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Mobilising Expat Votes for the European Election 2019

On May 23-26, citizens of 27 countries will go to the polls to elect 705 Members of European Parliament. These elections come at a crucial time: some opinion polls, such as those seen here and here, show that Europe’s far-right political parties are poised to make gains in their seat totals, threatening the democratic nature of the European Union with authoritarian and nativist rhetoric. It also comes at a time where the biggest issues facing people in Europe transcend borders, becoming global problems that we can only combat when we join together and fight for a more fair society.

The European Green Party (EGP), the federation of national Green parties in the European Parliament, has released their priorities for these elections, linked here. Increasing transparency, fighting corruption, and establishing safe and legal channels for migration are just some points that can rally citizens regardless of where they reside. In this election, the overall Green vision promises to “renew the promise of Europe” and considers “the European unification process a great historical achievement.”

The EGP has also selected its leading candidates, also known as “Spitzenkandidaten”. Each European political party puts forward one or more leading candidates to represent the party’s electoral bid. After the election, the European Council will nominate one of the Spitzenkandidaten to become the next European Commission President, who represents the EU to the outside world and leads the Commission to establish new laws and policies.

The EGP has put forward two distinct and strong Spitzenkandidaten: Ska Keller, an MEP from Germany, and Bas Eickhout, an MEP from the Netherlands. Both are talented and youthful politicians and they bring a renewed vision for Europe and one of them may soon be the next de-facto head of government for the European Union. Read more about the EGP Spitzenkandidaten here.

Due to the global nature of the issues Greens see as most important, many Greens choose to live outside of their country of citizenship. Filipe Henriques, an EGP campaign staffer, has stated the following:

“12 million EU citizens that live in the EU but not their own country. That is a lot of people. For example, in Luxembourg, 40% of the population are EU citizens who are not Luxembourgish.”

The Global Greens is leading a European Elections Mobilization Campaign to get these expats to vote in the upcoming May elections. The European Parliament election rules allow non-citizen residents of EU countries to vote in either their home country or in the country of their residence. Many countries also permit European citizens living outside of the EU to vote.

We encourage you to sign up here to receive expat voting information as we approach the election dates. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to the embassy of your home country closest to you to verify your voting status and applicable deadlines: everyone is different and our information is no guarantee for your specific situation.

Want to get involved further? Join our mobilization campaign as a Global Greens Supervolunteer to help us build “get-out-the-expat-vote” campaign groups around the world. Send us an email at [email protected] for more information.

Democracy can only thrive when everyone participates. The turnout in the 2014 European elections was the lowest in EU history, despite the fact that this is one of the most turbulent periods for Europe. So don’t sit this one out: help us turn Europe Green!


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