The National Institute of Statistics (INE) has sent more than 50,000 letters to European citizens living in Spain so that, if they wish, they can register to vote in the European Parliament elections next May 26th.
More than one million seven hundred thousand european citizens reside in Spain, according to INE data. And they all have the right to vote in the country where they live, if they wish. However, many fail to exercise this right because they lack information about the necessary requirements.
One of the most common mistakes among many expatriates is to think that being registered in the country where they live is enough for them to vote. This is valid for local elections, but not for European ones. In the case of Spain, it is also necessary to be registered in the Electoral Census of Foreigners. And, before the elections to be held in the EU between 23 and 26 May, those living in Spain must formalise their registration before the deadline of next January 31.
To facilitate the vote of these people, the Office of the European Parliament in Spain has launched an information campaign in collaboration with the INE and the consulates of the 28 throughout the Spanish territory. The objective, as sources from the European Parliament told The Diplomat, is “that everyone can participate in these crucial elections for the future of the European Union and for the daily life of its inhabitants”.
Currently the ten EU countries with the largest number of residents in Spain are Romania (675,086), United Kingdom (285,698), Italy (221,781), Germany (139,096), Bulgaria (125,244), France (106,508), Portugal (100,414), Poland (64,881), the Netherlands (47,919) and Belgium (35,136).
European citizens account for approximately one third of the 4,719,418 foreigners residing in Spain, according to INE data referred to January 1, 2018.