Government & Law

How to vote in the 2024 European Parliament election

The 2024 European Parliament elections take place between 6 and 9 June 2024. Find out how to make your voice heard on the most important issues affecting the European Union.

Banners at the entrance to the European Parliament for the European Parliament Elections 6–9 June 2024
writer

By Adam Nowek

Updated 16-4-2024

With a collective population of nearly 500 million, the EU has around 360 million people eligible to vote during the European Parliament elections, making it one of the biggest electorates in the world.

These elections allow voters to influence the most critical decisions that the EU makes both now and in the future. Read on to find out about the hot topics in the 2024 European elections, when and where to participate, and everything you need to know to vote in your country of residence – whether you are casting a ballot for your host country or your home country’s representatives.

That’s right – you may still be able to vote even if you don’t live in your home country.

The 2024 European Parliament elections in brief

With a total of 705 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) representing people from 27 member states, the EU faces many different challenges across key topics such as migration, terrorism, and climate change. The votes will be affected by issues ranging from the economy – public finances and youth unemployment, for example – to data privacy.

In the forthcoming European Parliament election in June 2024, 720 members will be elected, and each eligible voter can choose who will represent them in the European Parliament until 2029.

Brussels, Belgium. 10 April 2024. Plenary room of the European Parliament as MEPs attend a debate on migration and asylum (Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)

In 2019, the average voting turnout in the EU was only 50.7%, though this was higher than 2014, and the European Union is actively promoting the upcoming vote. Most Europeans believe that their country has benefited from EU membership (2023 figures), a percentage that has been steadily rising since 2010.

According to the Autumn 2023 Eurobarometer, the top five issues that voters wish to see the European Parliament address were:

  • The fight against poverty and social exclusion
  • Public health
  • Action against climate change
  • Support to the economy and the creation of new jobs
  • Democracy and the rule of law

When and where to vote in the 2024 European elections

If you are a citizen of an EU country, you have the right to vote (and stand as a candidate!) in the European Parliament elections.

European Parliament ballot casting
Members of European Parliament voting in a parliamentary committee in EU Parliament Brussels, Belgium on Feb. 27, 2019. (Photo: Alexandros Michailidis)

As an EU citizen living in another EU country, you choose which country to cast your ballot in: the country where you reside or the country where you hold citizenship.

While the procedure to register to vote varies by country, here are some key points that apply across the whole of the European Union:

  1. If you are an EU citizen and live in your home country, you can vote for candidates (or stand for election) only in your home country.
  2. If you are an EU citizen and live in a country other than your home country, you can vote either in your home country or your host country; you cannot vote in both. You must register with the national authorities of your host country (if that is your main residence).
  3. If you are Bulgarian, Cypriot, Danish, Greek, or Italian and you live outside the European Union (including in the UK), you cannot vote from outside your home country.
  4. If you live in your country of origin, the registration procedure to vote in the European elections is identical to the procedure for local, regional, and general elections. To be able to vote, you just need to register with your local authorities.
  5. Voting is compulsory in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, and Luxembourg.

The European Commission Your Europe website can direct you to the specific requirements for each EU country.

How to vote in the 2024 European Parliament election

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Austria

Number of MEPs: 20

Date: 9 June 2024

Voting age: 16

Deadline to register: 26 March 2024 (Non-Austrian EU citizens and Austrians abroad)

Austrian citizens living in Austria automatically have the right to vote. However, if you’re a citizen of another EU country, you must register with the municipality the first time you vote. Austrian citizens outside the country register with their Austrian municipality – this is valid for 10 years.

You’ll need to show ID to vote in Austrian elections.

Voting from abroad

Austrian citizens can mail or hand in their ballot at their country’s embassy or consulate. The ballot must arrive:

  • If voting by mail: by 17:00 on election day
  • At an Austrian representative authority: by the sixth day before the election
  • At a representative outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland: by the ninth day before the election

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Belgium

Number of MEPs: 22

Date: 9 June 2024

Voting age: 16

Deadline to register to vote: 31 March 2024

Every Belgian or other EU citizen residing in Belgium may vote in the European Parliament elections.

Voting in Belgium is mandatory. To vote, you must have been registered on the electoral roll by 31 March 2024 – you can do this with the C/1 form online or at the municipal authority. Bear in mind that being on the electoral roll in Belgium means you may no longer participate in European Parliament elections in your home country. If you registered for past European elections, this remains valid for 2024.

You will either vote electronically or on paper, depending on your municipality (information in French, German, and Dutch). The following offer electronic voting in 2024:

  • 157 municipalities in the Flemish region
  • All Brussels-Capital Region municipalities
  • All municipalities in the German-speaking community.

If you reside in Belgium, you’ll vote at a designated polling station. Bring your ID and your letter from the municipality with your polling station listed on it. You can also vote by proxy (information available in French, German, and Dutch).

Cast your vote by filling in the circle at the top of the list (vote de liste/lijststem) or next to the name of one or more candidates (vote nominatif/naamstem). If you color circles at the top of the list and next to names, only the latter will be considered.

Voting from abroad

Belgians living abroad (including in non-EU countries) may vote by getting a mail-in ballot from their nearest Belgian embassy. Once registered at a consular post, the person is subject to compulsory voting.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in France

Number of MEPs: 81

Date: 9 June 2024 (8 June 2024 for voters in French overseas territories in the Americas and the Caribbean)

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register to vote: 3 May 2024 (or 1 May 2024 if doing so online)

All French citizens and EU citizens residing in France with voting rights in their home country may vote in European Parliament elections in France.

You must register to vote online or through your municipality before 3 May 2024. French citizens abroad can apply to vote through the French embassy or consulate.

When you receive your voter registration card, it will indicate your specific polling station. Remember to bring this with you when voting, along with your valid ID. Upon arrival, you receive an envelope. Make your choice in the polling booth and place your ballot paper into this envelope before inserting it into the ballot box.

Voting from abroad

French citizens living abroad have two options. They can either go to the polling station at the consulate or embassy with their ID or vote by proxy (vote pour procuration).

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Germany

Number of MEPs: 96 MEPs

Date: 9 June 2024

Voting age: 16

Deadline to register: 19 May 2024

All German and other EU citizens residing in Germany can vote in the European Parliamentary election there. They must have been residing in the EU for at least three months.

To register, you must fill out the application form (PDF in German) and send it to your municipality by 19 May 2024. However, if you registered before the 42nd day before the election (28th April 2024), you should automatically be enrolled.

Once you are registered to vote, you’ll receive a voting notification detailing your specific polling station. You must take your voting notification with you, and although ID is not obligatory, it’s a good idea to bring it, too. When you receive your ballot paper at the polling station, take it to the polling booth, put a cross in the circle next to the party you want to vote for, fold it, and put it in the ballot box.

Voting from abroad

German citizens voting from abroad must register before every election. They may vote by mail.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Italy

Number of MEPs: 76

Date: 8 and 9 June 2024

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register: 10 March 2024 (21 March 2024 for Italian nationals abroad)

Italian citizens eligible to vote are automatically added to the electoral roll, but non-Italian EU citizens are not. If you are not an Italian citizen, register with your local municipality, and you’ll receive a notification before the elections.

Bring your electoral card and valid ID to the polling station – the card will indicate where you must vote. Italian citizens living abroad vote at polling stations set up by the Consular Office.

Voting from abroad

After enrolling on the Register of Italians living abroad (Anagrafe Italiani residenti all’estero – AIRE), Italian citizens can cast their ballots at their local Italian embassy.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Luxembourg

Number of MEPs: 6

Date: 9 June 2024

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register: No later than 55 days before the election (15 April 2024) or between 12 weeks and 40 days before the vote for Luxembourgish citizens voting abroad

To be able to vote in European elections, EU citizens need to register on the electoral roll in their municipality. You can register online. A voter wishing to vote by mail during the European Elections must inform the commune and request a poll card.

The request for the poll card can be made electronically or by mail with a letter or a pre-printed form from the voter’s commune of residence. After registering with the municipality, non-Luxembourgish citizens are legally obliged to vote.

You do not need your polling card to vote but must bring a form of ID. To vote, put a cross in the box at the top of the list of the party you want to vote for or next to up to six candidates. You may vote for candidates from more than one party.

Voting from abroad

Luxembourgish citizens not living in their home country must vote from abroad by mail.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in the Netherlands

Number of MEPs: 31

Date: 6 June 2024

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register: 25 April 2024 (for non-Dutch citizens and Dutch citizens living abroad)

Dutch citizens living in the Netherlands do not need to register to vote – they will receive an invitation in the mail to cast their vote no later than fourteen days prior to election day. On the other hand, EU citizens from other countries must register to vote with a Y 32 form, and Dutch citizens living abroad should register as Dutch voters abroad.

Dutch voters cast their ballots either in person or by proxy; electors must bring their polling card (stempas) and identification. You can vote by coloring the circle next to your preferred candidate red – in the Netherlands, you may only choose one.

Voting from abroad

If you’re a Dutch citizen living or temporarily residing in another country, you have two options: mail-in ballot or by proxy.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Portugal

Number of MEPs: 21

Date: 8 and 9 June 2024

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register: 60 days before the election (55 days for citizens who turn 18 before the election)

Portuguese citizens are automatically registered to vote. However, non-Portuguese EU citizens can register with the registry commission (comissões recenseadoras) or the Aliens and Borders Department (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, SEF).

Portuguese voters may cast their ballot at any polling station. To do so, bring your ID with you and put a cross on the ballot paper next to the party you wish to vote for.

Voting from abroad

Portuguese citizens living abroad must vote at a diplomatic representation – there is no option to vote by mail or proxy.

How to vote in the 2024 European elections in Spain

Number of MEPs: 61

Date: 9 June 2024

Voting age: 18

Deadline to register: 30 January 2024 for non-Spanish EU citizens, two or three months before the election for Spanish residents in other countries, within 25 days of the election being called for Spanish residents temporarily abroad.

Spanish citizens are registered to vote by default. Other EU citizens must register with their municipality and declare their intent to vote in Spain. This will enter them into the electoral roll of foreigners residing in Spain for European elections. It is possible to register online, and casting a ballot by mail is also possible.

All voters must present photo identification at the polling station.

Voting from abroad

Spanish citizens living abroad permanently can vote either in person at a Spanish diplomatic representation or by mail. Meanwhile, Spanish citizens temporarily abroad can vote by registered mail – send your ballot by registered mail by the third day before the election.

How to choose your home country’s MEPs from abroad

If you’re not a resident or citizen of one of the above countries, consult the European Union’s guide for EU citizens casting their ballot outside their home country.

People in voting booths with paper signs on them
People voting at Greek regional elections and European Parliament elections in 2019. (Photo: Menelaos Michalatos/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The process for doing so varies depending on your nationality. Bear in mind that certain conditions apply – for example, you may be required to have lived in the EU for a certain number of months before voting. Check with your local government to find out which ones apply to you.

CountryDate of electionDeadline to register to voteHow to vote from abroad
Bulgaria9 June 2024Automatic (citizens)
40 days before the election (other EU citizens)
25 days before the election (Bulgarian citizens elsewhere in the EU)
In person at an embassy or consulate (in the EU only)
Croatia9 June 2024Automatic (citizens in the country)
30 days before the election (other EU citizens)
10 days before the election (Croatian citizens abroad)
In person at an embassy or consulate
Cyprus9 June 20242 April 2024In person at an embassy, consulate, or other polling station (only possible at locations with more than 50 voters)
Czechia7 and 8 June 2024Automatic (Czech citizens)
40 days before the election (other EU citizens)
Not possible
Denmark9 June 2024Automatic (Danish citizens in Denmark)
Five weeks before the elections (other EU citizens)
16 days before election day (Danish citizens elsewhere in the EU)
A week before the election (Danish citizens outside the EU – only applicable in some conditions)
By mail (from another EU country)
By mail or in person via an embassy or consulate (from outside the EU)
Estonia3–9 June 2024Automatic (Estonian citizens)
10 May 2024 (other EU citizens)
Online
In person at an embassy or consulate
By mail (apply before 10 May 2024)
Finland9 June 2024Automatic (Finnish citizens)
21 March 2024 (other EU citizens)
In person at an embassy
By mail
Greece9 June 2024Automatic (Greek citizens in Greece)
29 April 2024 (other EU citizens and Greek voters abroad)
By mail
Hungary9 June 2024Automatic (for Hungarian citizens with an official address in Hungary, otherwise 15 May 2024)
24 May 2024 (other EU citizens)
31 May 2024 (Hungarians living in the EU)
15 May 2024 (Hungarian citizens outside the EU)
By mail
In person at an embassy or consulate
Ireland7 June 202420 May 2024Not possible (apart from a few exceptions, such as diplomats, who can vote by mail)
Latvia8 June 2024Automatic (Latvian citizens)
30 days before the election (other EU citizens)
By mail
In person at a polling station approved by the Central Election Commission (in Latvian)
Lithuania9 June 2024Automatic (Lithuanian citizens)
10 April 2024 (other EU citizens)
By mail
In person at an embassy or consulate
Malta8 June 2024Automatic (Maltese citizens)
15 April 2024 (other EU citizens)
Not possible
Poland9 June 2024Automatic (Polish citizens)
No later than three days before election day (EU citizens voting in Poland and Polish citizens voting from abroad)
In person at special polling stations (at locations with more than 15 voters)
Romania9 June 2024Automatic (Romanian citizens)
At least 60 days before election day (other EU citizens)
In person at dedicated polling stations
Slovakia8 June 2024Automatic (Slovak citizens)
29 April 2024 (other EU citizens)
Not possible
Slovenia9 June 2024Automatic (Slovenian citizens)
At least 15 days before the election (other EU citizens)
By mail
In person at an embassy or consulate
Sweden9 June 2024Automatic (Swedish citizens – those living abroad must re-register every 10 years)
30 days before the election (other EU citizens)
By mail
In person at an embassy or consulate