Discussion between Harry Shindler and Viviane Reding, holding the EU Citizenship report 2013
THE fight to ensure that UK expats retain their right to vote in British parliamentary elections beyond 15 years went to Brussels today.
A representative group from across Europe, including France, were led by 93-year-old Harry Shindler during a meeting with Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
Harry Shindler, who has lived in Italy for more than 30 years, has legally challenged the existing 15 year cut off date, and although initially defeated, he is currently taking his case to appeal before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
"This is the first time ever that expats have come together in an organised way to make their case to the Commission," said Harry Shindler.
"I welcome support given by the Commission and with that support, and our own activity, we will win the democratic right owed to us to vote in the UK. I hope that this whole matter can be concluded by May 2014 so we can celebrate VE day for British expats."
The group came together to press the Commission to take further action to ensure EU citizens living in another EU country enjoy the right to vote in national elections of their country of origin.
Viviane Reding insisted that the practice in some Member States of depriving their citizens of their right to vote once they moved to another EU country - disenfranchisement - is effectively tantamount to punishing citizens for having exercised their right to free movement.
Website: Votes for Expat Brits