The Council of Ministers yesterday referred to the Spanish Parliament the agreement between Spain and the United Kingdom on the participation in certain elections of nationals of each country resident in the territory of the other, and authorised the expression of Spain’s consent to be bound by that agreement.
In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, citizens of the Union have the right to vote and stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the State in which they reside, under the same conditions as nationals of that State.
The calling of municipal elections in May 2019, both in Spain and in the United Kingdom, raised the question of reciprocal active and passive suffrage in those elections following the effective departure of the United Kingdom from the EU. This agreement will prevent these rights from becoming ineffective for both British residents in Spain and Spanish residents in the United Kingdom.
Negotiations of the bilateral agreement formally began on 24 October 2018 and were completed on 18 December 2018. The text was signed in Madrid in January 2019 by the then Secretary of State for the European Union, Luis Marco Aguiriano Nalda, and the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Exit from the European Union, Robin Caspar Walker. The agreement has been provisionally applied since 31 January 2020, when the United Kingdom left the European Union.