Let Me Vote aims at granting European citizens the right to vote in regional and national elections in their EU country of residence regardless of nationality. Promoting the exercise of these civil rights will strengthen people’s feeling of a democratic EU where all citizens are on equal footing, enhance mobility & deepen the concept of European citizenship. We plan to relaunch a European Citizen Initiative, the Union’s participatory democratic instrument that can lead to changes in legislation.
We will need to target a minimum of 6 Member States in addition to France, using the EMI's network.
Let Me Vote’s ambition is to put an end to a democratic deficit in the EU that has become the norm overtime. It will put in sync EU citizen’s country of residence with the exercise of their voting rights. People living under the same conditions, contributing to the economy, society and culture, should have equal voting rights, no matter their nationality. Let Me Vote will also address the issue of partial political right deprivation for people who have lost their right to vote in their country of origin (because they have been living in another EU country for too long).
A year from now, we hope to raise public awareness on this issue and collect the 1 million signatures necessary to be granted a meeting with the European Commission as well as the opportunity to present our idea during a public hearing at the European Parliament. The ultimate successful outcome would be for the Commission to propose legislation based on the ECI and for it to be adopted.
The first step will be to choose our main partners (in at least 6 other Member States) among the European Movement International’s network, and then rally the European civil society to this cause. We plan on building new partnerships with associations of non-nationals (through Europeans around the world), ESN and EVS alumni organisations as well as public bodies. As our previous ECI has already been deemed admissible by the Commission, we will focus on raising public awareness online, in the media, gathering support from political figures and parties, as well as academics and influencers.
Around 14 million Europeans live in a European country of which they are not citizens – and the number gets higher every year! After multiple reports on citizenship (2006 Fourth report and citizenship, Lamassoure report on EU citizenship), Eurobarometers’ results highlighting this issue, we feel that it is time to expand EU citizen’s voting rights, which will contribute to deepen the concept of European citizenship.
Our main targets are European expats and the future European expats, as the issue impacts them directly. The Erasmus and EVS generation – between 18 and 30 – will therefore be at the centre of our project as well as members of civil society organizations in each Member States – as they will themselves be able to reach a lot of citizens. As stated earlier, we will also try to involve as many academics, influencers, political parties and figures as possible to reach an even wider audience. Finally, Let Me Vote will not only impact EU expats, but all EU citizens, because it will force political candidates to consider EU citizens in their campaigns which will thus give a European dimension to national debates on Europe – both in politics and the media.
The most surprising aspect of the Let Me Vote initiative is how conventional it actually is. Mentions of the need to legislate on the issue can be traced back to 1975 and the topic has regularly been addressed since then. If adopted, the Let Me Vote initiative would allow all EU citizens to exercise their basic civil rights, which would significantly strengthen European citizenship.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
-Material costs : 30,000 Office expenses : 5,500 Communications, promotion & public relations : 23,000 Unforseen and others : 1,500 -Personnel Costs : 20,416