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Member(s) of Government responsible for this response

Rudi Vervoort
Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urban Development and urban renewal, Tourism, the Promotion of the Image of Brussels and Bicultural issues of regional importance

Ans Persoons
Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and heritage, European and international relations, Foreign trade and Fire fighting and emergency medical assistance


We support this proposal, or parts of it,
but we cannot implement it.


Introducing compulsory voting requires amending the constitution. See also the previous question.

More and more efforts are being made to inform and motivate residents of foreign nationality to vote. For example, at the last local election in 2018, the Brussels Region sent a registration form to every foreign resident.

In addition, of course, municipalities also have their role to play in local elections. Several municipalities made additional efforts in 2018, for example Saint-Gilles sent letters in 26 languages to inform potential voters of their right and the procedure to register.

With some success. The participation in local elections of persons of foreign nationality went from 26,182 in 2012 to 37,232 in 2018. The region and municipalities will also make ongoing and additional efforts to motivate foreign residents to register and vote.

Regarding education about the Belgian political system and about their rights and duties, the Brussels Region has set up a compulsory and free welcome programme to inform and guide newcomers. This pathway is compulsory for non-EU+ nationals unless exempted upon their first registration in the foreigners’ register with a residence permit of more than three months. It consists of

  1. EA welcome pathway, assessing their needs such as housing, income, healthcare, etc;
  2. A training course on citizenship and society;
  3. French or Dutch language courses if necessary