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Outreach - encourage participation - Practical obstacles or problems for migrants in exercising their right to vote

Key Area:
Political & Civic Participation
Discrimination, Equality
22/12/2011 - 14:59
Short Answer
Qualitative Info

In April 2010, the City Council of Vienna published its Monitor for Integration and Diversity, a tool to capture the outcome of integration measures and to evaluate the performance of Vienna’s diversity approach. While the monitor observes a process of social advancement, inequalities based on migrant background can still be noticed.
With regard to political participation the monitor highlights the significant decrease of naturalisations – due to legal restrictions – which leads to the situation that 20 per cent of the population of voting age do not have the right to vote in municipal or national elections. This illustrates the need to grant non-EU citizens the right to vote and stand as candidates in local elections. In some Austrian municipalities (Graz, Linz) aliens’ advisory boards whose members are third country nationals have been set up enabling migrants to have a say in local affairs. However, the effectiveness of these boards as a tool for political participation is rather questionable. They are only consultative bodies whose competences are restricted to issues concerning migration and integration. The influence of these bodies is therefore very restricted and their establishment cannot be seen as an alternative to the introduction of electoral rights for third country nationals.


Groups affected/interested Migrants
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Political participation
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