What are consular elections for French abroad?

In a few weeks the 1.7 million French people living outside of France (January 2020 figures) will elect the councilors of the French abroad. This is only the second election (they were supposed to take place last year but Mister Coco forced to postpone the dates) and because they only take place every 6 years I wanted to offer you a summary because it will be my first elections and surely the first for many of you.

Some context

What are the consular advisors?

They are elected representatives who represent French people living outside of France in embassies and consulates. They can be consulted on any question concerning French people living abroad and they participate in the election of senators for French people living abroad. The consular counsellors meet in consular councils, in each district, at least twice a year. This council is chaired by the Ambassador or the Consul General. The consular councils were created by the law of July 22, 2013, which reformed the representation of French citizens living outside of France.

This year we will elect 443 consular councils around the world, from 1 to 9 depending on the number of French people registered in the consular district concerned (it can be a country, a region or several countries). In Canada, we have 4 consular districts: Vancouver & Calgary, Toronto, Quebec and Montreal, Moncton & Halifax.

The consular advisors receive an allowance that varies according to the country of residence, you will find more details here.

What are the missions of consular advisors?
  • To represent the French abroad at the embassies/consulates. To listen to the French people in their constituency and to guide them when necessary.
  • Participate in various decisions by giving their opinion/recommendations: allocation of social aid, school grants, subsidies to associations, etc. They are also members of the works council of AEFE establishments.
  • They are eligible to vote in the elections of the Senators of French citizens abroad.
How do I vote for the consular elections?
  • If you are already registered on the list of French citizens abroad at your consulate.
    • You can check your status by clicking here to make sure your profile is up to date. When I enter my information I see that I am registered on the Toronto list.
  • If you are not yet registered I can only advise you to do so for several reasons. Be careful if you want to vote this year you have to register before April 23, 2021!
    • It allows you to be registered as a French citizen living abroad in case you need to be repatriated to France
    • It allows you to vote in the consular elections (but you will be removed from the municipal lists of your commune in France.), you will also be able to vote in presidential, referendum, European and legislative elections.
    • It facilitates your administrative procedures (renewal of passport, identity card etc.)
    • Link to register in Canada:
    • It only takes 10 minutes, you need
      • identity card
      • passport photo
      • proof of address
    • Please note that once you have registered you will receive emails from the candidates/consular officers.

Who can I vote for?

As for the municipal elections, you will vote for a list, the head of the list will be the potential consular counselor.

You can find the list of candidates on the website of your consulate, for Toronto we have 7 candidates this year, the complete list is here.

How are the elections of the consular councilors held?

There are 3 ways to vote, if you are registered on the lists you should have received an email with your voting options.

Voting in person

Saturday, May 29 at the Toronto Consulate, 2 Bloor Street East, 22nd floor, from 8am to 6pm. You will need to present a French ID (ID card, passport for example).

Online voting

Internet voting will be available from Friday, May 21, 2021 (12:00 p.m., Paris time) to Friday, May 26, 2021 (12:00 p.m., Paris time). You can vote on the government website here.

Voting by proxy

This option will not be very useful this year since you will have the option of voting by internet. But for your information it is possible to give proxy to someone registered on the same electoral list as you.

I hope that this article has given you some answers and will help you understand the importance of voting. Find out more about the administrative steps to take when you arrive in Canada in this article.

See you soon,

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