Koffer

Voting rights and political participation of non-national immigrants

In Germany, there is an ongoing discussion about the granting of local voting rights to non-EU nationals. So far, only EU nationals are allowed to cast their ballot in local elections. Many other EU Member States have already granted voting rights to third country nationals as well. Which Member States have done so and under which conditions? Which arguments do supporters and opponents use in favor or against the granting of voting rights to foreign nationals? This policy brief seeks answers.

   
Wahllokal in Redditch/Großbritannien: In Großbritannien können auch ausländische Staatsangehörige aus bestimmten Drittstaaten an Kommunalwahlen teilnehmen.

Kees Groenendijk

Introduction: Voting Rights and Other Political Rights

The right to vote and stand for election is only one out of a range of other political rights, such as the freedom to express political opinions, the right to demonstrate, the right to join or establish a political party or other associations, the right to strike and be active in trade unions or other bodies representing workers and the right to work in the public service. Weiter...

Katarzyna Werth von der deutsch-polnischen Initiative Pomeraniak. Bei den Kommunalwahlen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2009 standen erstmals drei polnische Bürger zur Wahl.

Kees Groenendijk

Political Rights and Municipal Voting Rights for EU Nationals Living in Another Member State

The right to vote and stand for election is an important political right. It grants access to the formation of political power and influences the laws and policies of the municipality or the country of residence. Voting rights also reflect the recognition of the immigrant as an equal member of the civitas (citizenry) entitled to participation in the decision making of the community or the society. Weiter...

Gemäß dem Prinzip "No taxation without representation" protestieren ausländische "Gastarbeiter" vor einem Wahllokal in Berlin (West) für ein Wahlrecht bei den Wahlen zum Abgeordnetenhaus (1979).

Kees Groenendijk

Voting Rights for Nationals of Non-EU States

The EU citizenship which was introduced in 1992 in the Treaty of Maastricht grants all nationals residing in another Member State local voting rights in that state. So far, only 15 of 28 EU Member States have granted such rights to non-EU nationals as well. Weiter...

Offizielle Feier zum "Einbügerungstag" mit Königin Beatrix 2006. In den 1990er Jahren wurde in den Niederlanden das Einbürgerungsrecht liberalisiert und auch die doppelte Staatsangehörigkeit gestattet.

Kees Groenendijk

Naturalization as Alternative For Extending Voting Rights?

While EU citizens residing in another Member State have the right to take part in local elections, 13 EU countries exclude non-EU nationals from voting. In some of these countries it is argued that instead of granting voting rights to non-EU nationals pathways to citizenship should be eased. Weiter...

Kommunalwahl in Italien: In Italien ist eine Bestimmung zur Einführung des Kommunalwahlrechts für Drittstaatsangehörige mit einer dauerhaften Aufenthaltsberechtigung im Einwanderungsgesetz von 1998 verankert worden; die dafür notwendige Verfassungsänderung ist aber nie verabschiedet worden.

Kees Groenendijk

Recent Developments in Some EU Member States

In 15 EU Member States non-EU nationals have been granted municipal voting rights. In Member States that exclude non-EU nationals from voting ideological arguments are used to oppose the granting of voting rights for non-nationals. They are, however, without empirical basis. In Germany as well as in other EU states there is an ongoing discussion about the question whether local voting rights should be granted to non-EU nationals. Weiter...

Spanier bei lokalen und regionalen Wahlen: Portugal und Spanien sind die einzigen südeuropäischen EU-Mitgliedsländer, die ausgewählten Zuwanderergruppen aus nicht-EU-Staaten die Wahlteilnahme erlauben.

Kees Groenendijk

Conclusions

The 1992 Maastricht Treaty introduced the legal status of citizen of the Union. Ever since, nationals of EU Member States residing in another Member State have the right to vote and stand for election on municipal level in their country of residence. Only 15 of 28 Member States have granted local voting rights to non-EU nationals as well. However, they do apply certain conditions to restrict that right. Arguments that oppose the granting of voting rights to non-nationals are oftentimes purely ideological and without empirical basis. Weiter...

Policy Brief: Voting rights and political participation of non-national immigrants

References

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Kurzdossiers

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