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Have a dozen EU countries really implemented it?

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The debate was revived this summer by the president’s majority deputy Sacha Hooley’s bill in favor of establishing the right to vote in local elections for non-EU foreigners. On the left, the The Socialist mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen, is in favour To this proposal, before adding: “There are a good ten European countries that have given permanent residents the right to vote in local elections.“. This is almost true, and we explain why.

A number of countries have given foreigners the right to vote “Good Ten”: They are fourteen of the 27 members of the European Union with different laws.

In 1963, Ireland was the most advanced country in giving foreigners the right to vote. Moreover, at 30 years, there is no minimum length of residence to be able to vote. Finally, foreigners are also eligible in Ireland.

Most countries that have granted this right to vote have done so subject to conditions, often with a minimum stay of between two and five years. This is the case for the two Baltic countries (Estonia and Lithuania) and the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Finland and Denmark). But also former Eastern Bloc countries (Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia). and the old countries of the European Union, the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg).

Spain and Portugal are more restrictive and grant voting rights to citizens of certain countries, particularly their former colonies, subject to consanguinity and length of residence.

Finally, there are countries where non-EU foreigners cannot vote. The three founding countries of Europe with the largest populations: Germany, France, and Italy. There are also Austria, Greece, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Cyprus and Malta.

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