Guests or participants? Participation of mobile EU citizens in countries of residence

04. October, 2016

Foto: Hernan Piñera

PROVIDUS together with Diversity Development Group and Forum Polonia invites to take part in a workshop on the participation of mobile EU citizens in countries of residence.

The workshop is intended to draw attention to the problem of insufficient political participation of mobile EU citizens in countries of the European Union and to propose a discussion of the ways to overcome this deficit.

9.30 am – 11.30am, 27 October 2016 (followed by buffet lunch)

Résidence Palace International Press Centre – Brussels, 155 Rue de la Loi B-1040 Brussels)

EU citizens living and working in other countries of the Union have political rights, such as the right to participate in local elections. Yet, despite attention devoted to these rights by the European institutions, in reality, mobile citizens’ involvement in receiving countries’ political life is close to negligible. Their potential to contribute to local political life and society is undervalued and not always visible, and their confidence in their own ability to influence local politics in the country of residence is also relatively low.

The Brexit debate has highlighted prejudices and xenophobia that mobile EU citizens often have to face. At the time when the European Union is challenged on many sides by governments claiming to look after national interest, the political rights of mobile citizens are under stress. While their economic and social contribution in the countries of residence is questioned by nationalist politicians, their governments at home shun any effort to encourage their political participation in countries of residence, in order not to encourage emigration.

The organisers, PROVIDUS (Latvia) and Diversity Development Group (Lithuania), with Institute of Public Affairs (Poland), Forum Polonia (Ireland) and Leinster Latvian Community (Ireland)[ 1 ] will present a policy brief on the challenges to participation of mobile EU citizens in countries of residence (focusing on countries with significant migration communities from the EU, e.g. Ireland and the United Kingdom). The participants will be invited to discuss the ways to enhance the participation of mobile EU citizens in political life in their countries of residence, and the ways in which this participation could support the European idea.


Karolis Zibas, Diversity Development Group
Maria Golubeva, PROVIDUS
Barnaba Dorda, Forum Polonia
Assya Kavrakova, Director, European Citizens Action Service
Speaker from Centre for European Policy Studies (TBC)

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact Laura Leitlante,, by October 21.

Full report (herepdf)

Brochure for EU residents in Ireland (herepdf).

Supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union



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