Category Archives: Political Participation

A question for referendum: should foreigners vote in national elections?

Be Heard Flickr rachel_titirigaBy Thomas Huddleston, MPG Programme Director on Migration and Integration

In collaboration with Serge Kollwelter, ASTI Luxembourg and Kate McMillan, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Only four countries in the world currently grant equal voting rights to foreigners. Now an even greater debate has emerged to grant voting rights in national elections in Luxembourg, where the impact of such a decision would be the greatest of all MIPEX countries, since 44% of the population are not Luxembourgian citizens. We at MIPEX turn to its comparative policy network to understand why countries may choose to answer “Yes!” in the case of New Zealand and, perhaps soon, “Ja!” in the case of Luxembourg.

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The first European country to take away the right to vote from immigrants?

BallotBox_Crossed_FutUndBeidl_FickrWritten by Zvezda Vankova, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

A new immigration bill was submitted to the Greek parliament for debate on 14th February. The bill that will be voted in the upcoming weeks, aims to simplify the residence permit application process and facilitate labour market access for migrants. The same document, however, abolishes the right to vote for immigrants.  According to the Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis, the proposed provisions are enforcing a recent decision by the Council of State. It stipulates that the 2010 citizenship law granting greater voting rights to immigrants is unconstitutional. MIPEX argues that the new restrictive criteria will undermine the conditions for integration in Greece, undoing most of its major advancements on integration since 2007.

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Can Sweden lead the debate back to equal treatment?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

MIPEX shows that Scandinavia, like many regions in Europe, is undermining its slow and steady progress on integration policy. Many European mainstream parties are not keeping their commitment to equal treatment and equal opportunities, as far-right parties try to set the immigration agenda. Sweden needs strong dialogue bodies to build a national consensus on integration among local communities, social partners, civil society and immigrants themselves.  Continue reading

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