European Parliament Elections

The next election of European Parliament members (European Parliament election) will be held in all Member States of the EU in 2019. The election will be conducted between 23 and 26 May 2019, during which period each Member State must hold the election within the framework of its national legislation. In Finland, the European Parliament election day is Sunday 26 May 2019, with advance voting in Finland taking place from Wednesday to Tuesday 15 to 21 May 2019 and abroad from Wednesday to Saturday 15 to 18 May 2019.

The right to vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland is determined by the information recorded in the Population Information System on Friday 5 April 2019.

In the European Parliament election, a total of 751 members are elected for the European Parliament from the 28 Member States.

Right to vote

In the European Parliament election conducted in Finland, the following persons shall have the right to vote:

  • regardless of the place of residence, every Finnish national who turns 18 on the election day at the latest
  • a citizen of another Member State of the EU, who turns 18 on the election day at the latest, and has had a municipality of residence referred to in the Municipality of Residence Act for 51 days prior to the election day, unless he/she has lost his/her right to vote in the Member State of the EU of which he/she is a citizen.

Voting in Finland by citizens of another EU Member State

A citizen of another EU member state living in Finland may choose to vote in the European Parliament elections in Finland. This requires, however, that he or she is registered in the voting register of Finland. The registration must be performed at the latest on the 80th day before the election day (Thursday 6 March 2019 by 4 p.m.) at a local register office (maistraatti). 

In the European Parliament election, a person with the right to vote may only vote in one Member State of the EU: either in his/her home country or in the country where he/she lives (country of residence). Once a person has been entered in the Finnish voting register, the Finnish authorities will notify the authorities of that person's home state, who will remove the person from the home state's electoral roll.

In February 2019, the Population Register Centre has sent a separate information letter of the right to vote in Finland to all citizens of other Member States of the EU who have a municipality of residence in Finland, as referred to in the Municipality of Residence Act.

Persons employed by the European Union or other international organizations and their family members who live in Finland but do not have a municipality of residence shall also have the right to register as voters in the election of members for the European Parliament conducted in Finland, if they are registered in the Population Information System.

Voting in other Member States of the European Union by Finnish citizens

In the European Parliament election, a person with the right to vote may only vote in one Member State of the EU: either in his/her home country or in the country where he/she lives (country of residence). A Finnish citizen living abroad who wishes to exercise his/her right to vote in his/her country of residence must register with that country's election authority.

A Finnish citizen who has been registered to vote in the European Parliament election in another Member State of the EU within the decreed deadline shall not have the right to vote in the Finnish European Parliament election. Once a person has been entered on the electoral roll (voting register) of another Member State of the EU, the election authority of that state will notify the Finnish Population Register Centre, which in turn shall ensure that the person will not be included in the voting register of the Finnish European Parliament election.

  • If the notification from another Member State is received and processed by the Population Register Centre on Friday 5 April 2019 at the latest, a Finnish citizen registered as a voter in another Member State will not be included in the voting register for the Finnish European Parliament election. The Population Register Centre will send a written notification to such persons to the address entered in the Population Information System.
  • If the notification from another Member State is received or processed after Friday 5 April 2019, the Population Register Centre will mark the Finnish citizen registered as a voter in another Member State as not having the right to vote in the voting register. Such persons will first receive a notification of the right to vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland (in accordance with the information known to the Population Register Centre on 5 April 2019), and then, at a later date, a separate written notification of not having the right to vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland for the reason that another Member State has notified that the person shall vote in that state.
  • The Population Register Centre will process notifications received from other Member States until the voting register becomes legally valid, i.e. until noon on Tuesday 14 May 2019. If another Member State sends a notification of the entry of a person on a voting register close to this deadline, the last notifications of not having the right to vote mailed by the Population Register Centre will not reach the recipients before Wednesday 15 May 2019, at which time the advance voting will already be underway in Finland and abroad.

The address information in the Population Information System is based on a change of address notification made by the person, or a change of foreign address notification made after a notification of moving abroad. A person living abroad can report an up-to-date address to be entered in the Population Information System with a notification made to a local register office.

A declaration of exercising the right to vote in another Member State of the EU made by the person him/herself will remain in effect until further notice, unless the person him/herself asks to be removed from the electoral roll, or the person no longer meets the requirements of the right to vote in the Member State in question. In Finland, the Population Register Centre will ensure that a person who is a citizen of another Member State and has made a notification of moving abroad to a local register office, no longer has the right to vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland. Such automation or co-operation between the authorities responsible for population information and the authorities responsible for the electoral roll does not necessarily exist in other Member States of the EU.

The Population Register Centre would like to emphasise that if a person has voted earlier in another Member State of the EU and moves back to Finland (or to another Member State), a notification of moving abroad made to the authorities of the country of origin will not necessarily result in the person being automatically removed from the electoral roll of the state in question. The person should therefore also separately request to be removed from the electoral roll of the country of origin while making a notification of moving abroad.

Procedure in situations where the notification of another Member State concerning voting in the state in question is erroneous

If a Finnish citizen who has previously lived in another Member State considers that he/she has lost his/her right to vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland because another Member State has erroneously notified that he/she will use his/her right to vote in the state in question, the authority responsible for that state's electoral roll (voting register) must be requested to correct the error; in practice, this means removal from the electoral roll.

A written certificate of removal from the electoral roll must be requested from the authority of the other state in question. This certificate should be sent to the Finnish Population Register Centre so that they can then take the steps to ensure that the person can vote in the European Parliament election conducted in Finland based on the certificate, if the other requirements are met – i.e. add the person to the voting register or correct an entry of not having the right to vote.

In practice, notification from another Member State concerning voting in said state can be considered erroneous if a Finnish citizen no longer lives in the other Member State according to the information in the Population Information System. If, according the information on Population Information System, the Finnish citizen is residing in Finland, Population Register Centre will ignore the notification from other Member State and persons right to vote will remain in Finnish voter register.

If the authority of another Member State can no longer make changes to the electoral roll, for instance due to the deadlines in effect in said state, and is thus unable to give a certificate of removal from the electoral roll, the issue and the possible eligibility for the restoration of the right to vote in Finland can be discussed with the Population Register Centre.

Contact information of the Population Registration Centre regarding any questions concerning the right to vote in the European Parliament election:

Väestörekisterikeskus
Vaalit, PL 123, 00531 HELSINKI
e-mail: vrk.vaalit(at)vrk.fi
telephone: 0295 535 530 (from abroad: +358 295 535 530)

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