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Political Research Exchange - PRX

Citizenship and Mobility in the EU: Towards a Comprehensive Analysis of the Political Practice of the Voting Rights Granted to Intra-EU Migrants

European Politics
European Union
Daniela Vintila
Université de Liège
Daniela Vintila
Université de Liège

The recognition of voting rights for “mobile” Europeans has been generally considered as one of the most substantial benefits associated to the EU citizenship status. Often portrayed as the "corollary of free movement" within the EU, these electoral entitlements have aimed to reduce the inequalities in terms of access to electoral politics between "EU movers" and "EU stayers", thus encouraging the creation of a more engaged political demos across the EU. However, little has been said so far in the academic scholarship regarding the praxis of these rights, as few studies focused exclusively on how Community voters translated their enfranchisement into effective participatory practices (Besch 2004; Strudel 2004; Shaw 2007; Wiener 2007; Méndez Lago 2010; Collard 2012; Recchi 2012). This paper aims to make a contribution to this ongoing literature, by mapping and comparatively analysing the patterns of political participation of all groups of non-national EU citizens in EP elections held from 1999 onwards in different European democracies. Drawing on an original dataset, the paper examines the virtues and limits of the current political model of EU citizenship, also aiming to provide an explanatory model for Europeans' likelihood of making use of their voting rights when residing abroad.
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