Hungarian citizens in non-EU countries to get voting rights in EP elections

By Szabolcs Pogonyi, GLOBALCIT expert on electoral rights and political participation in Hungary

On 19 October, the Hungarian government tabled amendments to the Act CXIII of 2003 on the Election of Members of the European Parliament. In the current law, voting in European Parliamentary Elections is conditional on registered residence in Hungary. The proposed amendments lift the residence requirement for Hungarian citizens living outside the European Union (EU). The amendments stipulate that Hungarian citizens residing in non-EU countries should have the right to vote in European Parliamentary elections. They also enfranchise those Hungarian citizens (mostly from the neighbouring states) who habitually reside in Hungary but do not have registered their address in the country. Hungarian citizens who live in other EU member states and do not have a registered address in Hungary will remain excluded from voting in EP elections.

To pass, the bill needs to get a two-thirds majority approval in Parliament. If voted into law, the new regulations will allow approximately 80,000 Hungarian citizens in Ukraine and Serbia to vote in the 2019 European Parliamentary election through postal vote. In the 2018 Parliamentary Election, the governing Fidesz party got 96.2 percent of valid votes cast by non-resident Hungarians.

For the text of proposed amendments please see here (in Hungarian).

Check our country profile pages for details of present and past electoral legislation in Hungary, and our Conditions for Electoral Rights 2017 database for details on voting rights at different levels of election.