1bru1vote: a group calling for a parliament of the “310,000 non-Belgian citizens of Brussels”
The 1bru1vote activist group, which aims to provide the right to vote to all Brussels citizens regardless of their nationality, has forwarded its requests to the incoming Brussels government.
For more than a year and a half now, the 1bru1vote collective has been calling on Brussels politicians to give foreigners the right to vote in regional elections. While foreign nationals can vote in local elections, they are still unable to vote at the regional level. The collective estimates that approximately 220,000 European Union nationals and 90,000 from the rest of the world, or 310,000 people in total, do not have the right to vote in the Brussels Region for the regional elections.
In particular, the group has initiated a resolution on behalf of the Brussels Parliament, which was passed last April, calling on the federal parliament to grant the right to vote to all foreign nationals living in Brussels.
However, the group remains pessimistic that the resolution will be passed by the federal government.
“In the current state of power relations in the federal parliament, such an outcome unfortunately seems unrealistic to us,” explained 1bru1vote in a statement. The group thus believes that a law allowing foreigners to vote might not be passed until 2024, which would therefore postpone foreigners’ ability to vote until the 2029 regional elections.
As a result of the expected delay in passing this resolution, 1bru1vote has requested that the next Brussels government take several measures to “fill this legitimacy gap”. The collective is thus calling for the establishment of a ‘Brussels parliament’ of 89 citizens representing these 310,000 non-Belgian citizens of Brussels, with one third of the 89 consisting of non-Belgian municipal elected officials, one third of voluntary citizens, and one third of citizens drawn by lot.
The group has requested that this parliament be convened four times a year before a joint session with the Brussels Parliament, and that it be endowed with a certain amount of voting power.