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Citizenship News

EUDO CITIZENSHIP offers a selection of media reports and news summaries on significant legislative changes, court decisions, policy developments, political campaigns or other events concerning citizenship in Europe and beyond.

We welcome suggestions for news items by our users. Proposals including the full text or internet link should be sent to EUDO.Citizenship@eui.eu. The EUDO CITIZENSHIP team will selectively publish news based on their significance and information content. We will not publish items whose content appears to be biased or otherwise problematic.

We will publish news in any European language if an English summary of the content is available.

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Campaign for ‘Votes for Life’ ahead of the UK general election

The UK-based civil rights organisation New Europeans has started a campaign to pass the ‘Votes for Life’ legislation before the next General Election. The legislation would enable the UK citizens resident abroad for over 15 years to vote in the general election. At present, citizens who have lived outside the UK for over 15 years are disenfranchised. Previously, the UK government had announced that it will amend electoral rules to ensure lifelong voting rights for the country’s citizens.

Read more here and check out our country profile pages for details of past and present electoral legislation in the UK.

For a comparison of inclusion in the electoral franchise in Europe and the Americas, check out our Conditions for Electoral Rights 2015 database and our ELECLAW indicators.

EU Commission registers the initiative ‘EU Citizenship for Europeans: United in Diversity in Spite of jus soli and jus sanguinis’

On 27 March 2017, the European Commission has registered the initiative “EU Citizenship for Europeans: United in Diversity in Spite of jus soli and jus sanguinis”. The initiative has the objective of proposing EU legislation that would “ensure that, following the withdrawal of a Member State in accordance with Article 50 TEU, the citizens of that country can continue to benefit from similar rights to those which they enjoyed whilst that country was a Member State”.

Read the initiative details here, and the Commission’s decision here.

Poroshenko’s amendments could strip millions of their Ukrainian citizenship

The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko proposed amendments to the citizenship law to regard any person who voluntarily took another country’s citizenship as having waived their Ukrainian citizenship, this introducing a mechanism for automatic loss of Ukrainian citizenship. Some rights groups estimate that if the law passes, as many as 5 million people could be stripped of Ukrainian citizenship. 

Read more here, and check out our country profile pages for details of current and past citizenship in Ukraine.

ECtHR rules that the UK can strip terrorism suspects of citizenship

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the UK’s policy of stripping terrorism suspects of their British citizenship and barring them from returning to the country is lawful. The case concerned a claim of a Sudan-born man who became a UK citizen in 2000. He maintained that citizenship deprivation violated his right to a private and family life. The ECtHR dismissed his claim. 

Read more here, and the decision of the court here.

For details of current and past citizenship legislation check out our country profile pages.

Record number of Dutch voters from abroad

A record number of Dutch citizens residing abroad have registered to vote in the upcoming general elections of 15 March. According to national registration data, around 77.500 persons have registered to vote. 

In the general elections of 2012, less than 50.000 persons registered to vote from abroad. Recently a number of measures have been taken to facilitate voting from abroad. For example, voters abroad can have their ballot sent by email (though voting itself is by regular mail). Voters abroad can also vote at embassies or consulates abroad or receive a mobile voting pass to vote at any polling station in the Netherlands.

Currently voters abroad need to register separately for each election, but it is foreseen that voters in the future will have to register only once.

Read more here (in Dutch), and also see the EUDO CITIZENSHIP Conditions for Electoral Rights 2015 database and the Country Report on Access to Electoral Rights: The Netherlands.

For details of current and past electoral legislation in the Netherlands, check out our country profile pages.