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Enfranchising EU Citizens


A Conference on Democratisation of the EU

In two series of key note speeches followed by a panel discussion, speakers will consider how Enfranchising EU Citizens and internalising their perspectives and interests can support making national democracies in Europe more international and inclusive.

D66 Delft requests the pleasure of your company for a special Friday afternoon on International Human Rights Day, the 10th of December, from 14.00-18.00 hrs.


Keynote speeches:

  • Sophie In’t Veld, MEP D66/Renew, European Parliament;
  • Patrick Bijsmans, Associate Professor European Studies, Maastricht University;
  • Afke Groen, Researcher Hans van Mierlo Foundation;
  • Mendeltje van Keulen, Professor Change Role of Europe, The Hague University;
  • Laurence Guérin, Professor of Global Citizenship, The Hague University;
  • Tony Venables, Founding Director ECIT Foundation.

The speeches are in English and followed by panel discussions moderated by Thomas Peutz, Chair of D66 Delft & D66 International Working Group

The conference is organised by the International Working Group of D66 Delft in association with the D66 Thema Afdeling Europa, ECIT Foundation, Voters Without Borders, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Peace, to address and discuss the plans of D66 to extend full voting rights to EU citizens living in the Netherlands.



While the Euro crisis exposed the vulnerability of the European monetary union, Brexit forewarned us of the imminent risks that challenge the integrity of the European Union.

The European Union was intended as a political, social and economic integration project. Borders were eliminated to allow free movement of goods, capital, workers and residence. It gave EU Citizens the right to live in different countries, while European political power was enhanced and the financial system strengthened through the monetary union. The Euro crisis and Brexit have however exposed the fragility of the project. Euro-scepticism and mistrust among citizens of the member states continues to be nurtured and exploited by populists. There is a sense that European decision-making is taking place far away from home and delegated to a supranational institution run by technocratic officials, no longer perceived to be under the control of nation states, and seemingly threatening democratic self-determination and sovereignty. Democracy in this context is perceived to be under threat as political parties, the legislative branch and people appear to be side-lined in the processes of European decision-making.


Structure of the Conference

The conference will exist of two series of keynote speeches followed by a panel discussion that will be opened up for a Q&A. The first series of keynote speeches and panel will focus on European integration and EU democratisation in times of Euro-scepticism and will move from there to the expat and bring the extension of voting rights into the discussion.

The second series of speeches and panel will start from the individual living abroad and addresses the importance and urgency to Enfranchise EU Citizens while it will consider alternatives such as making it easier for people to have dual citizenship. The panel discussions will focus on how extending voting rights to EU Citizens in the EU country where they live can: enfranchise EU Citizens living abroad; can engage EU Citizens with the local political discourse and inform political parties about best practices elsewhere; support further EU integration; mitigate Euro scepticism and populist nationalist tendencies. After discussing the topics with the panel, the moderator will open up to the audience through a Q&A session.

10 Dec 2021 Delft, Online