Political participation of foreign senior residents

Political participation is evaluated as a form of formal and informal social engagement abroad, especially in cases when active interpretation between the local and the foreign community and the application of language skills is asked.

Elderly residents show a major interest in local and regional political questions, have more time to engage in local politics and count on knowledge and experience in organizational tasks. Age, gender and nationally bound behaviours are important factors for the daily practice of political participation of foreign EU residents at the Mediterranean.

National, regional and especially local governance regimes play a key role in the motivation for the participation of foreign residents. In cases when the residents disagree with political regimes and the way decisions are taken or communicated, they are highly interested in taking an active role in their municipality.

In difference to the centres of the European economy and administration such as London and Brussels which are a magnet for highly mobile urban professionals, the Mediterranean attracts mainly retired residents who did not move as a step of their career, but came for the lifestyle maximization.

Given the fact that many of the ‘European residents’, as the senior migrants in Spain call themselves, belong to the economic elite and were successful professionals, they count on powerful tools, know-how and resources to integrate and take leadership within local politics, ranging from the formal representation in local parliaments to all kinds of informal participation settings.

Migrants from northern Europe founded their own parties in many municipalities and are currently active politicians in an increasing number of local councils. EURO_CITI provides with profound research activities concerning this political involvement.

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Contact and further information: Dr. Michael Janoschka

Centre of Human and Social Sciences
CSIC – Spanish Council for Scientific Research
Tel.: +34 91 602 2310
E-Mail: michael.janoschka [at] cchs.csic.es