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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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Political scientists reject Trump’s claim that millions of non-citizens voted in the U.S. elections in 2016

Political scientists have written an open letter in which they reject Donald Trump’s claim that millions of non-citizens voted in the November 2016 presidential elections. To support the claim, the U.S. President has cited a 2014 article by Jesse Richman, Gulshan Chattha, and David Earnest, published in Electoral Studies. In the article, Richman et al. claimed that the number of non-citizen voters could range "from just over 38,000 at the very minimum to nearly 2.8 million at the maximum”. The claim was based on information on the respondents’ citizenship status from the 2008 and 2010 large scale Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES).  It subsequently served to share President Trump’s rhetoric on the non-citizen votes. The authors of the paper reject the U.S. President’s  interpretation of their analysis.

In a 2015 critique to the article, Stephen Ansolabehere, Samantha Luks, and Brian Schaffner demonstrated that the most likely explanation for almost all of the supposed non-citizen votes is response error. 

Read the open letter, and news on this issue, including a NYT piece on how illegal voting (by a green card holder) might happen and why it is so unlikely. 

Access the original article in Electoral Studies, the critique in same journal and the rebuttal by the original authors.

For details of current and past electoral legislation in the United States check out our country profiles and access our qualitative database and quantitative indicators.  

European Commission publishes its 2017 EU Citizenship report

The European Commission has published its third EU Citizenship Report, focusing on the progress in the exercise of EU citizenship rights since 2014 and presenting actions aimed at enhancing citizens’ awareness on how to fully enjoy these rights. 

The report notes that most Europeans are aware of their right to live and work in other EU Member States. However, they are not fully aware of the mechanisms for exercising their right to vote in European and local elections. EU citizens are also commonly not aware  of their right to consular protection from other Member States' embassies. To enhance the knowledge and understanding of these issues among EU citizens, the Commission will undertake a number of awareness-raising issues.

See the Press Release for more details, and check out the summary and full text of the 2017 EU Citizenship report. 

Other useful documents include Factsheets on Commission actions in the field of EU citizenship 2013-2016 and on 2015 Public Consultation on EU citizenship, Technical report on the legislative developments and jurisprudence on EU citizenship (Article 25), EU Citizenship programme, and 2015 surveys on electoral rights and citizenship.

Estonian Prime Minister: Draft law does not introduce a “zero option” for citizenship

The Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas stated that his proposal to grant citizenship to those who lived in the country for more than 25 years does not not introduce a “zero option” for citizenship. He added that applicants would still need to fulfil the loyalty requirement stipulated in Estonia's Citizenship Act. 

Ordinary naturalisation requirements in Estonia (article 6 of Estonia's Citizenship Act) require that the applicant has been resident in Estonia for 8 years, of which the last 5 years permanently; to have permanent legal income; to know the language and the Constitution and the Citizenship Act of Estonia (citizenship test); to pledge loyalty to the country; and to renounce the citizenship of another country.

More information on the proposal here and on the internal debate in Estona here

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

Turkish citizenship-by-investment for real estate purchases of 1 million USD, or investments of 1 million USD

On 12 January, Turkey has revised a decree for citizenship-by-investment. In line with the new rules, Turkish citizenship will be offered to foreigners investing at least 1 million USD in real estate (cannot be re-sold within 3 years), at least 2 million USD in equity, or at least 3 million USD loan or investment in debt bonds for three years. Further to this, foreigners who create 100 jobs in Turkey will also be eligible for this country’s citizenship. 

Read more here

For details of the past and present citizenship legislation in Turkey consult our country profile pages.

Dutch woman denied Swiss citizenship for campaigning against the traditional use of cow bells

Dutch-born Nancy Holten (42), who has lived in Switzerland since the age of eight, has been denied Swiss citizenship for the second time. 

Holten speaks fluent Swiss German and has children who have Swiss nationality. Residents object to granting her Swiss citizenship because as a vegan and animal rights supporters she campaigns against the traditional use of cow bells. 

When she first applied for Swiss citizenship in 2015, local authorities approved her application, but it was subsequently by 144 out of 206 residents in a vote. Local voting on citizenship applications has been discontinued since, but in November 2016, when Holten applied for the Swiss passport for the second time, a local residents’ committee blocked her application. 

Holten’s application will now be considered by Aargau’s cantonal government, which could still decide to grant her citizenship. 

Read more about her first application in AZ (in German) and the second application in The Local (in English).

For details of the past and present citizenship legislation in Switzerland consult our country profile pages.