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Abstract

This article aims to identify the link between EU electoral rights and national citizenship and to situate these rights in the broader context of EU citizenship. For these purposes, two recent judgments of the European Court of Justice regarding EU elections dated 12 September 2006 are discussed (Spain v United Kingdom and Eman & Sevinger). These judgments establish important principles for the election of the European Parliament, especially the scope ratione personae of recognised electoral rights of EU citizens and the boundaries framing national policies in this respect. They either leave Member States free to apply residence criteria in order to limit the scope ratione personae of EU electoral rights or to invoke their own constitutional traditions to extend that scope. This is not to say, however, that the Member States enjoy complete freedom in this respect. The paper concludes that the current fundaments of EU citizenship are weak in EU primary law, in particular in the field of political rights. For this reason, the European elections and, more generally, the European democratic process should be discussed once again at the highest political level.