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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 aim is to provide a forum in which current issues related to nationality and the electoral franchise can be disseminated and discussed in a spirit of critical intellectual inquiry.

Note to contributors

We invite comments that do not exceed 2000 words, that are written in a style that is accessible to a wider audience and that are submitted under the author’s real name. We also encourage responses to recently published blogs. We reserve the right to decline contributions that do not correspond to our current priorities. We will not publish comments that we find irrelevant, factually wrong or offensive. All comments are carefully reviewed prior to publication.

Contributions to the Citizenship Blog should be submitted via email to eudo.citizenship@eui.eu.

 

Britons are applying for Irish citizenship to get an EU passport. Is this a problem?


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP/GLOBALCIT Consortium Member Iseult Honohan

Since the Brexit vote, many British citizens have sought citizenship in other EU member states – notably Ireland – on the basis of ancestry or other provisions, often without any intention of living there.  Should we welcome this development? Or is it problematic that people can claim citizenship on the basis of ancestry, especially if large numbers do so? Iseult Honohan argues that while extending the right to citizenship down multiple generations is a questionable step, problems will only really arise if citizens who have never lived in the country are given equal voting power.

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The outcome of Italy’s referendum may be decided in Castelnuovo di Porto


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborator Lorenzo Piccoli

Many Italian citizens living outside the country will have the opportunity to vote in the constitutional referendum on 4 December. But what impact could these votes have in shaping the result? Lorenzo Piccoli highlights that with voters outside Italy accounting for around 8 per cent of the electorate, the count at the Civil Protection Centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, where the expatriate ballots are delivered, could be crucial in determining the outcome. 

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Beyond Brexit: Scotland could be given a special status on immigration


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP co-director Jo Shaw

The free movement of people played an important role in the EU referendum campaign and it has been widely discussed as an aspect of the future negotiation package during the months since then. From an EU law perspective, it is part of the package of ‘four freedoms’ that make up the single market: goods, services, capital and people.

 

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Universal suffrage for Brussels? Why foreigners need to be given the vote at regional elections and how this can be achieved.


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborator Philippe Van Parijs

Isn’t it about time that universal suffrage was introduced in Brussels? Don’t we already have it? We don’t. Here are the facts.

Over a third of the Brussels population is disenfranchised

Very roughly, the population of the Brussels-Capital region, one of the three regions of the Belgian federal 

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Biao v. Denmark: Discrimination among nationals


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Eva Ersbøll

On 24 May 2016, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued the Biao judgment about discrimination among nationals in family reunion matters. The court ruled (with 12 votes against 5) that there had been a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) article 14 read in conjunction with article 8.  

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Exclusion of whistleblowers, conflicting eligibility rules and strategic naturalisations – why it is time to change Olympic eligibility rules now


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborator Anna Sabrina Wollmann

In these last days before the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and its ad hoc divisions are faced with an immense workload, dealing with matters ranging from alleged doping to issues of nationality.  

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Why citizenship (still) matters in France


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborator Emile Chabal

In the wake of the November 13 terrorist attack, French president François Hollande decided to reinforce France’s security legislation. In addition to a raft of police and intelligence measures, he proposed two major constitutional revisions: the first was to “constitutionalize” the state of emergency, previously an ad hoc piece of legislation; the second was to formalize the conditions under which French citizens can be stripped of their nationality.

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Prisoner voting: now a matter of EU law


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP co-director Jo Shaw

Article 39(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights provides: 

‘Members of the European Parliament shall be elected by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot.’ 

In its brief and rather low key judgment in Delvigne (Case C-650/13; ECLI:EU:C:2015:648), which was handed down on 6 October 2015, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice has put flesh on the bones of this provision.

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The ‘Brexit’ Referendum: We Need to Talk about the (General Election) Franchise


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborator Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler

In its 27 May 2015 Queen’s speech, the Conservative government announced that ‘early legislation will be introduced to provide for an in/out referendum’. The following day, it introduced the European Union Referendum Bill, which passed its third reading in the House of Commons on 7 September 2015 (by 316 votes to 53).

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Banishment, Australian style


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP collaborators Helen Irving and Rayner Thwaites

Motivated by the emergence of “home-grown” terrorism and the prospect that Australian citizens joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq may return to Australia, the Australian government (like many others) is seeking greater powers to revoke citizenship. 

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Welcome to E-stonia! E-residence and Citizenship in an Electronic Republic


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Costica Dumbrava

In 2014 Estonia launched an e-residence scheme through which non-resident foreigners could obtain an Estonian digital identity card. The digital card allows people to access a series of digital services such as enabling them to create and use electronic signatures, launch and manage companies, do online banking

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The EU Referendum: Who should vote?


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP co-director Jo Shaw

The question of who votes in what elections is usually thought to be a rather nerdy and obscure question, and it doesn’t often capture the public imagination. So it was quite something to see an announcement from Number 10 in advance of the publication of the EU Referendum Bill telling us what the franchise is going to be in the referendum trending as ‘most popular’ and as a ‘top story’ on the BBC News website

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The Facebook test of Romanian citizenship


By EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Costica Dumbrava

The next day after acquiring Romanian citizenship, Irina Tarasiuc – a singer from the Republic of Moldova – wrote on the social network Facebook: “For me the Romanian passport only stands for a visa, and not for citizenship. It is just an instrument for being mobile. I am Moldovan.” Tarasiuc acquired Romanian citizenship through a facilitated

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