Source: www.fco.gov.uk GIBRALTAR'S ENFRANCHISEMENT FOR EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS ANNOUNCED (28/11/01) Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain said on 28 November: 'I am delighted to announce the Government's intention that, for the first time ever, the Gibraltar electorate should be able to vote in European Parliamentary elections. The Government fully supports Gibraltar's aspiration and right to be represented in the European Parliament. We are committed to achieving this in time for the next elections in 2004. 'This will require domestic legislation in the UK, so we will be seeking the legislative time in order to bring in the necessary domestic legislation. We will of course proceed in close consultation with the Gibraltar authorities.' Notes for Editors 1. The UK is responsible for Gibraltar within the European Union (EU). 2. At present, the Gibraltar electorate is unable to participate in elections to the European Parliament. 3. As a result of a European Court of Human Rights ruling (Matthews vs UK) we are under a legal obligation to enable the Gibraltar electorate to vote in EP elections. Ever since the judgement was delivered in February 1999, the UK Government has made clear that it unequivocally accepts the obligation to ensure that Gibraltarians can vote in elections to the European Parliament, and that it was actively seeking enfranchisement in time for the 2004 elections. 4. We have carefully examined all the options for achieving this, and we have now decided to seek legislative time to bring in the necessary domestic legislation so that Gibraltar will be enfranchised in time for 2004 elections. 5. The detail of the legislative arrangements and the precise manner in which Gibraltar will exercise the franchise needs to be considered further by both HMG and the Government of Gibraltar. We will be seeking early consultations with the Government of Gibraltar in order to take this forward.