Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Landmark report endorses New Europeans' voting reform proposals for EU citizens

The New EuropeansFollowing a 10 month inquiry, the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee has published its findings on voter engagement in the UK.

Key findings include the revelation that the number of non-native EU citizens eligible to vote in Europeans elections in the UK has fallen from 1,043,629 registered EU expat voters in 2009 to only 327,883 in 2014.

At a time when the number of non-native EU citizens living in the UK has been rising, those who were able to register to vote in European elections has fallen by 70%.

It is also clear that in many regions of the UK, the outcome of the 2014 European elections would have been different had more non-native EU citizens been able to exercise their right to vote.

These findings were the result of research carried out by Samia Badani for New Europeans: '#VoteDenied - Barriers to participation faced by European citizens at the 2014 European elections in the UK', New Europeans publications, 2014.

New Europeans submitted written evidence to the Select Committee and were also called on to give oral evidence following Samia Badani's investigation.

In launching the Select Committee's report, Graham Allen MP, Chair called for "more to be done to increase registration for those people under-represented on the electoral registers - including EU citizens."

The Committee endorsed the recommendations made by New Europeans for reversing the decline in voter registration amongst EU expat citizens, including our calls for a simplified registration process and an awareness-raising campaign.

The Committee's report stated:

"We recommend that the Electoral Commission should run a specific campaign aimed at Commonwealth citizens and citizens of other EU member states resident in the UK, focusing on eligibility to participate in elections, and how to register to vote." (para. 94, PCRC Voter engagement report, HMSO, 2014)

New Europeans is also working closely with the Electoral Commission on this issue.

In its statutory report, the Commission acknowledged that it was " unacceptable that administrative barriers prevented eligible and engaged electors from participating in these elections" (para. 3.85) and promised to bring forward proposals to simplify the voter registration process for non-native EU citizens.

Commenting on the latest breakthrough in the #VoteDenied campaign, Roger Casale said:

"For the first time, the issue of voting rights for EU citizens in the UK is on the political agenda. We will not let go of this issue until the level of voter registration amongst EU citizens in the UK is back to the level it was in 2009 level. We look forward to playing our role in bringing this about."

Samia Badani, who carried out the research on behalf of New Europeans thanked all our stakeholders and survey respondents for their support:

"We thank all those Electoral Registration Officers and EU citizens who responded to our emails and survey, European community groups across the UK and the Electoral Commission for supporting our work over the last three months. This breakthrough would not have been possible without their cooperation."

New Europeans will continue to work closely with the Electoral Commission and with the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee to implement and report on these recommendations.

The Electoral Commission has agreed to set up a working group with New Europeans to work up and implement these proposals.

The Select Committee will publish its final report in January.

New Europeans will making a progress report to the Select Committee about work on the implementation of their recommendations in December.

In the meantime, we would be delighted to receive representations from political parties, European citizens' groups, consulates and other stakeholders. We will take account of these in the work we are doing with the Electoral Commission and reflect any concerns and/or reform proposals in the follow-up evidence we will be submitting to the Select Committee.

Our weekly online news round-up is out now! CLICK HERE to read it.

E: office@neweuropeans.net
T: + 44 208 780 3388
W: neweuropeans.net

Pin It

You must be a registered user to make comments.
Please register here to post your comments.