Participating in elections to the European Parliament
Information about Rights & Duties
Participating in municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament
EU citizens from other EU Member States can vote either in their country of origin (including, depending on electoral law, at a diplomatic mission or by post) or in Germany. EU citizens from other EU Member States who are voting in Germany for the first time must be registered on the electoral roll for the European elections. If you wish to be registered on the electoral roll, you must apply to your German municipality of residence as soon as possible, and in any case no later than 21 days before the election.
You will then be entered onto the electoral roll for future elections to the European Parliament. You will remain on the electoral roll until you move to another Member State or request to be deregistered from the electoral roll.
To vote or stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament, you must meet the following conditions:
- be a national of an EU Member State
- be resident in Germany
- be at least 16 years old on election day
- have been permanently resident in Germany or another EU Member State for at least 3 months
- not be disqualified from voting or from standing as a candidate.
EU citizens from other EU Member States should contact their German municipality of residence to inform the authorities where they will be voting in the elections to the European Parliament.
Voting is not compulsory in Germany.
EU citizens from other EU Member States who are standing as a candidate in the elections to the European Parliament must declare that they are not standing for election in any other Member State and are not disqualified from standing as a candidate.
In Germany, Members of the European Parliament are elected on the basis of lists of nominations. The nominations must be submitted to the Federal Returning Officer by political parties or other political associations. Several documents must be submitted together with the list of nominations. These include a form containing the aforementioned declarations by candidates from other EU Member States, confirming that they are not standing for election in any other Member State and are not disqualified from standing as a candidate. The form can be obtained from the state returning officers or the Federal Returning Officer.
European elections 2024
From 6 to 9 June 2024, the European Parliament will be elected by the citizens of the European Union for the 10th time. The Federal Government has set 9 June 2024 as election day for the European election in Germany. For the first time, the minimum voting age for European elections has been reduced from 18 to 16 years for the 2024 election.
All German citizens within the meaning of Article 116(1) of the Basic Law, and all nationals of other EU Member States residing in Germany (EU citizens), who are at least 16 years old on election day, are entitled to vote.
German citizens abroad
German citizens living abroad who are not registered in Germany are referred to as (Germans abroad). They are not automatically registered on the voters. Only those registered on the electoral roll can vote. Therefore, if a German citizen living abroad wishes to vote in European elections, they must formally apply to register on the electoral roll before each election.
German citizens living abroad may either:
- exercise their right to vote by registering to vote in Germany; or
- participate in the European election in their country of residence, if it is an EU Member State. In this case, the rules of the respective Member State apply. For further information, you are advised to contact the competent authority in your Member State of residence.
In all other cases, German citizens living outside the EU must apply to be registered on the electoral roll in Germany.
For more information from the
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Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community
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