Politics For Members

Can foreign residents in Austria vote in the European elections?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Can foreign residents in Austria vote in the European elections?
Flags of Europe. (Photo by Daniel ROLAND / AFP)

The year 2024 is a bumper one for elections, among them the European elections which are scheduled for June. Austria is of course a member of the EU - so can foreign residents vote in the elections that will almost certainly affect their daily lives?


Across Europe, people will go to the polls in early June to select their representatives in the European Parliament, with 20 seats up for grabs in Austria, one more than in the 2019 elections. 

Although European elections usually see a much lower turnout than national elections, they are still seen as important by Austrian domestic politicians - this year, they will even serve as a thermometer for the upcoming national elections later in Autumn.

When to vote

Polling takes place on Sunday, June 9th. Polling stations will be set up in the same places as for national and local elections - usually town halls, leisure centres and other public buildings.

READ ALSO: Austria's 'super-election year': What will be decided and when?

Who can vote? 

Austrian citizens - including dual nationals - can vote in European elections, even if they don't live in Austria. 

Non-Austrian citizens who are living in Austria can only vote if they have citizenship of an EU country. So for example Irish citizens living in Austria can vote in European elections but Americans, Canadians, Australians etc cannot.

Brits in Austria used to be able to vote before Brexit, but now cannot - even if they have the special Brexit residence permit.


If you want to vote for the Austrian members of Parliament, you'll need to have EU citizenship, have a main residence in Austria and have reached the age of 16 on election day.

If you have previously voted in an election in Austria - either local or European - you should still be on the electoral roll. If not, you will need to register.

You can check the office that should have your electoral information HERE. This is also the authority you need to reach to register. 

In Vienna, that's MA 62 and you can register in writing or in person. The easiest way is by emailing [email protected] with the completed forms for entry in the Voter Register and Voter Application. You can find a translation in English and other languages HERE. You also need to send proof of identity (such as a copy of your passport, for example).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How can foreigners have their say in Austria?

How does the election work?

The system for European elections differs from most countries' domestic polls.

MEPs are elected once every five years. Each country is given an allocation of MEPs roughly based on population size.

At present there are 705 MEPs, Germany - the country in the bloc with the largest population - has the most while the smallest number belong to Malta with just six.

At the last elections in 2019 Austria had 19 MEPs but it has since gained one, bringing it to 20, due to the UK's exit from the EU and some of its 73 European Parliament seats being shared out among other countries.

Austria, like most of its EU neighbours, elects its MEPs through direct proportional representation via the 'list' system so that parties gain the number of MEPs equivalent to their share of the overall vote.

So for example if the far-right party FPÖ wins 50 percent of the overall vote they will get 10 out of the total 20 MEPs. Exactly who gets to be an MEP is decided in advance by the parties who publish their candidate lists in priority order. 


In the run up to the election, the parties decide on who will be their candidates heading the list and these people will almost certainly be elected. The further down the list a name appears, the less likely that person is to be heading to parliament.

These head candidates are usually, but not always, responsible for running that party's election campaign and become their spokesman on European issues. 

READ ALSO: How do Austrians elect their chancellor?

Once in parliament, parties usually seek to maximise their influence by joining one of the 'blocks' made up of parties from neighbouring countries that broadly share their interests and values eg centre-left, far-right, green.

The parliament alternates between Strasbourg and Brussels.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also