“VOTERS WITHOUT BORDERS”
This proposal is based on work already done by the ECIT foundation and the recommendations from the annual Summer University on European Citizenship. The title “Voters Without Borders!” is based on the paradox of the Maastricht Treaty which created EU citizenship 28 years ago. Political rights were attached to freedom of movement. The Treaty was a step forward introducing the right of European citizens to vote and stand as candidates in local and European elections in their country of residence. These existing rights are extremely weak and discourage people to have a say in the decision-making process. Moreover, the reform did not include regional elections or the ones which really count-the national ones-or referenda.
The aim of this European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) is to create full political rights for European citizens.
An ECI is the right instrument to raise such a constitutional issue as the need for universal suffrage on the European continent. This agenda-setting right was added to the catalogue of European citizenship rights by the Lisbon Treaty and enforced by regulation (EU) 2019/788 -a new instrument designed to make it easier to use this right. An initiative is registered provided it is in the legal competence of the Commission and reaches the threshold set in at least 7 member states and over 1 million signatures within one year. The Commission is not obliged to act on a successful ECI but has to take the proposal seriously and is under a moral and political obligation to do so. The real question is whether this ECI can succeed in gathering over 1 million signatures.
At the bottom of this page you can download our latest background document which is organised as followed:
Part one presents the ECI, and the reasons why this this demand for full political rights for people on the move should be launched
Part two explains what needs to be done in terms of research and strategy.
The “Voters Without Borders” initiative comes at the right time : it is a coherent follow-up to the European elections and the appointment of a new Commission giving priority to an action plan for democracy and a Conference on the Future of Europe.
A task force of young people has been recruited and trained to conceive, create and campaign for the ECI, which will be launched in June and the results of the complementary research will be presented at the ECIT annual Summer University in September 2020.
We are thrilled to present our amazing team below!
She can boast 5 European Languages and a “poetic” Venetian dialect. Passionate about travelling, European Politics and the unchartered Youtube and Social Media world, Anna is a communicator having been involved in front-line tasks engaging with different publics. She will co-coordinate the campaign on- and off-line. Her master in European Studies in Leipzig and campaigning with “ThisTimeI’mVoting” is what got her to fall in love with transnational activism.
In her words: “Thanks to the EU I can work and contribute with my taxes everywhere in Europe. This is where I feel at home and where my voice should always count.”
Going to school in the Netherlands during the week and being a piano player and an athlete in Germany during the weekend? Joran has made use of his rights as a European Citizen to the fullest! That is why he is so enthusiastic about creating a Universal European Citizenship. As a political science graduate specialized in conflict studies with expert knowledge in statistics, he will help our cause in all that boring research and databases so much needed for a successful ECI!
In his words: “Getting rid of all barriers voters face across Europe is a certain path towards a stronger European identity. Therefore, sign our ECI !”
She has a soft spot for Eastern Europe, having studied in Lithuania and Slovakia, and, pay attention: she is the only Italian whose favourite food is neither pizza nor pasta!
With so many cross-border experiences for her tender age, Diana believes fully in ECIT's innovative philosophy. As an International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs graduate student, she is a true citizen of the world!
In her words: “During my path with 'Voters Without Borders', I wish to broaden my horizons and to promote, by giving to the story of Europe a happy ending, the awareness that ‘The future is Europe’ ”.
His Erasmus in Paris last year made him realise that he needed croissant in his life but, this experience also boosted his enthusiasm about European topics and values. So far, Ben has studied in the United States, Argentina and France, but his ongoing masters in European Affairs at the ULB show that Europe is closest to his heart.
In his words “ EU institutions must tackle the burning issues of climate change, justice and equality. That is why ECIs are of paramount importance because they can alert Eurocrats about this.”
She learned English from One Direction and that’s “what makes her beautiful”!
Coming from sunny Brittany, where she studied Law and Applied Foreign languages, Léa’s future ambition is to help create a European Union greater for everybody. She is ready to stand up and fight against any form of discrimination and she is a staunch advocate for real inclusion in Europe. Her biggest passion is civil rights activism.
In her words: “I think that if European citizenship should become more social and political, it has to start with strong electoral rights”.
League of Legend or Monopoly? He doesn’t care! He will challenge you in every possible game and gloriously defeat you! Bastian studies Law and Applied Foreign Languages, he is our player when it comes to IT skills and the co-event manager of the Summer University 2020. This all-rounder is passionate about learning and aspires to ensure that all young European citizens can benefit from the European Union's support in the fields of education and culture.
In his word “Strong voting rights are the engine of EU democracy. The EU of the future will not be made by government action but the everyday practice of our common Europeanness ”.
She skied full-speed all the way from the magnificent mountains of the Vosges to Brussels to defend EU citizens' rights. After living in France, Italy, Poland and Belgium and meeting many Europeans on her journey, Claire is convinced that the EU is the most beautiful political projects of our time.
In Brussels, she is doing a specialised master in interdisciplinary studies on European affairs...sounds complicated, right? Yet, Claire found time to join this amazing task force and to multi-task across borders and deadlines!
In her words: “The full extension of voting rights to all elections in the EU is, in my opinion, the real means of bringing the gap between EU citizens and institutions.”
He’s ready to give you a TED Talk any minute on any subject! His name? As long as a Ted Talk itself! Robert Stefan Iosif Goia likes arts, politics, economics, and anything adventurous. He is originally from Rumania but has zigzagged across Europe, he completed a Bachelor in the UK and he’s currently involved in European Studies, Leuven.
Living his fourth year abroad, he recognises the crucial importance of
European citizenship for the future of the European project.
In his words: “I believe that reform is stil needed especially when referring to the European diaspora and their voting rights. Europe will only be stronger if EU integration in the future goes hand in hand with representation of mobile EU citizens."
From far away Colorado in the United States, she is an activist for inclusive voting and political rights around the world. Jordyn is studying International Relations at American University in Washington DC, but learning about the EU during a semester stay in Brussels. She is proficient in English, Spanish, and Arabic (although not very helpful in Belgium) and enjoys painting and skiing in her free time. This is only her second time in Europe so she is excited to explore all around!
In her words: “The expansion of voting rights is fundamental to democratic legislative processes. Voting is one of the most important tools citizens have in persuading government."
We can boast of having the best french native English speaker in the EU!
Yes, you heard right..she has a decent English accent AND she is French. Gwen studies Law and Applied Foreign Languages. She genuinely cares about everybody’s rights and she wants the EU to do so too. She is aware that EU citizenship is a “variable geometry” citizenship and she wants that to change. Together with Bastian, Gwen will be our co-event manager for the ECIT Summer University 2020. In the months to come, they will make sure that this event brings you the best speakers topics and solutions.
In her words “The EU needs to care more about every part of its population and stop excluding some citizens.”
As a soon-to-be graduate of Trinity College Dublin Class of Law 2020, Sinéad will, with no doubt, be a real asset for the task force. She has pursued her profesional interests not only through academia and interning in law firms some past summers, but also by building leadership abilities in being Class Representative, along with being involved with sporting clubs such as hockey, and societies such as the Caledonian Society. As you can understand, Sinead has a bad-ass curriculum, and, as they say in the Hockey jargon, she is a real point-woman!
In her words “I believe that #VotersWithoutBorders is of great importance for all EU citizens and hope that I can greatly contribute to this task ahead”.