The Court of Justice of the European Union has listed the inability of British nationals to vote or stand as a candidate in municipal elections in the EU state they are residing as one of the many Brexit consequences.
The Court of Justice has explained in one of its most recent press releases that after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, British nationals who used to enjoy the rights attached to EU citizenship no longer benefit from the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their EU Member State of residence, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
This was explained after evaluating a particular case of a person, EP, residing in France.
EP is a British national who has resided in France since 1984 and is married to a French citizen but is deprived of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in France.
EP has not applied for French nationality. Thus, as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement linked to Brexit entered into force, she was removed from the electoral roll of the Commune of Thoux (France), meaning that she was unable to take part in municipal elections held in France on March 15, 2020.
According to the Court of Justice, in October, EP applied to be re-registered on the electoral roll for non-French citizens. Her application was rejected, and in November, she brought an action before the tribunal judiciary d’Auch to contest that decision.
The referring court asked the Court of Justice to make an assessment – tell whether British nationals who similarly like EP transferred their residence to an EU Member State before the end of the transition period laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement continue to benefit from the EU citizen status, more specifically the right to vote or stand as a candidate in municipal elections.
The Court of Justice replied to the request and said that as of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, nationals of a state that have transferred their residence to a Member State before the end of the transition period no longer enjoy the status of an EU citizen, thus emphasising that they do not enjoy the right to vote or stand as a candidate.
The Court of Justice pointed out that citizenship of the Union requires the possession of the nationality of a Member State.
“While that citizenship confers on citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in the Member State in which they reside, under the same conditions as nationals of the latter Member State, there is, by contrast, no provision of the treaties enshrining that right in favour of nationals of third States,” the statement of the Court reads.
Thus the Court concluded that since UK nationals have been considered third-country nationals since February 2020, they no longer enjoy the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence.
The Court emphasised that this is an automatic consequence of the decision taken by the UK to withdraw from the EU.