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Last update 18-06-2021

European elections

Citizens of another EU Member State who want to vote in European elections in Spain

To vote in European elections, it is necessary to be entered on the electoral roll for elections to the European Parliament. The requirements are as follows:

  • Be registered as an elector in your municipality of habitual residence;
  • Have stated your intention to vote in elections to the European Parliament in Spain; have undertaken to exercise this voting right only in Spain; have disclosed your last constituency in your country of origin so that you can be identified in your country of origin and avoid dual voting; and
  • Be at least 18 years old on voting day.
  • Time limits for registering

    European citizens resident in Spain can fulfil the electoral registration formalities and express their wish to vote in European elections at any time. However, to be included on the current electoral roll for elections to the European Parliament, there are two prior formalities to complete in good time, two or three months before the date on which the elections are called.

    The intention to vote in elections to the European Parliament is deemed to be permanent, unless revoked by the elector.

  • Procedure for entry on the electoral roll

    To register as an elector, you must follow the procedure at the relevant town council.

    You can state your intention to vote in elections to the European Parliament in Spain in your municipality, at the time of your entry on the electoral roll or later:

    In the months prior to municipal elections being called, the Electoral Census Office sends a letter to EU residents in Spain (to whom it has not written on the occasion of previous European Parliament elections) who have not formally stated their intention to vote. The letter informs them that, if they are interested in voting, they should formally state their intention to do so.  The letter also includes an electronic access code (CTT) which you can use to state your intention to vote via a procedure currently handled via the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) .

    With the declaration of your intention to vote in elections to the European Parliament in Spain, you must declare that you will only exercise this right in Spain. You must disclose your last constituency in your country of origin so that you can be identified, to avoid dual voting.

    Once Community citizens resident in Spain have registered and declared an intention to vote in municipal elections, Cl@ve gives remote access to their registration details on the electoral roll at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) . When municipal elections are called, they can view their entry on the current electoral register, via the procedures open to them at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) when these elections are called.

    Those who have not been entered on the electoral roll, or who find errors or omissions, may file a complaint to the Electoral Census Office of their municipality at any time, or between 6 and 13 days after the calling of European Parliament elections. The complaint will be resolved in accordance with the criteria established in the resolutions on complaints, of 27 October 2014 and 23 January 2017, of the Electoral Census Office.

  • Conditions which EU citizens must meet, and documents which they must supply, for entry on the electoral roll

    The (padrón) register is a municipal register. The town council is responsible for compiling and managing it. To go on the municipal register, you must apply to your municipality of habitual residence and supply the requested documents.

    There is only one requirement for the formality of stating your intention to vote in municipal elections in Spain: you must already be on the electoral roll and complete the form, either on paper at the town hall or remotely at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) . The undertaking to vote only in Spain, and the statement of your last constituency in your country of origin, are made on the same form as the statement of your intention to vote.

  • Information on compulsory voting

    In Spain it is not compulsory to exercise voting rights.

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Spanish citizens wishing to vote in European elections in Spain while living in another EU Member State

There are no EU rules on the right to participate in elections in the country of origin during residence abroad. Spanish electors resident in other countries have to follow the Spanish regulations

There are two groups of Spanish citizens who can vote from abroad: residents abroad; and residents in Spain who are temporarily abroad.

Residents abroad

To vote, it is necessary to be entered on the register of absentee resident electors living abroad (CERA), which is current at the time of the elections. This requires entry on the consular register competent for your place of residence. Voters must be 18 on voting day. They must also apply to vote to the Provincial Delegation of the Electoral Census Office (Delegación Provincial de la Oficina del Censo Electoral) for their municipality of registration, which handles electoral matters.

Those who have stated their intention to vote in European Parliament elections in their country of residence must not apply to vote in Spain.

Residents in Spain who are abroad temporarily

They must register as non-residents with the consulate competent for the place where they are staying. When the elections are called, they must apply to vote at the consulate no later than 25 days after the date of the announcement.

  • Time limits for registering

    Spanish residents in other countries must be entered on the consular register in good time for inclusion in the current electoral register: two or three months before elections are called. Once elections are called, they must apply to vote no later than 25 days after the date of the announcement.

    Residents who are abroad temporarily must register as non-residents at the consulate competent for the place where they are staying. When elections are called, they must apply to vote at the consulate no later than 25 days after the announcement of the election.

  • Procedure for entry on the electoral roll

    The procedure is as described in the point above.

    Those who have Cl@ve access can view their entry on the electoral roll electronically, at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) . When elections are called, they can check their inclusion on the current roll, via the procedures open to them at the Electronic Office of INE after the elections are called.

    Those who are not entered on CERA, or who find errors or omissions, can file a complaint at their consulate at any time or, when elections are called, they can do this between 6 and 13 days after the date of the announcement. Complaints will be resolved in accordance with the criteria prescribed in the resolutions on complaints, of 27 October 2014 (Abre en nueva ventana) and 23 January 2017(Abre en nueva ventana) , of the Electoral Census Office.

    When elections are called, the Electoral Census Office sends a letter to all electors entered on the current CERA for elections, with the official application form to vote. Electors may make the application electronically from the date of announcement of the election, if they have access to Cl@ve, or using the electronic access code (CTT) which they used at the last election. This is sent with the letter. Electronic access is also possible, on or after the date of announcement of the election, via the INE website, via the appropriate procedure and entering the personal details requested there. They can also post or fax their voting application.

    Both for resident electors and those temporarily staying abroad, once the ballot papers are available, and once their voting applications have been accepted, the provincial delegations of the Electoral Census Office send electors full documentation for a postal vote.

  • Conditions which EU citizens must meet, and documents which they must supply, for entry on the electoral roll

    The consular register is kept at the consular office. The consulate itself is responsible for compiling and keeping it. Applicants for entry on the consular register must go to the consular office, bringing the required documents.

  • Information on compulsory voting

    In Spain it is not compulsory to exercise voting rights.

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Requirements for EU citizens wishing to stand in the European elections in their host EU Member State

In accordance with the current regulations (Article 210 bis of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System), all residents in Spain may stand for election to the European Parliament. If they have not obtained Spanish citizenship, they must meet the condition of being citizens of the European Union.

They must also meet the following requirements:

  • Be eligible to stand for election under Spanish law (Article 6 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System): be of legal age, resident in Spain, and not debarred from election; and

  • Hold the right to stand for office (be elected) in their Member State of origin.

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation
Spanish National Statistics Institute

Ministry of the Interior
Directorate-general of Interior Policy