15,000 resident EU citizens intend to vote in Malta

So far, 15,017 resident non-Maltese EU citizens have registered to vote in Malta in June’s European elections.

So far, 15,017 non-Maltese EU citizens resident in Malta have registered to vote for candidates standing for June’s European elections in Malta instead of their home country, according to statistics shared with The Journal by the Electoral Commission. The figure is lower than the 18,376 who registered for the last European Parliament election, held in 2019. Yet, one has to wait a few more days, till registration is closed, for the definitive number.

The right of free movement of persons is a cornerstone of the European Union, aimed at fostering social and economic integration among the bloc’s member states. This right allows any citizen of an EU member state to live, work, and study freely within the vast territory of the Union. Another right that comes with EU citizenship is to both vote and stand as a candidate in elections for the European Parliament, the EU’s only directly elected institution. EU citizens who live in their home country can only vote for the EU candidates standing for election there. However, EU citizens who are registered and live in another EU country can choose whether to vote for candidates standing in their home country or for those standing in their host country.

Non-Maltese EU citizens who reside in Malta and wish to vote here must be registered by the 15th April and be included in the rolling electoral register to be published by not later than the 20th April. The Electoral Commission explained that non-Maltese EU citizens are first made aware of the possibility to vote in Malta when they first apply for their residence card. At that point, they are also asked to fill in a form to be registered as a voter in the local councils electoral register and to opt to be registered in the European Union electoral register. The Electoral Office receives the relevant application form for registration as a voter from Identità concurrently when a person applies for the residence card. If an EU national residing in Malta chooses to vote in Malta, for candidates contesting the election in Malta, the electoral authorities of the Member State of origin will be duly informed so as to avoid double-voting.

The Electoral Commission, which manages the whole electoral process, told The Journal that it keeps all citizens informed of any developments about all stages of the electoral process through regular press releases which are issued in the Malta’s two official languages: Maltese and English. All press statements appear on the Electoral Commission’s website and Facebook page, and are also circulated widely by the Department of Information. The Electoral Commission website also features a comprehensive ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section, which includes pertinent information relative to the electoral process in general.

“During the run-up to polling day, all registered voters in Malta are treated equally, be they Maltese citizens or non-Maltese EU citizens,” the Electoral Commission made clear.

Needless to say, the same electoral rights referred to in this article apply to the thousands of Maltese citizens who are living, studying, or working in any of the other 26 EU member States: they can choose to travel back to Malta to vote on the 8th June or else register to vote in their host country.

The number of non-Maltese EU citizens resident in Malta who registered to vote for Maltese candidates in the European Parliament elections since Malta’s accession to the EU.

20041,063
20092,103
20147,879
201918,376
Source: Electoral Commission Malta
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