EU defends expat voting rights in 5 Countries
by FFE EU News Staff
The European Commission on Wednesday slammed some EU member countries for removing voting rights from expat nationals.
European commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding said Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom were violating the EU free-movement rights of their expat nationals by removing their voting rights in their home country. Under the current disenfranchisement rules of the said countries, nationals who have been living abroad for a certain amount of time are given voting restrictions or are rescinded of their right to vote in the home country.
Reding said ‘Depriving citizens of their right to vote once they move to another EU country is effectively tantamount to punishing citizens for having exercised their right to free movement.’ The rules on disenfranchisement were criticised for being outdated in today’s interconnected world.
The Justice commissioner confessed that individual countries are allowed to have their own rules for voting in the national elections. But she said countries should still allow their citizens to vote, especially if they continue to express interest in the political climate of their home country.