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Participating in political life – elections

Participating in political life – elections

As it happens: results of the simultaneous elections of 25 May

IBZ - Simultaneous elections of 25 May 2014

Follow the election online at bru2014.irisnet.be (FR/NL).

As a citizen, elections constitute your highest level of participation in society. In Belgium, voting is compulsory.

When do we vote in the Brussels-Capital Region and for which elections?

Municipal elections

Municipal elections are held to elect representatives to the municipal council, i.e. the mayor, the aldermen and the municipal councillors.

The members of the municipal council in turn appoint the representatives of the public centre for social assistance (CPAS) and the police zone council.

Municipal elections are held every six years, on the second Sunday of October.

The next municipal elections will be held on 14 October 2018.

More information

For more information on the Brussels municipal elections (FR/NL), please visit the website of the local authorities in Brussels.

Regional elections

Regional and community elections are held to elect representatives to the regional parliament. The members of the community parliaments are also indirectly elected through these elections.

More information

Federal elections

Federal parliamentary elections are held to elect the 150 members of the House of Representatives.

The (60) members of the Senate are not elected directly, but appointed by the members of the regional and/or community parliaments among others.

The Federal Parliament is elected for a term of five years (at the same time as the regional parliament and the European Parliament), except in the event of early federal elections.
In the latter case, the Federal Parliament resulting from these early elections will be elected for the remaining term, until the 2019 simultaneous elections.

More information

More information on the federal elections (FR/NL) can be found on the website www.belgium.be.

European elections

European elections are held to elect the members to the European Parliament, i.e. the representatives of the citizens of the EU Member States.

Belgium has 21 representatives in the European Parliament.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, unlike the rest of the country, voters can choose to vote for a candidate on a French-speaking list or a Dutch-speaking list.

More information

The European Parliament has created a website dedicated to the European elections.

In Belgium, the elections to the regional parliaments, the House of Representatives and the European Parliament are held simultaneously every five years.

The next simultaneous elections (regional, federal and European) will be held in 2019.

Right and obligation to vote – eligibility

In Belgium, voting is compulsory.

Article 62, paragraph three and Article 68, §2 of the Belgian Constitution stipulate that voting is compulsory and that the ballot is secret (FR/NL).

Who is entitled to vote?

In order to be entitled to vote, you need to meet several criteria:

  • have the Belgian nationality
  • be aged at least 18 years
  • live in a Belgian municipality and be registered in the population register
  • not have been excluded from the right to vote nor had your right to vote suspended as provided by Belgian law.
    People who have been given a criminal sentence (life imprisonment, forced labour, detention and imprisonment) are definitively excluded from the right to vote.
  • European citizens may also vote at municipal and European elections.
    Non-Europeans who have resided in Belgium for at least 5 years may also go to the ballot box at the municipal elections.
    In both cases, they must ask to be registered on the electoral list.
  • Belgians living abroad can also vote by post or by proxy, via the Belgian embassy of the country in which they reside.

Being eligible

Being eligible means that you meet the criteria for election.

To stand for election, candidates must meet the same criteria as those required to be a voter.
With one difference:  for the parliamentary elections, you need to be at least 21 years of age to be eligible.

People who have the nationality of one of the 27 EU Member States may also stand for the municipal elections. This is not the case for non-Europeans.

Election results

This section allows you to consult the results of previous elections, whether municipal, regional, federal or European.

Elections – general remarks

All official information concerning the elections (FR/NL) is available on the website published by the Elections Directorate of the FPS Interior.