Elections held for officials representing French people abroad
French nationals abroad – Election of conseillers des Français de l’étranger and consular delegates
Paris, 1 June 2021
Elections for conseillers des Français de l’étranger [officials representing French nationals abroad] and for consular delegates were held by ballot-box voting on Saturday 29 May (for the American continent and the Caribbean) and Sunday 30 May (for the rest of the world), and by early electronic voting from 21 to 26 May.
The aim of the elections was to enable the 1.3 million French people living outside France who are on the electoral register to choose 432 conseillers des Français de l’étranger and 68 consular delegates.
1. Role of conseillers des Français de l’étranger and consular delegates
The conseillers des Français de l’étranger sit on the consular councils tasked with issuing advice on consular or general issues. Their role was strengthened by the act of 27 December 2019 regarding involvement in local life and the proximity of public action. For example, following this election, it will now be these elected representatives who chair consular councils.
The conseillers des Français de l’étranger and consular delegates also take part in elections for the 12 senators representing French nationals living outside France, and, from September 2021 onwards, in the partial election where six of those senators will be elected. So this is an especially important election for the representation of our compatriots living abroad.
2. Ballot procedure
Despite often difficult situations due to the epidemic, the elections by ballot box went ahead under fully safe health conditions in 144 countries and 357 polling stations, comprising 127 constituencies. These polling stations were organized in strict compliance with stipulated health measures and with the recommendations of the Scientific Board following its 24 February 2021 advice; 29,131 voters used this voting method. In three constituencies in India and Madagascar, due to the health situation or strict lockdown measures, voting had to be postponed and will be held before the end of the year.
As for Internet voting, those able to vote from their mobile phones, tablets or computers took full advantage of this method. Indeed, 176,734 votes were cast online – twice as many as in the 2014 consular election. To support voters with the procedure, a helpline was created on 17 May that responded to nearly 9,500 questions.
So in total, 205,865 people cast their votes, an increase of nearly 11% compared to 2014. All the results are being published today, Tuesday 1 June, on the France Diplomatie website.
3. Statement by M. Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State for Tourism, French Nationals Abroad and Francophonie
"I want to commend the way this huge logistical challenge was tackled: these elections went ahead smoothly all over the world, despite the context of the pandemic. That’s the result of strong political will and the active efforts of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, its diplomatic and consular network, and all the volunteers.
"Our compatriots abroad have made the digital leap. Twice as many of them used this voting method as in 2014, bringing the online turnout to 85% of all votes.
"I warmly congratulate all the elected representatives, and I look forward to working with them to serve our compatriots living outside France. The conseillers des Français de l’étranger are key to the relationship of proximity with our French communities, which is invaluable in normal times and even more so in the unprecedented times of pandemic the world is going through."./.