Foreign women were more likely than foreign men to stand as candidates in the 2017 communal elections, a report has found.
The finding was revealed by Centre d’études et de formation interculturelles et sociales (Cefis) whose report “Elections Communales 2017” was published on 17 January.
By analysing the voter registration figures and candidatures from the communal elections, Cefis recorded 3,575 candidates, pointing out that overall 36% (1,279) were women.
Of the total number of people standing, 270 were foreign nationals (up from 236 in 2011). Unlike their Luxembourg candidates, foreign women candidates were more numerous than foreign men, with 145 foreign women standing for seats compared to 125 foreign men. Broken down by country of origin, it was women from German and French backgrounds who tipped the balance.
On polling day, foreign candidates fared less well--just 15 of the 1,119 seats available went to foreign candidates. Nevertheless, this result shows there is a strong political engagement among foreign women, particularly from French and German backgrounds.
The study further recorded that the proportion of foreign voters rose from 17% in 2011 to 22.8% in 2017 when 34,639 foreign nationals from 134 different nationalities voted.
The vast majority were from EU member states (31,288) with the highest registration rates among nationality groups recorded among the Dutch (32%), followed by Belgians and Germans (28%), and Italians (27%).
There was also a positive increase in engagement from foreign voters aged 18-24. The proportion of this group registered rose from 1% before awareness-raising campaigns began in October 2016 to 5% in July 2017.
In Luxembourg, foreign nationals are eligible to vote in regional elections provided they are aged 18 or over and have lived in the country for five or more years.