Politics For Members

Can Switzerland's 1.9 million EU nationals vote in the European elections?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Can Switzerland's 1.9 million EU nationals vote in the European elections?
Switzerland-based Europeans will have a major say in the June elections. Photo: Antoine Schibler on Unsplash

Foreign residents are not able to vote on a national level in Switzerland, but they could have a major say in the European parliamentary elections in June.


In Switzerland, almost 1.9 million residents are eligible to vote in the European elections, to be held from June 6th to 9th.

This figure exceeds even the number of voters in some smaller EU member states (read more about this below).

The data, collected by the Keystone-ATS news agency, comes from the Federal Statistical Office, and includes EU citizens as well as dual (EU-Swiss) nationals of voting age.

Strength in numbers

Nearly 1.5 million voters living in Switzerland come from just five of the 27 EU states:

  • Italy (around 520,000)
  • Germany (around 375,000)
  • Portugal (around 245,000)
  • France (around 235,000)
  • Spain (around 115,000)

Not included here are citizens of other 22 member states who also live in Switzerland.

In total, there are more Switzerland-based EU citizens eligible to vote in June elections than in some smaller EU states like Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, and Slovenia.


How can EU citizens in Switzerland vote in June elections?

They are subject to different rules and dates, depending on their country of origin.

Germans, French and Portuguese, for instance, must register before the vote until a deadline – which also varies depending on the country – as indicated on the website dedicated to the European elections. 

There are other 'national' differences as well.

People from Germany and Spain can vote by post, with the latter also having the option of voting at the embassy or consulate of their country.

The Portuguese and the French can also do so, with citizens of France being able to cast their votes by proxy.

Italian nationals living in Switzerland must, however,  go back to their country.

They can also only use their right to vote in the municipality where they are registered in Italy.

Can Swiss citizens vote too?

Only if they are dual nationals, with their second passports being from a EU state.


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