REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on the application of Directive 94/80/EC on the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections
Directive 94/80/EC provides that EU citizens living in a Member State of which they are not nationals may vote and stand as a candidate in municipal (or local government) elections in their State of residence. The Report by the European Commission notes that municipal or local government is the level of governance closest to EU citizens and affects people directly. This Report follows up on the previous Commission Reports in 2002 and 2012 on the application of Directive 94/80/EC, and on the 2017 EU Citizenship Report, and assesses the extent to which since 2012 EU citizens living in another Member state have exercised their electoral rights in their Member State of residence, and looks at the measures taken by Member States to inform EU citizens of them.
2. The Report is largely based on data provided by Member States which has been combined and complemented with other Commission data. The Report’s research findings suggest that since 2012 there has been a significant increase in the number of EU citizens of voting age who reside in a Member State other than their own, though take-up by these citizens of their electoral rights has been relatively low. Awareness among EU citizens of the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence is on average 54% across Member States. This is substantially higher than it was in 2007 when it was at its lowest level (37%), but it has declined in over half of Member States since 2010. The Report sets out action planned by the Commission to raise awareness of the electoral rights of EU citizens.
3. The 2012 Commission report referred to in paragraph 1 (Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Directive 94/80/EC on the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are