ARE YOU A EUROPEAN CITIZEN LIVING IN BELGIUM?
Come and vote for the European Parliament on 26 May 2019!
On Sunday 26 May 2019, members of the European Parliament will be elected in the 27 Member States of the European Union.
If you are a European citizen resident in Belgium, you can take part in elections in Belgium for the European Parliament, and vote for candidates on Belgian lists of candidates. If you do so, you will not be able to take part in European Parliament elections in your home country.
The application for registration on the electoral roll in your municipality must be made by 28 February 2019 at the latest.
Please note that Belgian voters will also be electing their representatives within the Chamber of Representatives and Local and Regional Parliaments on 26 May 2019.
WHO CAN VOTE ON 26 MAY 2019?
To take part in this election as a European citizen, you must fulfil five conditions, namely:
- be a national of a Member State of the European Union;
- have your main residence in a Belgian municipality;
- be at least 18 years of age;
- be entitled to vote;
- be registered on the electoral roll.
To be eligible to vote, on the date of the European Parliament elections you must be a national of one of the 27 Member States that, together with Belgium, form the European Union: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
The nationality requirement must be fulfilled no later than 1 March 2019, the date when electoral rolls are drawn up.
Notice for United Kingdom nationals: if ‘Brexit’ takes place before 26 May 2019, and you are registered to vote in Belgium, your registration will be cancelled because you will no longer meet the nationality requirement.
You must also be entered on the population register, or the register of foreign nationals in your municipality of residence in Belgium. This condition must be fulfilled by 1 March 2019 at the latest.
To be able to vote, you must be at least 18 years of age on the date of the election on 26 May 2019.
Being entitled to vote
To be able to vote, you must not have had your electoral rights under Belgian law disqualified or suspended. In addition, you must not have had your right to vote revoked in your home State following an individual or administrative decision.
You must be registered on the electoral roll of the municipality where you have your main residence. In order to do so, you must complete the C/1 form, which you can obtain from the municipal authorities where you have your main residence, or print it from the federal elections website (www.elections.fgov.be).
The completed form must be filed at the municipal offices
- no later than 28 February 2019,
- or you can send it by post or by email.
To guarantee the legal validity of your registration by email, please follow the following procedure:
- complete the registration form electronically;
- save your registration form in PDF format (using an application such as ‘PDF Creator’, for example);
- sign this PDF file using your electronic residence permit (in a PDF file reader, you must use the signature placement tool);
send this signed PDF file to your local authorities via email.
Electronic signatures issued using your electronic residence card have the same legal status as a handwritten signature.
The municipal authorities will examine your application on the basis of the information you provide in this form.
If your application is approved by the municipal executive (the burgomaster and their deputies), you will receive an official notification from the municipality.
Voting is compulsory in Belgium. As soon as your registration on the electoral roll has been approved, you will therefore be legally required to vote on 26 May 2019. In addition, you will no longer be able to take part in European Parliament elections in your home country.
If, at a later date, you wish to take part in European Parliament elections again in your home country, or for any other reason, you may request the withdrawal of your registration at the municipality where you have established your main residence.This request may not, however, be submitted between 1 March 2019 and 26 May 2019.
If you have already applied for registration on the electoral roll for European elections in the past (for the European elections on 25 May 2014, for example), and you were approved as a voter at the time, you do not need to submit a new application. Your registration on the electoral roll is maintained and remains valid for all future European elections.
You can check this registration with your municipal authorities, or on the ‘Mon DOSSIER’ (my records) application at https://www.mondossier.rrn.fgov.be (‘My data’ tab ► ‘Elections’) using your electronic residency permit, your pin code and an electronic card reader.
The municipal executives (the burgomaster and their deputies) may decide not to approve your request for registration as a voter, and therefore not add you to the electoral roll.
You will be officially notified of this decision in writing. This decision can be appealed. You can obtain information about the appeal proceedings from your municipal authorities or on the website www.elections.fgov.be (‘Voter’ tab).
HOW TO CAST A VALID VOTE
To be valid, your vote must be cast on a single list of candidates. You can vote in 2 different ways:
- by voting in the box at the top of a list (block-list vote (vote de liste));
- by voting in the box located next to the name of one or more candidates (preference vote (vote nominatif)).
If you cast a block-list vote as well as one or more preference votes within this same list, the block-list vote will not be taken into account.
If you cast votes (block-list or preference) on different lists, your vote will be considered void and will not be recognised.
See the explanatory video in this link: https://elections.fgov.be/electeurs-comment-voter/vote-papier
(only available in French, Dutch and German)
On 26 May 2019, 156 municipalities in the Flemish region, all municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region, and the municipalities of the German-speaking Community, will be voting electronically with paper proof, while all municipalities in the Walloon Region and 152 municipalities in the Flemish Region will be voting using the ‘paper’ vote.
To find out whether you can vote electronically in your municipality, you can contact your municipality’s elections office.
VOTING BY COMPUTER
Find the explanatory video via this link: https://elections.fgov.be/electeurs-comment-voter/le-vote-electronique
(only available in French, Dutch and German)
HOW TO APPLY AS A CANDIDATE
To be eligible to exercise your right in Belgium to stand for election to the European Parliament, you must:
- be a national of a Member State of the European Union and also be domiciled in one of the Member States;
- be shown as a candidate on a Belgian list of candidates accepted by a main Belgian electoral office, following registration with that office on 29 or 30 March 2019;
- deliver to the main electoral office a written and signed declaration indicating the address of your main residence, your nationality, date and place of birth. In this declaration, you also certify that you are not a candidate in another Member State and that you have not had your eligibility to stand for office revoked or suspended in that State on the date of the election (26 May 2019);
- have reached the age of 21 on 26 May 2019;
- enjoy full civil and political rights on 26 May 2019.
The sample application form can be found on the Elections website of the Domestic Federal Public Service (www.elections.fgov.be).
Do not hesitate to contact the Elections office at your municipal authorities.