The Copenhagen Conference recommendation below on European Union (EU) Voting Rights, doesn’t support the recent judgement in the High Court in London against British expatriate James Preston currently living in Spain, that the 15-year-limit on his national voting rights is not an impediment to his freedom of movement within the European Union, since he has thereby lost his basic right to vote in his country of birth by residing and working in another member state of the EU.
During the current Danish Presidency of the European Union, Danes Worldwide (the association of Danes abroad) and Europeans Throughout The World (ETTW) hosted in Copenhagen on 20th April, 2012 a Conference on European Citizens’ Rights which produced these recommendations: ETTW Copenhagen Recommendations 120420.
The major concerns of Voting Rights and Multiple Citizenship were discussed and their impact on the estimated 13 million EU citizens living outside their national member state but within the EU, and a further 50 – 60 million living outside the EU.
Referring to the upcoming European Year of Citizenship in 2013, the Copenhagen Recommendations call for……..”the end of discrimination between EU citizens based on their nationality and place of residence, in particular concerning the vote and the right to representation in both national and European Parliamentary elections, and to make practical arrangements to facilitate the convenience of the citizen, wherever he or she resides in the world, for example through proxy, postal or electronic voting systems”.
ETTW Copenhagen Conference Press release 120423