“More than 210,000 EU citizens live in Brussels’ 19 communes, representing a quarter of the electorate. In your commune, a few hundred votes could change the outcome… So make your voice heard!”
EU citizenship gives every EU citizen the right to vote and stand as candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections regardless of whether they are a national of the EU country in which they reside, and this under the same conditions as nationals.
Awareness campaigns for EU-citizens to register were conducted by the former Brussels-Europe Liaison Office in 2000, 2006 and 2012. Despite large scale information campaigns in and with the support of the European institutions, registration remained disappointingly low, around 13,7% of the electorate.
This low voter turnout does not correlate with the enormous impact local government has on the day-to-day lives of citizens. Representing nearly 25% of all voters, Brussels is home to one of the largest expat communities. Be aware that as an expat you aren’t without political power. Your participation could prove significant, even decisive in the ballot.
Your commune affects your daily life much more than you think. Communes in Belgium have more powers than local authorities do in most European countries and can defend your interests with regional and national authorities. Communes make decisions that directly affect your daily life: the development of your neighbourhood and its public and green spaces, cleanliness, parking, housing, education, and much more. Last but not least, communes are most accessible and responsive to citizens.
These webpages were designed to inform you about where, when and how to vote. For more information about what or who is on the ballot we refer you to the websites of the political parties in Brussels.