to respect a standard.
Getting back to elections in the EU, I’m not sure how many migrants turn out during elections. Could it be that many see themselves as having abandoned their home country or that there’s no importance in taking the hurdle to go to vote? I’m curious if there are some statistic on the percentage of migrants who go to vote, compared to people who remained in their country.
I’m also imagining this possibility: What would it be like if parliamentary elections happened in the same day(s) for all EU countries? What if migrants, same as natives, could go to same places / buildings to vote, the natives for their own politicians, the migrants for their own politicians? I have no idea how easy or hard that would be to implement, but I think it would be simpler for the EU citizens and more motivating for the migrants to go to vote.
> It is true, local elections are not accessible to people living abroad, but then, again, if you don’t live in your original community anymore, is it right to have a say on who should run it? Point taken.
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The EU needs real democracy giving it legitimacy independent from the national electoral cycles and the so-far mainly national public spheres. The election of MEPs should be made gradually more European by creating an EU constituency-list system and a common system for parties to designate the candidates for these lists.
The EU has been demonstrating for years the diversity of their population, I think it’s time to include another perception of identity among the citizens, being European must not mean leaving our “nationals identities” for acquiring the “new European identity”. From my point of view, the institutions should promote a cosmopolitan and European vision if we want to face the global risks we are facing and the news to come. There is not another better way if we understand each other and we cooperate to deal with the problems and create a better future for our children. A new conception of European identity which would be based on the individuality of every person, that’s what I’m talking about, the future of Europe is cosmopolitan. Finally, I would like to finish with a quotation by Ulrich Beck, who advocates for the cosmopolitan view in his book named “The Cosmopolitan Vision” (2006): “What, then, does the cosmopolitan outlook signify? […] the cosmopolitan outlook means that, in a world of global crisis and dangers produced by civilizational and international, us and them, lose their validity and a new cosmopolitan realism becomes essential to survival.” (13-14)
I consider that today, many Europeans have their word to say about how they want Europe to be in the future. There is a real diversity of opinions and of points of view in the EU, which should not be opposed systematically to each other, but which should be discussed together. In my mind, a solution to the crisis of democracy the EU is currently going through can be emphasizing of the participatory democracy so that the Europeans can feel more involved in the EU issues that can otherwise seem quite far away from their everyday lives.