EU citizenship is one of the Union’s greatest achievements providing 500 million citizens fundamental rights in addition to those deriving from their national citizenship. However, the political rights of EU citizens remain limited as they are not permitted to vote or stand in regional and national elections, or referendums, when living in another EU country.
The ECIT foundation (European Citizen’s rights, Involvement and Trust) is a public foundation solely devoted to the strengthening of the European Citizenship. Back in 2020, Its founder Tony Venables approached The Good Lobby to ask for assistance in drafting a request to intervene before the CJEU regarding the reform of existing legislation and extension of political rights deriving from EU citizenship.
At The Good Lobby we are committed to a more inclusive and pluralistic democratic society and the EU citizenship represents a fundamental basis from many of the rights that create an EU-wide platform for grass-root actions and positive change. However, existing rights for EU citizens to vote and stand in municipal and European elections in another EU country are extremely weak with the result of discouraging people from having a say in the decision-making process that will impact their daily life.
The Good Lobby was happy to assist the advocacy work of ECIT by introducing them to Zamira Xhaferri, a Phd Lecturer in European law and a passionate professional of our pro bono network.
Zamira assisted ECIT with her great expertise in EU legal affairs in drafting a request to intervene before the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding the full political rights for mobile EU citizens as well as on the deprivation of such status for British applicants following Brexit.
“The Good Lobby is a great partner, not just a one-off adviser. They helped us at the start, were there at the launch of our ECI [Vote Without Borders] in September, encouraged press coverage and made strategic suggestions at different stages. Campaigning for change can be a lonely occupation especially in structures like ours which are underfunded and largely voluntary. You are never alone with The Good Lobby”
– Tony Venables
With the help of The Good Lobby, ECIT Foundation could rely on the great expertise provided by Zamira to have a strongly based request to submit to the CJEU and overall strengthen their advocacy effort for stronger political rights for cross-border EU citizens.
The Good Lobby is happy to be part of the drive for equal rights and treatment regarding EU citizenship. Their previous ECI ‘Vote Without Borders’ was accepted for registration by a Commission decision in March 2020 and proposals to reform certain cross-border political rights are currently under discussion. We are very happy to hear the matter is now receiving well-deserved attention at EU level to allow a proper representation of EU issues across the Union.
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