More than half a million Italians living in the UK will be unable to vote in June's European elections. Or rather, that they will only be able to do so by traveling at their own expense to their last municipality of residence in Italy. A novelty due to Brexit, since during the last elections of 2019, while the United Kingdom was still in the transitional phase of interrupting its stay in the EU, the problem had not yet arisen. However, five years have passed since then, eight since the vote which sanctioned the country's exit from the Union, and Italy is one of the rare European countries which does not authorize voting outside EU countries. , leaving millions of citizens without an alternative, including adults. community of those who live in the United States. With 527 thousand presences recorded in the Area, the country across the Channel is the third in terms of the number of Italian citizens residing abroad – after Switzerland and Germany – but Italy is not one of the 21 EU states that allow voting outside the Union.

Like other countries do

By mail, at the consulate, by proxy, electronically. Besides Italy, the only countries that do not offer any of these options are Slovakia, Malta, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ireland. The last two – points out Antonello Guerrera above Republic – because they prohibit those who do not live in the EU from voting. The precise reason is explained on the website of the Italian consulate: “In accordance with the legislative decree of June 24, 1994, n. 408, only Italian citizens residing in an EU member state can vote abroad for the election of representatives to the European Parliament. […] Italian citizens residing in the United Kingdom will be able to vote […] exclusively by going to the electoral census municipality in Italy, as is the case for all Italian citizens residing in a non-EU country”. Those who decide to return can benefit from discounts on transport only to residence.

We feel discriminated against

So, for weeks, the newspaper founded by Eugenio Scalfari has been receiving messages from compatriots who are discouraged, confused, angry and, in some cases, determined not to give up. “I have lived in London for 14 years and have always been able to vote in every election. Not this time. My German husband, for his part, will be able to easily vote by post in the European elections. It seems truly unacceptable to me to lose this right during such important elections,” writes Giulia Gentile, professor at the University of Essex, in London since 2015. And she adds: “I wrote to the European Commission to report this situation and emphasize that this is in fact a violation of the fundamental right to vote in European elections protected by Article 39 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. A violation of the right not to be discriminated against may also be noted.”

Crisanti: “The majority is against because they would lose”

Gentile adds: “Those who cannot travel for economic or physical reasons are effectively excluded from the electorate. However, the Commission did not respond to my request.” The microbiologist and senator of the Democratic Party for Foreign Europe, Andrea Crisanti, also comments on the situation: “It is an injustice and a prejudice towards the Italians of the “foreign on the part of this so-called 'patriotic government'”. Crisanti points out that in recent months I have presented a bill and two amendments to the House, but it has not been possible to convince the executive, despite the embarrassment of the representatives of Fratelli d'Italia themselves A rigidity which can only be justified by the fact that many voters abroad are sheltered from government propaganda. the Europe constituency of the Senate in 2022, 42% of voters voted for the Democratic Party.

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