European elections - Belgium
If you are a European citizen residing in Belgium, you can take part in the European Parliament elections and vote for candidates on Belgian lists.
In order to take part in these elections in Belgium as a European citizen, you must meet five conditions, namely you must:
- be a national of a Member State of the European Union;
You must be a national of one of the 27 Member States that make up the European Union on the date of the European Parliament elections.
- have your main place of residence in a Belgian municipality;
You must be entered in the population register or the non-nationals register of your municipality of residence in Belgium. This condition must be fulfilled no later than the day on which the electoral roll is closed (i.e. the first day of the second month preceding the month in which the European Parliament elections are held).
- be at least 16 years old;
You must be 16 years of age on the day of the elections at the latest.
- have the right to vote;
To be able to vote, you must not fall within one of the cases of exclusion or suspension of electoral rights provided for under Belgian law. In addition, you must not have been deprived of your right to vote in your country of origin as a result of an individual court decision or an administrative ruling.
- be entered on the electoral roll.
You must be entered on the electoral roll of the municipality of your main place of residence no later than the day on which the electoral roll is closed (i.e. the first day of the second month preceding the month in which the European Parliament elections are held).
To do this, complete the appropriate form, which you can obtain from the local authority in your main place of residence or print out from the federal elections website (www.elections.fgov.be).
As soon as your entry on the electoral roll has been accepted, you will be legally obliged to go and vote, (except for young people under 18), in accordance with the obligation to vote in Belgium. Moreover, you will not be able to participate in the European Parliament elections in your home country.
You may request the withdrawal of your registration via the municipality where you have established your main place of residence, if you subsequently wish to participate in the European Parliament elections in your country of origin again, or for any other reason.
If you have already submitted an application to be entered on the electoral roll for the European elections in the past (and were accepted as a voter at the time), you do not need to submit a new application. Your entry on the electoral roll is retained and remains valid for all future European elections.
Standing as a candidate
In order to stand as a candidate in the European elections, you must:
- be an EU citizen;
- reside in a country of the EU;
- be at least 18years old on the day of the election;
- not have been deprived of the right to stand as a candidate.
When applying to stand as a candidate, European citizens who do not hold Belgian nationality must provide assurance that, amongst other things:
- they are not standing as a candidate for the same European elections in another country of the EU;
- they have not been deprived of the right to stand for election in their country of origin as a result of an administrative or court decision.
Belgians residing abroad
Belgians who reside in the European Union may choose to vote for candidates on a list in their Member State of residence or on a Belgian list.
If they choose to vote for candidates on a Belgian list, they must meet several conditions. They must:
- be Belgian;
- be registered in the consular population registers;
- be 16 years of age or older;
- not have been deprived of their right to vote;
- enrol via the Belgian consular post with which they are registered (to be at least 14 years old at registration).
All Belgian nationals will receive a personalised registration form from the career consular post once they are entered in the consular population registers.
Once registered, Belgians are subject to the obligation to vote and cannot vote in European Parliament elections in their Member State of residence.
Belgians residing abroad can vote:
- in person in Belgium;
- by proxy in Belgium;
- in person at the consular post;
- by proxy at the consular post;
- by post (postal vote).
Foreign citizens residing in Belgium: SPF Intérieur (Federal Public Service for the Interior) – Elections Department
elections [at] rrn.fgov.be
Belgian citizens residing abroad: SPF Affaires étrangères (Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs) – Elections Department
elections [at] diplobel.fed.be