Carole Elizabeth Saunders, British Councilor for the PP in Calpe./ Photo: Ajuntament de Calp
The Diplomat. 08/10/2018
A delegation of the organization EuroCitizens / British in Europe, representing the British residents in Spain, met at the end of September in Madrid with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation to expose, among other issues, the right to vote and to be voted in the next Spanish municipal elections, which will be held two months after the Brexit.
The three members of the organization met on September 20 with the General Director of Integration and Coordination of General Affairs of the EU, José Pascual Marco; the general director of Internal Market Coordination and other Community Policies, Pascual Ignacio Navarro; and the deputy general director of Institutional Affairs, Raúl Fuentes.
This is the fifth meeting that EuroCitizens has had with the Foreign Ministry for the last eighteen months, and it was, “as always, extremely amicable and informative”, added the organization, which is in charge of defending the rights of Britons in Spain and the Spanish in the United Kingdom.
During the meeting, the EuroCitizens members expressed their concern about the possible loss of the right to vote in the municipal elections and the representatives of Foreign Affairs responded that, according to the Spanish Constitution, agreements can be reached in this matter and that the Spanish government has already shown its willingness to negotiate a treaty along these lines with the United Kingdom.
The British account for 20% of the census in Malaga and 43.5% of foreign councilors in Spain
The Brexit is scheduled for March 29, 2019 and the Spanish municipal elections are scheduled for May 26. Spain is the country in Europe with the largest number of British citizens, around 300,000, of whom 240,000 live in coastal municipalities where they have an important electoral weight. In the province of Málaga alone, the 73,000 British residents represent around 20% of the electoral census in the municipal elections.
Given that, by then, the British will have lost European citizenship, the current 37 councilors of British nationality who exist in Spain (43.5% of foreigners elected in 2015) will lose the right to run for re-election. The PP is committed to propose an agreement in Brussels so that the British can continue voting in the other EU countries.