Recommendation 1714 (2005)1

Abolition of restrictions on the right to vote


1. Referring to its Resolution 1459 (2005) on the abolition of restrictions on the right to vote, the Parliamentary Assembly calls upon the Committee of Ministers to:

i. appeal to member and observer states to:

a. sign and ratify the 1992 Council of Europe Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level (ETS No. 144) and to grant active and passive electoral rights in local elections to all legal residents; and

b. reconsider existing restrictions on electoral rights of prisoners and members of the military, with a view to abolishing all those that are no longer necessary and proportionate in pursuit of a legitimate aim;

ii. invite the competent services of the Council of Europe, in particular the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and its Council for Democratic Elections, to develop their activities aimed at improving the conditions for the effective exercise of election rights by groups facing special difficulties, such as expatriates, prison inmates, persons who have been convicted of a criminal offence, residents of nursing homes, soldiers or nomadic groups;

iii. review existing instruments with a view to assessing the possible need for a Council of Europe convention to improve international co-operation with a view to facilitating the exercise of electoral rights of expatriates.


1. Assembly debate on 24 June 2005 (24th Sitting) (see Doc. 10553, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Eker; and Doc. 10577, opinion of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Lord John Tomlinson).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 June 2005 (24th Sitting).