Voting Rights for the Irish Diaspora?

Voting booth
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The Irish Left Review picked up on an EU survey by GlobalIrish.ie on emigrant voting rights. Ireland is the only country in the 20 surveyed to have to voting rights for Diaspora or plans to bring it in. Greece is being forced to bring it in after a ruling by the ECHR. Will an Irish emigrant bring a case to try and force Ireland to change? Shouldn’t we change anyway?

European Country – Vote at national elections?
AUSTRIA – YES
BELGIUM – YES
DENMARK – (YES) but with many restrictions
ESTONIA – YES
FINLAND – YES
FRANCE – YES
GERMANY – YES – but only within countries of Council of Europe
GREECE – NO (subject to change following recent European Court of Human Rights decision)
IRELAND – NO
ITALY – YES
LUXEMBOURG – YES
SPAIN – YES
NETHERLANDS – YES
POLAND – YES
PORTUGAL – YES
ROMANIA – YES
SLOVAKIA – YES
SWEDEN – YES
SWISS – YES
UNITED KINGDOM – YES (Voting right is lost after 15 years abroad – this time limit is being challenged by a Spanish-based UK citizen.)

Being one of the only countries in the EU not to offer this right to its citizens, means we are not treating our emigrants with the respect they deserve.

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Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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