Can Denmark residents vote in the European elections?

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Can Denmark residents vote in the European elections?
The hemicycle at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

The year 2024 is a bumper one for elections across Europe, among them the EU elections which are scheduled for June. Denmark is of course a member of the EU - so can foreign residents vote in the elections that will almost certainly affect their daily lives?


Across Europe, people will go to the polls in early June to select their representatives in the European Parliament, with 13 seats up for grabs in Denmark. 

When to vote

Polling takes place across Denmark on Sunday, June 9th.

Polling stations will generally be set up in the same places as for national and local elections - usually town halls, schools and other public buildings.

Voters can choose between postal voting or physically attending an assigned polling station you. A ballot card or valgkort is sent to all eligible voters in the post ahead of the election.

Voting must be completed by 9pm Danish time on the Sunday.

Who can vote?

In EU parliamentary elections, nationals of all EU countries who reside in Denmark can both vote in the elections and run for office.

Nationals of non-EU countries cannot vote or run in these elections.

To be eligible to vote and run in the EU elections, you must either be eligible to vote in Danish general elections or be an EU national who resides in Denmark. You must be 18 years old or more.

Unlike with general elections, foreign-based Danes can also vote in EU elections in Denmark if they live in another EU country (but not a non-EU country).


How does the election work?

The system for European elections differs from most countries' domestic polls.

MEPs are elected once every five years. Each country is given an allocation of MEPs roughly based on population size.

At present there are 705 MEPs, Germany - the country in the bloc with the largest population - has the most while the smallest number belong to Malta with just six.

At the last elections in 2019 France had 74 MEPs but it has since gained an extra 5, bringing it to 79, in part due to the UK's exit from the EU and some of its 73 European Parliament seats being shared out among other countries.

Denmark had as many as 16 MEPs in the 1990s, before that number was reduced as the union expanded. It was as low as 13 at one point before increasing again, moving from 13 to 14, and now 15 as a result of Brexit.

READ ALSO: Denmark to get extra seat in EU parliament

In the run up to the election, the Danish political parties decide on who will be their spidskandidater (candidates heading the list) for the European parliament, and these people have a high chance of being elected. The further down the list a name appears, the less likely that person is to be heading to parliament.

The spidskandidater are generally responsible for running that party's election campaign and become their spokesman on European issues. 

Once in parliament, parties usually seek to maximise their influence by joining one of the 'blocks' made up of parties from neighbouring countries that broadly share their interests and values, such as centre-left, far-right, or green.

The parliament alternates between Strasbourg and Brussels. 


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