Improving the democratic vote in EU

I think we have a problem with the democratic voting system as it applies to the EU migrants – people of one EU country who made a home in a different EU country, but did not change citizenship. Perhaps the best examples here are the Eastern European countries. The problem that I see is that, if you are a migrant (say, leaving Romania and making a home in France), then you become somewhat deprived of your democratic right vote – you can vote for the President, if the government in your original country is so kind as to make it easy for you, but you can’t vote for the parliament, nor for the local elections. While in your new home, you have no right to vote at all. In my opinion, this can currently cause a big problem in this scenario: Imagine that you were living in a poor EU country, where the future looked bleak, and thus you sought a new EU country that could give you a better future. The same happened with hundreds of thousands others in your country, or possibly millions, throughout the years. Now, several years after you have left, a populist political party comes up in your country of origin, blaming everything on EU and promising paradise to the people, and election date is coming. If it’s an election for the President, you might be able to find a city where to go to vote in the foreign country (not necessarily, but likely possible). If it’s for the parliament, then you can do nothing – the laws in your country of origin may state that you have to be there in person, in the county where you are registered, in order to vote. And for various reasons you can’t afford to travel to that country at that time. This basically means that you are deprived of the right to vote. And thus can do nothing to prevent a populist party from coming to power. And in a country that had been so heavily depopulated by migration, you can bet that a very good part of the people that remained are poor and many have never left their town / city ever, and may thus live in a fairytale of the populist party’s making. I think that poor people and people who never traveled outside of their country are most likely to fall to populist propaganda, and it’s sad if those who did travel and live in a different EU country can do nothing about it. I believe it would be great if EU migrants could vote for the national parliament of their country of origin, regardless of where in the EU they made a new home. I also believe it would be great if the EU could come up with some guarantees / laws for all of its member states – e.g. to demand electronic or remote vote, to guarantee that all EU citizens are able to vote for their country of origin (so as not to depend on national government), to be able to contribute to the future of the nation they may one day return to.
1 year, 11 months ago in Democracy
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Comments (7)

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…

1 year, 10 months ago in Democracy

> 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.

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Profile photo of Samuel Ghinet Samuel Ghinet. Reason: The text became terribly misformatted

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

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.

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

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.

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

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.

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

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.

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

> 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.

1 year, 9 months ago in Democracy

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10 months, 4 weeks ago in Democracy
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