In 2008, the EUDO Citizenship Observatory was established as one of four European Union Democracy Observatories, whose goal was to assess democratic practices within the EU, provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, and serve as a resource for not only academics but also for policy-makers and citizens.
In its initial years, EUDO Citizenship was mainly financed by the EUCITAC project funded by the European Fund for the Integration of the non-EU immigrants (EIF, Directorate General for Freedom, Security and Justice of the European Commission). In concert with ‘The Europeanisation of Citizenship in the Successor States of the Former Yugoslavia’ (CITSEE) project, an ERC-funded initiative at the University of Edinburgh, ran by our co-director Jo Shaw, we expanded our geographic scope to include developments in citizenship legislation in Southern and Eastern European neighbourhood. These projects enabled the Observatory to lay down the pillars to what would subsequently become the most comprehensive comparative databases on modes of acquisition and loss of citizenship globally.
Having covered 41 European states by 2013, the Observatory received funding from the European Commission to implement the ‘Access to Citizenship and its Impact on Immigrant Integration’ (ACIT) project. Under the aegis of this project, we developed a series of indicators comparing how European states regulate the acquisition of citizenship and the impact of citizenship on the socio-economic and political participation of immigrants. The following year, working on the ‘Franchise and Electoral Participation of Third Country Citizens Residing in the European Union and of European Citizens Residing in Third Countries’ (FRACIT) commissioned by the European Parliament we expanded thematically from citizenship status to access to the electoral rights as the core of democratic societies. Seeking to provide rigorous comparative tools for analyzing access to the franchise the observatory developed the qualitative Conditions for Electoral Rights database, and the quantitative ELECLAW indicators on access to the franchise.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Observatory contributed to the ILEC project on Involuntary Loss of European Citizenship, funded by the European Commission’s DG Justice and coordinated by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). A key question it sought to answer is what impact the development of European citizenship is having on national competences covering the acquisition and loss of nationality in light of increasing jurisprudence from the Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights.
Outputs from these project are available through our publications section.