Discussion between Harry Shindler and Viviane Reding, from September 2013
THE campaigning work of 92-year-old Harry Shindler that would see UK expats enjoy voting rights in Westminister elections, has been recognised by the vice-president of the European Commission.
Speaking at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Viviane Reding, who is also the EU Justice Commissioner, said Harry Shindler was a 'remarkable' man who had 'lost his voice in the nation for which he fought'.
Now living in Italy, Harry Shindler has been calling for all UK expats to have the right to vote in UK elections, a right that is lost once someone lives overseas for more than 15 years.
In her speech, Viviane Reding cited Mr Shindler as an example of a 'remarkable campaigner for rights' explaining: "A British veteran of World War Two, Mr Shindler fought for his country during the liberation of Rome. He returned to Italy, and this caused him big trouble: because he has now been living in Italy for more than 15 years, he has lost his right to vote in national elections in the United Kingdom.
"He has lost his voice in the nation for which he fought. And he is not alone: there are many EU citizens who are disenfranchised simply because they used their right to move to another EU member state."
The UK is one of five countries that Viviane Reding has called on to end the practice of ending voting rights after a certain time if someone takes the option to live in another EU country - the others are Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland and Malta.
The EU Justice Commissioner said it was 'about making sure citizens do not lose one right because they exercise another'.
Related: Harry Shindler's votes for expats case blocked by European Court of Human Rights
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