What about your right to vote for the regional elections in Belgium? It’s worth raising this debate, after EU citizens have had the opportunity to vote for the local elections last October.
This issue has been discussed across Europe for years. Some cities are very international, and Brussels, as the EU capital, is no exception in that regard. In 2017, there were 414,139 foreigners out of a total population of 1,191,604 people in the Brussels-Capital region. And about a quarter of the Brussels population is from an EU country (other than Belgium).
In Belgium, the regional competences matter. The regions are in charge of several policies, such as mobility, urbanism or air quality. Most of the competences that are related to the territory have been conferred to the regions. The Brussels residents therefore might be legitimate to vote on them.
Several Belgian politicians have then decided to re-discuss the right to vote of the EU citizens for the regional elections. A draft resolution has been put on the table and will be debated in the upcoming weeks before the Brussels-Capital parliament.
Although there might be an agreement at the regional parliament, this is absolutely not the end of the story. The Federal Parliament should give its green light, which shouldn’t happen over the upcoming months, especially before the European, Federal and regional elections, which will take place in May this year.
Could a change be then expected in 5 years?