MobilEU Project Workshop: Democratic Participation of Mobile Electorates

Lisbon, 30 May 2023

Workshop Call for papers

The MobilEU project will be hosting a one-day workshop on 30 May at the New University of Lisbon. The project invites 300 word proposals that align with the focus of the workshop set out below. Up to three proposals will be accepted and funding will be provided to cover the travel and accommodation costs of the participants. The closing date to submit proposals is 26 March 2023 and they should be sent to [email protected]

Notifications will be sent later that week. Selected participants will be expected to have a conference paper of at least 4,000 words prepared for the workshop. Subject to further review, full paper drafts will be requested in late 2023 for submission to a journal special issue.


Increasing mobility challenges us to reconsider the way democracy is conceived and practiced. Inequalities in franchise rights and electoral participation persist across the European Union (EU). Mobile EU citizens may vote at local and European Parliament elections in their chosen Member State of residence and most of them also retain voting rights in these elections in their Member State of nationality. Some mobile EU citizens are also entitled to participate from abroad in national or sub-national elections held in their origin countries. Yet, some Member States do not provide such electoral entitlements to their non-resident citizens or they impose strict requirements for exercising the voting right from abroad. Franchise entitlements for non-resident nationals and non-national residents vary both within and across EU Member States. MobilEU is investigating these inequalities and is focused on the voting rights of both non-resident and non-national groups of mobile EU citizens in their EU Member States of residence and nationality.

A central focus of MobilEU is on the awareness and attitudes of resident and non-resident citizens to voting and candidacy rights for mobile EU citizens. In many cases, emigrant enfranchisement was driven by a combination of elite lobbying on behalf of emigrant groups and strategic calculations on the part of political parties. Little is known about the awareness and views of resident and non-resident voters and addressing this gap is an important objective of the project. Thus proposals that explore attitudes to voting rights are especially welcome.

The workshop is also interested in research that addresses some of the central debates in the field of emigrant enfranchisement and representation, especially in the EU, such as:

  • Emigrants’ descriptive and/or substantive political representation in homeland parliaments/legislatures
  • Drivers and outcomes of processes of emigrant enfranchisement
  • Electoral competition dynamics and parties’ strategies for reaching out to external voters
  • Modalities of voting from abroad in homeland elections
  • Determinants and effects of emigrants’ electoral behavior in terms of turnout and party choice
  • Institutional reforms aiming to improve emigrant participation and representation