Let Me Vote is a European Citizens Initiative that aims to solve one of the Democratic Deficiencies in the European Union. This ECI calls for the right to vote of EU Citizens to be expanded from just the right the vote in Local and European Elections to National Elections in the Member State in which they reside.
This is the one issue that the European Union has not managed to sort out since the introduction of European Citizenship. Its stated objective and goal is:
To strengthen the rights listed in article 20§2 TFEU by granting EU citizens residing in another Member State the right to vote in all political elections in their country of residence, on the same conditions as the nationals of that State.
The goal of the initiative is to develop the political dimension of the European project by reinforcing citizens’ awareness that they share a common destiny. It would have the following effects: – To enhance the concept of European Citizenship; – To facilitate freedom of movement within the EU; In addition, it could contribute to remedying the loss of voting rights presently experienced by a significant number of EU citizens who are long-term residents of other Member States.
This is a great ECI and certainly is highlighting a massive issue within the EU. It certainly highlights the anomaly within the EU where Irish Citizens resident in the United Kingdom have the right to vote in Local, National and European Elections and the right that UK Citizens have in Ireland to vote in Local, National and European Elections. Surely this should be the norm between EU member states and not the exception.
Your voting rights should be allowed to move with you through the European Union just like the rest of your rights. This is especially true for countries such as Ireland where citizens abroad are not allowed to vote. Hopefully this ECI will change this and may encourage states that currently do not allow diaspora voting to look again at the issue.
I for one whole heatedly support the Let Me Vote ECI and urge you to read it and sign it here!
The Bill amending the Constitution to allow Ireland to ratify the Fiscal Compact is now available on the Oireachtas Website (PDF).
The bill proposes inserting a new sub-section 10 to Article 29 which deals with foreign affairs. The new section will read as follows:
10° The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination andGovernance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.
The Dáil will debate the amendment starting on Wednesday as it rushes to pass the amendment ahead of the referendum on May 31st. Once the Amendment has cleared all stages in the Dáil and Seanad a Referendum Commission will then be established.
In the European Parliament has passed a Non-legislative resolution calling for European Political Parties to get legal statue so that they can play the role set out to them under Article 10, paragraph 4 of the Lisbon Treaty whereby political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.
The report by Marietta Giannakou (EPP, Greece) was passed by 560 votes in favour, 93 against and 22 abstentions. The report also called for
the possibility of direct membership of natural persons;
the rise of the present ceiling of €12,000 per year for donations to €25,000 per year and per donator;
the organisational convergence of political parties at EU level with the aim of the creation in the future of a transnational party system;
the independent resources that European political parties are required to demonstrate could be reduced to 10% of their total budget, in order to further enhance their development.
If the recommendations are passed into law, something which is expected as Commissioner Šefčovič expressed a will to examine and put forward the proposal of the European legal statute of EU political parties based on EU law
if this was to become the case it would allow european parties to launch national campaigns and be involved in referendum campaigns. It could open up a whole new era of politics in Europe, but will it happen?