(L-R) Sylvain Besch, Director of CEFIS; Corinne Cahen, Luxembourg's Minister for Family Affairs & Integration; Serge Hoffmann, Vice-President of Syvicol; Credit: MFAMIGR

A total of 50,084 non-Luxembourgish residents have registered to vote in the municipal (local) elections, which are taking place on Sunday 11 June 2023.

On Wednesday 19 April 2023, Luxembourg's Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Corinne Cahen, together with Serge Hoffmann, Vice-President of Syvicol, and Sylvain Besch, Director of CEFIS, took stock of the registrations of non-Luxembourgish residents for the upcoming municipal elections.

Non-Luxembourgers (over the age of eighteen) had until Monday 17 April 2023 at 17:00 to register. By then, 50,084 people had signed up, with an average final registration rate of 19.8% - up from 16.1% (41,336) at the end of March 2023.

In Luxembourg City, where foreigners make up 70% of the population, the registration rate stood at 15.9% (12,626 people, compared to 6,487 in 2017).

Minister Cahen was particularly impressed by the significant increase in registrations over the last two months. "The direct contact with people, going out to meet them and informing them in person has clearly paid off with 9,139 registrations in March and 8,748 registrations in the last two weeks before the deadline," she said.

Sylvain Besch, Director of CEFIS, explained that the last two months before the registration deadline were the most favourable months in the history of voting in Luxembourg. "In addition, almost 10,000 non-Luxembourgers living in the country for less than five years benefited from the amendments to the electoral law adopted in July 2022. Between 11 June 2022 and 17 April 2023, the number of registered young people aged 18-24 also increased from 60 to over 600, a significant increase in absolute numbers."

On the last day to register (17 April) alone, 1,875 people registered. In absolute numbers, the total registrations exceeded those of 2017, when 34,638 foreigners had registered (back when only those who had lived in the country for more than five years were eligible to vote).

Serge Hoffmann, Vice-President of Syvicol, particularly stressed the importance of the awareness-raising campaigns and actions carried out by the municipalities to encourage the enrolment of non-Luxembourgish residents on the electoral rolls. "These initiatives have obviously had a positive effect on the number of registrations in the different municipalities and without them this number would not have been so high," he elaborated.

A total of 162 nationalities are now recorded in the electoral registers, which is a new record compared to previous campaigns (134 nationalities in 2017). Dutch residents had the highest registration rate (29.2%), followed by Germans (29%), Danes (26.4%), Indians (25.6%) and Belgians (24.2%).

After a review of the projects launched during the "I Can Vote" awareness campaign, led by the Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration, Minister Cahen thanked the partners, municipalities, "multipliers" and associations that had organised several awareness-raising initiatives and thus actively contributed, in her view, to the success of the campaign launched in May 2022.

At least 48 municipalities and associations borrowed stand material for events as part of this campaign in 2022 and 2023. The ministry itself took part in 22 local events. Three projects were selected under the PAN 2022 project call to raise awareness of local elections among non-Luxembourgers and especially first-time voters. Fifteen businesses and institutions organised "I Can Vote" events in the presence of Minister Cahen. Others distributed the information material to their employees. Moreover, the majority of municipalities participated in the National Registration Day on 18 March 2023. The ministry's ongoing digital campaign as well as advertisements in classic and digital media rounded off the measures. 

The "I Can Vote" campaign had a budget of €200,000 euros, spread over two years (€80,000 for 2022 and €120,000 for 2023).