We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

European Parliament: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 20th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Balfe Lord Balfe Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Young of Cookham on 5 June (HL Deb, cols 110–14), how many European Parliament Voter Registration (UC1) forms they received from the government of Belgium in respect of UK citizens, resident in Belgium, who had declared their intention to vote in the European Parliament elections in (1) 2014, and (2) 2019, in Belgium under the terms of EU Council Directive 93/109/EC; where those forms were received; how they distributed those forms to the respective UK constituencies; and how many such forms they sent to the government of Belgium in respect of EU citizens, resident in the UK, who had declared their intention to vote in the European Parliament elections in (a) 2014, and (b) 2019, in the UK.

Photo of Lord Balfe Lord Balfe Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Young of Cookham on 5 June (HL Deb, cols 110–14), how many European Parliament Voter Registration (UC1) forms they received from the government of Germany in respect of UK citizens, resident in Germany, who had declared their intention to vote in the European Parliament elections in (1) 2014, and (2) 2019, in Germany under the terms of EU Council Directive 93/109/EC; where those forms were received; how they distributed those forms to the respective UK constituencies; and how many such forms they sent to the government of Germany in respect of EU citizens, resident in the UK, who had declared their intention to vote in the European Parliament elections in (a) 2014, and (b) 2019, in the UK.

Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Under EU law, EU citizens living in another Member State are able to vote in their State of residence in European Parliamentary elections. Member States will, therefore, arrange for EU nationals to register to vote in their State of residence for these elections. Member States in advance of an upcoming European Parliamentary poll will exchange with each other data on EU nationals who have chosen to register to vote in another Member State. This is intended to identify and avoid double voting at European elections.

In the UK, the UC1 form implements this requirement under EU law. EU Council Directive 93/109/EC requires all Member States to send the details of any EU citizens’ declarations to the state they are a citizen of, “sufficiently in advance of polling day” to ensure an EU citizen does not vote twice in the same European Parliamentary election. This is not a new requirement and has been in place for previous European Parliamentary elections. A similar provision applies to UK citizens living in the other EU Member States.

The UK Government receives data about UK citizens from the other Member States via a secure online portal managed by the European Commission. Data that can be matched to a local authority is then shared with the relevant local authority via encrypted file transfers. Electoral Registration Officers are responsible for sending the data in respect of EU nationals in the UK to the relevant Member States; the Cabinet Office does not see this data. The requested figures are attached in a deposited paper.

In practice, we have found that the Commission’s voter information exchange process is of poor quality, as Member States record different information in respect of persons registering to vote and this may not be sufficient for other States to identify them.

For the avoidance of doubt, this does not hinder the ability of the citizen to register to vote, nor indeed, to vote legally in elections.

Rather, this is a deficiency in the European Commission’s mechanism to identify double voting. Notwithstanding, it is a criminal offence to vote twice in such elections, and information on voting participation will be recorded in marked registers.

The requested figures for the European Parliamentary elections in 2014 and 2019 are as follows:

Belgium

Usable Records Received

Records Sent to Member State

2014

1

1,699

2019

0

Not available yet*

Germany

Usable Records Received

Records Sent to Member State

2014

28

13,101

2019

18

Not available yet*

*The figures for the 2019 European Parliamentary elections are not currently available.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.