Expats have some important deadlines coming up allowing them to participate in upcoming European and local elections.
Register in Time and Make Your Voice Heard in Your Community
Are you an expat living in Brussels? If you are a European national, did you know you can participate in local and European elections? If you are not a European, did you know you can still participate in local elections? There are some important deadlines coming up so read ahead to figure out when you need to register and how to do it!
Who Can Vote?
In Belgium, voting is obligatory and to make it easier for voters, elections take place on Sundays when most people don’t have to go into an office. For expats it can be a bit confusing whether or not they can participate in this national event. Before we dive into the details, let’s answer the first big question: who can vote? The good news is that both European and non-European citizens have the right to vote in local elections in Brussels. Whether you’re a British professional on a long-term assignment or an American entrepreneur who’s made the city your home, your voice matters.
European citizens who are registered in a Belgian municipality can vote in both the European and the local elections. If you’re a registered resident of Brussels and have an e-id card, you are almost there! Just follow the steps to sign up on the voters registration list.
Non-European citizens resident in Belgium:
You can vote in the local elections and make your voice heard about the local issues which impact your daily life such as public transportation, housing and security.
How do I Sign Up to Vote?
Signing up to vote is easier than you might think. The first step is to get your name on the electoral rolls. If you’re already registered to live in Brussels you can register to vote online.
Voting Registration Brussels
If online isn’t for you, you can go to the town hall (“maison communale”) where you are registered and sign up in person.
For handy instructions follow this video: How to register to vote in Brussels
Don’t forget the deadline to register for European Elections is 31 March 2024, voting takes place on 9 June 2024.
For Local Elections the deadline to register is 31 July 2024 and elections will take place on 13 October 2024.
How do I Vote on European Election day 9 June?
Once you are on the electoral rolls in Belgium, voting is mandatory. Although this may feel like a constraint, in Brussels it is remarkably easy to vote. Voting takes place on Sunday so you don’t have to miss work. You will receive a convocation to vote. Bring this and your id to your local voting office. You will be able to enter your private voting booth where voting is electronic. If you are going to be out of town on election day, you can vote ahead of time or give someone you trust your “procuration” and they can vote for you.
Why It’s Important as a Member of Your Community
Belgium is a vibrant and diverse country, and Brussels, in particular, is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities. As an expat, you contribute to this unique blend and your voice, your perspective, is essential. By voting, you have the opportunity to influence policies that directly impact your life – from public transportation to environmental issues.
Furthermore, voting is a way of integrating into your new community, of making your mark, and of showing your commitment to your adopted city. It’s about being an active participant, not just an observer.
The Relevance for European Institution Workers
For those of you who work for European institutions, this is especially relevant. You are contributing to the European project on a daily basis, and voting in local and European elections is an extension of that work.
It’s an opportunity to shape the environment in which you live and work, to ensure that it aligns with the principles you hold dear. It’s about making sure that Brussels, your home away from home, continues to be a place where diversity, innovation, and collaboration thrive.
Register Now and Make Your Voice Heard!
So, don’t delay! Make sure you register in time and make your voice heard in your community. Remember, the deadline is the 31st of March 2024. It’s your city, your community, and your chance to make a difference. Every vote counts!
Remember, as an expat, your perspective is unique and important. It’s time to make it count. Register, vote, and make a difference in your community.
Are you a professional relocating to Brussels and keen on participating in your new community? Join our mailing list to stay updated on all essential information, including voting registration deadlines and more. Make sure you register in time and make your voice heard in your community.