13 Maj How foreigners can vote in upcoming elections to the European Parliament?
The elections to the European Parliament will take a place on May, 26th. Do citizens of EU countries, currently residing in Poland, have to go back to their homelands if they want to participate in elections? Or maybe there is a more comfortable option? Below short instruction:
1. EU Citizen has 2 options: vote for candidates from his country or vote for candidates from country in which he currently lives, in that case – Polish candidates.
2. In case of willingness to vote for candidates from country of origin, electoral regulations of this country shall be applied– which in most cases allow to vote also abroad in designated diplomatic missions and consular offices.
3. In case of willingness to vote for Polish candidates, EU citizen has to be at least 18 years old on the day of voting and must be present in register of voters in community (Gmina) in which has permanent residence.
4. Application for entry in the register of voters has to be submitted to appropriate municipal office (Urząd Gminy) according to permanent residence in Poland.
5. To sign up in the electoral register it is necessary to firstly register residence in Poland – to prove there is a relationship with Poland and therefore legitimacy of voting for Polish candidates. Some municipal offices allow to registrate if relationship with Poland will be proven by other methods (i.e. lease agreement, contract of employment etc.) – however this is not a rule so if EU citizen has decided to act in that way, shall make sure that appropriate municipal office accepts such solution.
6. Usually on communal or municipal websites you may find application forms for entry in the register of voters – ready to be filled. The application has to include name, surname, date of birth, name of father and the address of permanent residence or address of the last permanent residence. Furthermore, a copy of valid document which confirm EU citizen identity (i.e. passport or ID card) and written declaration which includes necessary information to be entered in electoral register should be attach to application.
7. Moreover, being signed into electoral register beside the right to participate in elections to European Parliament gives to applicant also right to participate in local government elections (i.e. elections to the commune council/municipal and mayor’s (wójt/burmistrz/prezydent miasta), and also to participate in the municipal referendum.
8. If citizen of member country of European Union wants to vote for candidates from his origin country or he or her stays in Poland only for short period – i.e. holiday or business trip – then in such case voting will take a place in diplomatic or consular offices of this country. However, please remember that this option usually requires earlier proceeding i.e. obtaining a certificate from a permanent residence from country of origin. As mentioned earlier the legal regulations of the country of origin, which are exactly as many as the member states of the European Union, apply here. The proper ones shall be checked.
In case of any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact our advisors:
Autor: Katarzyna Łozińska