European Union elections are happening in June this year, and, amidst low voting turnout in the Czech Republic, AAU Student Council held an information session to help students vote.  

The EU holds elections every five years, and they are the only transnational elections in the world. For most EU students at AAU, this will be the first time they are eligible to vote as they were not of age before. Each of the 27 EU countries have differing rules which might be confusing for foreign EU students in the Czech Republic. 

Voting days depend on the country. On 6 June the Netherlands will open its polls. On the 7th Ireland and the Czech Republic (also on the 8th) hold their elections. Italy will hold them the 8th and 9th. Additionally, on the 8th Latvia, Malta and Slovakia open the polls. The rest of the EU countries accept ballots on the 9th. 

Photo by: Gabriella Burgess

“[C]ivil engagement is extremely important, and voter apathy is sometimes due to lack of information about elections or lack of information on how to participate. Especially here in Czechia, where participation in EU elections is lowest, I thought it would be a really valuable event,” said Mila Garret who organized the session. 

According to the speaker from the European Parliament Liaison Office in the Czech Republic, only 28 percent of eligible Czech voters are interested in casting their ballot while in the Netherlands it’s around 69 percent. The Czech Republic had the lowest voter turnout in the EU for the last election at 29 percent

Voting in each country is a different process, but the meeting primarily focused on the process in the Czech Republic. If you are a Czech citizen you must cast your ballot inside the Czech Republic as the voting is only held in person.

If you plan on heading to the polls, you must register before 28 April, 2024, which is 40 days before the election. On the day of voting you must go in person and bring an ID/passport with you. 

The other countries that do not allow voting from outside the country include Ireland, Malta and Slovakia. The voting age is also different in each country. In Germany and Belgium the age is 16, Austria, Malta and Greece the age is 17, and for the rest of the countries, it is 18 years old. 

Photo by: Gabriella Burgess

Students from other EU countries can vote in the Czech Republic, however, as the image above depicts which countries allow it and what ways it is possible. Some allow mail-in ballots, visiting embassies, e-voting, or by-proxy. 

For non-Czech EU citizens in the Czech Republic there are two options: to vote for the Czech representatives or to vote for your home countries representatives. For the first option you must be an EU citizen with a residence permit in the Czech Republic and be registered to vote in this country. 

“[The event was] helpful because [it] had information on how to register, the information pamphlets were really interesting to see as well as the voting process in other countries, very smart for student council to do such an event since voting is coming up in the EU and US,” said Lauren Pray, an attendee.

Garret also highlighted that on Tuesday, 16 April, Kesed Haglund will host a meeting for US students to vote from outside of the country.

For more information you can visit European elections 2024: all you need to know (