Citizenship Blog

About the Blog Our Citizenship Blog invites contributions and comments on recent policy reforms, court judgments or public debates related to citizenship status and access to voting rights, in one or several countries covered by the EUDO CITIZENSHIP Observatory. Our Read More …

EU27 citizens must keep their voting rights in local government elections

The Withdrawal Agreement does not guarantee the maintenance of existing local government electoral rights for those covered by its remit, let alone suggest a framework for such rights to accrue for other EU27 citizens and UK citizens were the UK to leave the EU. This, in turn, has led the government to reach agreements with Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg on preserving reciprocal voting rights in local government elections. Read More …

Gendered markets for multiple passports: dual nationality among female athletes

Nationality swapping is nowadays common in professional sports. An ever-increasing number of professional athletes hold at least one functional sporting nationality’ on top of the one acquired by birth. This permits them to compete for the country that offers them better reputational or financial prospects. During the men’s World Cup in France in 2018, we estimated that 26.79 per cent of the players (198 of 739) had dual citizenship. When repeating the same exercise for this year’s Women’s World Cup we found that only 6.88 per cent of the players (38 of 552) possessed more than one passport. We argue that this trend is a symptom of the interplay of gender inequalities inherent in sports industries and the male-dominated cultural symbolism of sports in national contexts. Read More …

Why are there so few naturalisations in Latin America?

Four reasons might be anticipated. First, there is some historical continuity since naturalisation has always been a path followed by very few in the region (Acosta 2018). Second, the need to renounce the previous nationality, at least on paper, in countries like Mexico, could act as a deterrent. Third, immigration rates have been quite low in Latin America since the large immigrations of the early 20th Century. Fourth, most current immigration is of regional origin and regional integration processes such as MERCOSUR, the Andean Community but also the Central American System of Integration (SICA in its Spanish acronym), have facilitated mobility, residence and access to rights for regional migrants thus possibly limiting incentives to naturalise. Read More …

Voting rights of mobile EU citizens in European Parliament elections

Over 15 million citizens of the European Union (EU) are currently living in a Member State other than that of their nationality. While in theory they should be accorded the same electoral rights as nationals of the Member State where they reside, the reality is far more complicated. Member States have wide discretion in regulating voting and candidacy rights of mobile EU citizens. Read More …

Bold and thoughtful: the Court of Justice intervenes in nationality law

Tjebbes is a bold and yet thoughtful judgment. It pushes the boundaries of the role of EU law in nationality matters and yet does so in a manner that both respects the primacy of the Member States in regulating this area of law, and acknowledges the genuine Union-interest in the manner in which denaturalisation decisions impact on Union citizens. It provides a follow-up and elaboration of the judgment in Rottmann, confirming the applicability of Union law in nationality law and detailing the nature of its intervention. This intervention is of both a procedural and a substantive kind, requiring an individual examination of any decision withdrawing nationality having regard to a set of consequences linked to the status of Union citizenship. Read More …

2018: a year in citizenship

Throughout 2018, citizenship has been one of the most ubiquitous topics of political debate in a number of countries. In January the Austrian and the Italian governments entered into a spat over the possibility to offer Austrian citizenship to German and Ladin speaking people living in the region of South Tyrol. In May the United Kingdom government was embroiled in a scandal over the rights of Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK in the period after the Second World War. And in October, the US President Donald Trump said he will try to end the right to U.S. citizenship for babies born in the United States to non-citizens. While being a burning topic in the political discourse, the way countries regulate their membership has remained largely intact. In fact, there have been only a few changes to citizenship legislation between January 2018 and January 2019. We have mapped these reforms. Read More …