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 …

Denationalising Dutch foreign fighters: Council of State annuls revocation decisions

As the number of returning foreign fighters increases after the downfall of the Islamic State (IS), the practice of an increasing number of European states to deprive these persons of their citizenship and their right to return continues to be the subject of public discourse and scholarly debate. In the Netherlands, where those who join certain terrorist organisations abroad can lose their citizenship since the enactment of the necessary legislation in March 2017, the practice remains controversial. Read More …

The new battles of the suffrage in today’s democracies

The electoral franchise has become more universal as restrictions based on criteria such as sex or property have been lifted throughout the process of democratisation. Yet, a broad range of exclusions has persisted to this date, making the suffrage non-universal, even in established democracies. In this article, we present ELECLAW, a new set of indicators that captures the subtle and variegated legal landscape of persisting electoral rights restrictions. 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 …