Votes for Expat Brits
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The Maastricht treaty and the right to vote where resident.
It is true that expats living in another EU Member State from their country of origin have
the right to vote in local (municipal) elections and in European Parliament elections in
their host country. This right originated in the Maastricht treaty of 1992:


The Treaty of Maastricht established the Citizenship of the Union in 1992. The foremost
purpose of the institutionalization of this new legal status was to strengthen and enhance
European identity and to enable European citizens to participate more intensively in the
Community integration process.
The right of European citizenship is extended to every person who is a national of an EU
Member State. European citizenship does not substitute, but rather supplements, the
citizenship of each State.
Those holding European citizenship are entitled to some fundamental rights within the EU,
regardless of which State they are citizens. Electoral rights are part of these fundamental
rights – every citizen currently has the right to vote and stand as candidate in European
and municipal elections in whichever member state they reside in.
However, the Maastricht provisions do not justify Member States’ withholding the right to
vote in national elections from their own citizens on grounds of residency.
In general, countries do not grant the right to vote in national elections to foreign residents.
Citizenship or nationality, not residency, is by far the most usual criterion used by
governments to decide who has the right to vote in national elections.