Political participation is considered an essential feature of democracy. The European Union (EU) aimed to foster political participation with the introduction of European citizenship, which gives the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections in whichever EU country the citizen resides. However, from the few figures available, registration and turnout rates among mobile EU citizens seem very low. In this article, we investigate the effectiveness of a proactive campaign in order to promote the participation of European non-national residents in municipal elections by focusing on a specific initiative: the VoteBrussels Campaign. Focusing on Brussels, and in the general on the Belgian case, offers us the opportunity to carry out a quasi-experimental design. Our findings suggest that a mobilisation campaign has a positive regionwide effect on the participation of mobile EU citizens.
Luana Russo and Thomas Huddleston, Fostering the Political Participation of EU Non-national Citizens: The Case of Brussels, Journal of Contemporary European Research, 2021.