European Union

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Country Year Election type Voting method First year Comments
Austria 1990 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Postal 1990 In Austria, external voting was introduced in 1990. Since 1990, no change has been introduced to external voting regulations. Data was updated in September 2019.
Belgium 1998 Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
Proxy
1998 The first external voting was administered in 1998, the amendments in 2002 did not change the method of voting, they made only some clarification to make the system more transparent (update was conducted in June 2019).
Bulgaria 2016 Presidential
Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Personal 1990 Amendments to the Election Code in 2016 introduced some new procedural changes to voting from abroad. However, the methods of voting as well as the types of elections for which external voting is allowed remained the same. Data has been updated in May 2021.
Croatia 2003 Presidential
Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Personal 1992 Initial research was conducted in 2012. Data has been updated in December 2019.
Cyprus 2011 Presidential
Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Personal 2011 It was not possible to find the text of the amended version of the Elections Law that provides for voting from abroad. Therefore, we have taken the date of 2011 parliamentary elections, in which external voting was first practiced, as a starting date for external voting in Cyprus. No major change in out-of-country voting regulations was made as of May 2021. In the recent Legislative (2021) and Presidential (2018) elections, out-of-country voting was administered in several countries.
Czech Republic 2013 Presidential
Legislative
Personal 2002 for Parliamentary and 2013 Presidential elections The first direct Presidential Elections in Czech Republic took place in 2013, and external voting was allowed. Data has been updated in 2021.
Denmark 2007 Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal 1980 Original research was conducted in 2007. However, out of country voting has developed in Denmark much earlier - since at least 1970s. See sources for further information about developments in Denmark regarding external voting regulations. (Data has been updated in November 2021)
Estonia 2020 Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
e-voting
1992 Data has been updated in February 2020, based on the legislation last amended in 2020 (see Sources).
Finland 2017 Presidential
Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
1958 Postal voting from abroad was introduced in 2017. Data has been updated in October 2021.  
France 2020 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Some seats in the Senate
Personal
Proxy
e-voting
1926 In 2020, France re-introduced internet voting for overseas voters. However, it will be used only for legislative and consular elections and also elections of French overseas advisers. Data has been updated in February 2020.
Germany 1985 Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Postal 1949 By amendment of the Federal Elections Act in 1985, the voting from abroad was extended considerably through the introduction of the model of combination. See comments for more information.
Greece 2014 European Parliamentary elections Personal 2014 The Constitution (Art. 51) guarantees the right to vote in parliamentary elections for persons living outside the country but there are no laws implementing this provision. Currently Greek citizens abroad can vote only in EU Parliamentary elections. Data has been update in July 2019.
Hungary 2013 Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
2004 Hungary has amended the Electoral Procedures law in 2013 and introduced postal voting. Data has been reviewed and updated in March 2018.
Ireland 1923 Presidential
Legislative
Sub-national
Referendums
Postal 1992 There were many changes in the relevant acts since 1923, but the method of voting remained all times the same (postal) in each type of election (legislative, presidential, sub-national and referendums). It should be noted that public officials employed at diplomatic missions and members of the armed forces are the only categories of electors permitted to vote while abroad. Ordinary Irish citizens cannot vote from abroad. [Data has been updated in May 2020.]
Italy 2002 Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Some seats in the Senate
Postal 2003 Untill 2001 Italians had to return to country in order to be able to vote. Italians abroad also elect 12 members to the Parliament and 6 members to the Senate. Data has been updated in April 2018.
Latvia 2004 Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
1992 Law on Elections to the European Parliament, which allows external voting for EU Parliamentary elections, was adopted in 2004. (Data has been updated in 2017)
Lithuania 2003 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal 1992 Data has been updated in October 2020
Luxembourg 2005 Legislative
Sub-national
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Postal 1984 External voting in referendums were permited by law in 2005. Data has been updated in April 2018.
Malta 2017 No external voting No external voting Not applicable Since International IDEA's initial research in 2007 till 2017 there has been no change in Maltese regulations in regards to voting from abroad.
Netherlands 1989 Legislative
European Parliamentary elections
Postal
Proxy
1989 In 2004 there was an experiment with internet voting for the European Elections for Dutch citizens living abroad. However, e-voting was abandoned for all elections in Netherlands in 2007. (Data has been reviewed in May 2021)
Poland 2020 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
The Senate
Personal
Postal
1990 Act of June 2, 2020 introduced postal voting for voters from abroad.
Portugal 1997 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
1975 The year 1997 marks a major change in the process of external voting in Portugal. The constitution was amended to allow Portuguese citizens resident abroad to vote in presidential elections and national referendums. 2001 marks the first year of external voting allowed for Presidential elections. Data has been updated in September 2019 based on the latest amendments made to relevant legislation providing for external voting.
Romania 2015 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Senate
Personal
Postal
1990 In 2015, Romania has introduced postal voting for citizens residing abroad. (Data has been updated in December 2019)
Slovakia 2004 Legislative
Sub-national
Referendums
Postal No data Data has been updated in February 2020
Slovenia 1992 Presidential
Legislative
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
1992 Data has been updated in January 2018
Spain 2019 Legislative
Sub-national
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
1985 Data has been updated in July 2019
Sweden 2005 Legislative
Sub-national
Referendums
European Parliamentary elections
Personal
Postal
Vote by messenger
1968 Latest version of the legislation providing for external voting was enacted in 2005, however external voting in Sweden started in 1968. Data has been updated in April 2018.
United Kingdom 2011 Legislative
Referendums
Postal
Proxy
1918 British citizens abroad voted in a referendum held in 2011
Summary of Data  
Election type
Value Count
No external voting 1 (3.6%)
Presidential 13 (46.4%)
Legislative 26 (92.9%)
Sub-national 5 (17.9%)
Referendums 18 (64.3%)
In transition 0 (0.0%)
No provisions for direct elections 0 (0.0%)
No data 0 (0.0%)
European Parliamentary elections 23 (82.1%)
Other 4 (14.3%)
Total 28
Missing data 0
Grand total 28
Voting method
Value Count
Personal 19 (67.9%)
No external voting 1 (3.6%)
Postal 19 (67.9%)
Proxy 4 (14.3%)
e-voting 2 (7.1%)
Fax 0 (0.0%)
Not yet decided 0 (0.0%)
In transition 0 (0.0%)
No provisions for direct elections 0 (0.0%)
No data 0 (0.0%)
Other 1 (3.6%)
Total 28
Missing data 0
Grand total 28
First year
Value Count
Not applicable 1 (3.6%)
No data 1 (3.6%)
Other 26 (92.9%)
Total 28
Missing data 0
Grand total 28
Comments
Total 28
Missing data 0
Grand total 28

Disclaimer: Maps presented do not imply on the part of the Institute any judgement on the legal status of any territory or the endorsement of such boundaries, nor does the placement or size of any country or territory reflect the political view of International IDEA. Maps are used in order to add visual clarity to data.