CJEU Case C-673/20 | Préfet du Gers and Institut national de la statistique and des études économiques

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Information Guide concerning Case C-673/20 from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which relates to the rights of British nationals living in the European Union (EU) following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the EU.

Further information:

A British citizen who has resided in France since 1984 and is married to a French citizen was removed from the electoral roll of the Commune of Thoux by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE). The individual was therefore unable to take part in the municipal elections held in France in March 2020. In October 2020, the British national filed an application to be re-registered on the electoral roll for non-French citizens of the European Union. The application was rejected by the Mayor of the Commune.

In November 2020, the individual brought an action before the Court of Auch (tribunal judiciaire d’Auch) to contest the decision. It was asserted that this individual is no longer able to vote and to stand as a candidate in the United Kingdom because of the British 15-year rule by virtue of which a British national who has resided abroad for more than 15 years is no longer entitled to take part in elections held in the UK. The individual argued that they are deprived of the right to vote and stand as a candidate both in France and in the United Kingdom.

The Court asked the CJEU to ascertain whether British nationals who transferred their residence to a Member State before the end of the transition period laid down in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement continue to benefit from the status of EU citizen and, more specifically, whether the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence remains. If that is not the case, the court asked the CJEU to assess, in particular in the light of the principle of proportionality, the validity of the Withdrawal Agreement.

On 9 June 2022, the CJEU ruled that British national who used to enjoy the rights attached to EU citizenship no longer benefit, after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, from the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
EU Law Analysis, 25/02/2022: Brexit means Brexit for UK nationals and EU citizenship: analysis of an Advocate-General’s opinion http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2022/02/brexit-means-brexit-for-uk-nationals.html
Oxford Human Rights Hub: Blog, 21/06/2022: Case C-673/20 EP v Préfet du Gers: The Stripping of the Right to Vote https://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/case-c-673-20-ep-v-prefet-du-gers-the-stripping-of-the-right-to-vote/
EU Law Analysis, 09/06/2022: It’s the end – but the moment has been prepared for: the CJEU confirms that UK citizens have lost EU citizenship http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.com/2022/06/its-end-but-moment-has-been-prepared.html
European Law Blog, 01/07/2022: Clarifying the Court’s judgment in Préfet du Gers on UK nationals’ voting rights in local elections in the EU post-Brexit https://europeanlawblog.eu/2022/07/01/clarifying-the-courts-judgment-in-prefet-du-gers-on-uk-nationals-voting-rights-in-local-elections-in-the-eu-post-brexit/

Politico, 09/06/2022: Top court rules UK citizens residing in the EU can’t vote in local elections https://www.politico.eu/article/court-rule-uk-national-residing-eu-vote-local-election/
Deutsche Welle, 09/06/2022: UK citizens in EU can't vote in local elections, ECJ rules https://p.dw.com/p/4CSsV
Euronews, 09/06/2022: UK nationals residing in EU can't vote or stand in local elections, says top court https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/06/09/uk-nationals-residing-in-eu-can-t-vote-or-stand-in-local-elections-says-top-court
The Independent (UK), 09/06/2022: Brexit: UK nationals living in EU lose right to vote in local elections, ECJ rules https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-nationals-right-to-vote-in-local-elections-b2097579.html
Associated Press, 09/06/2022: EU court says UK residents in EU nations can’t vote there https://apnews.com/article/voting-rights-european-union-business-government-and-politics-e1b09b5e02798e0609ab3691efdf6cde
Bloomberg, 09/06/2022: You’ve Lost Your EU Rights, Bloc’s Top Court Tells Expat Brits https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-09/you-ve-lost-your-eu-rights-bloc-s-top-court-tells-expat-brits#xj4y7vzkg

CJEU CURIA: Case C-673/20 | Préfet du Gers and Institut national de la statistique and des études économiques https://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-673/20
CJEU: Press Release No 39/22, 24/02/2022: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-673/20 Préfet du Gers and Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-02/cp220039en.pdf
CJEU: Press Release No 98/22, 09/06/2022: Judgment of the Court in Case C-673/20 | Préfet du Gers and Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-06/cp220098en.pdf

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