Study title
Towards transnational voting in/for Europe!?
Ref study 13259
Study language English
Contributing institutions
  • European Union
  • Transnationalism
  • Democratic Legitimacy
  • Voting Advice Applications (VAAs)
  • Boundary of the Demos
  • Fuzzy Citizenship
  • Voting Spaces
  • External Citizenship and Voting
Geographical space
European Union
  • Switzerland
The European Union (EU) as the flagship of supra-nationalism is in a severe crisis. Its legitimacy is increasingly questioned by populist and nationalist parties which claim that the political elites and procedures have become detached from the people and that immigrants endanger the welfare and the culture of the autochthonous population. In this context, the project investigates the potential of transnational citizenship and voting opportunities as current and future pathways contributing to reduce the distance between the people and politicians and to overcome the dichotomy between migrants and sedentary populations.
Based on normative theorizing, current empirical tendencies, and existing ideas, we first develop two proposals for transnationalizing voting spaces on the European and on the national level. The first proposal lays out how voters from EU member states could vote for parties from other member states in the election to the European Parliament. The second proposal envisions that voters from other EU member states could elect (a limited number of) representatives in the national parliament of each EU member state. These proposals build on and expand current trends to allow voting beyond the confines of territory (requirement: residency) and nationality (requirement: citizenship).
Second, with the help of a pan-European Electronic Voting Advice Application (VAA), we will gather information not only about the current extent of transnational voting (by external and dual citizens) and transnational campaigning of parties. We will also find out whether and where people and parties are willing to support and use those further opportunities for transnational voting that we lay out in our two proposals. VAAs play a double role in our project: Conceptually, they are necessary preconditions for making our proposals viable. Empirically, a VAA that we will set up together with the European University Institute in Florence will create the data for our and further scientific studies.Finally, our project brings together two strands of research: The first strand of research is concerned with citizenship rights and practices beyond the realm of the Westphalian nation state, while the second deals with the design of electoral systems for multi-national polities. We will test whether voters and parties are mainly driven by polity-centered considerations (interest in and identification with particular or multiple nation states or with the EU) or by policy-centered considerations (policy positions and preferences).
Altogether, the project will stimulate the discussion about a third transnational pathway for securing the effectiveness and legitimacy of the European Union beyond supranationalism and nationalism. It will tremendously expand our empirical knowledge out the current level of transnational orientations and practices of people and parties in Europe, and at the same time we will find out whether and where people and parties support expanded options for transnational voting. Furthermore, the project will allow us to keep at the forefront of research dealing with VAAs. Finally, the gained insights might be stimulating for other multi-lingual or multi-national democratic systems.
Methods (description)
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Michel, Elie; Blatter, Joachim. 2020. Enfranchising Immigrants and/or Emigrants? Attitudes towards Voting Rights Expansion among Sedentary Nationals in Europe. Ethnic and Racial Studies 0(0): 1–20.
  • Blatter, Joachim; Baubock, Rainer. 2019. Let Me Vote in Your Country, and I’ll Let You Vote in Mine. A Proposal for Transnational Democracy. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network. SSRN Scholarly Paper.
  • Blatter, Joachim. 2018. Transnationalizing Democracy Properly: Principles and Rules for Granting Consociated Citizens Voting Rights and Partisan Representation in the Parliaments of Nation States. WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
Unpublished documents
  • Michel, Elie; et al., . 2019. Euandi2019 : Project Description and Datasets Documentation. European University Institute. Working Paper.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) SNSF
Date created 06.11.2020
Date modified 08.06.2021
Start - End date 01.03.2018 - 28.02.2021