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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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Towards a South American Citizenship?

By Elisa Brey, Paraguay Country Expert

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) was created in 2007. Since the establishment of a Working Group on South American Citizenship in 2012 the General Secretary of UNASUR has been highly involved in this project. He declared that South American citizenship should be based on common identity, free mobility and access to rights, especially the right to work, right to education (considering recognition of diplomas, for example) and legal protection. Solidarity and complementary between Member States have been recognised as basic principles, together with democracy and respect of human rights. 

In July 2016 several countries of South America met at the headquarters of UNASUR with the aim to consolidate the initial steps of the project for a South American Citizenship. Among other issues, they discussed the creation of a Platform of Assistance to South American Citizens. Read more here.

In July 2016, the South American Citizenship was the main issue discussed during the V Convergence Bureau. The purpose was to initiate coordination to avoid duplication and create synergies between the different integration mechanisms. Read more here.

For more details on current and past citizenship legislation in the countries of South America, please consult our country profile pages.

For a comparative study on citizenship in South America, check out Diego Acosta's comparative paper.

British Sephardic Jews apply for Portuguese passports after Brexit

The decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) has caused an increase in the number of British Sephardic Jews seeking Portuguese citizenship. In recent years, Portugal and Spain have readopted laws facilitating the return of descendants of Jews expelled from the Iberian peninsula in late 15th century.

Read full text in The Guardian, and for a detailed overview of present and past citizenship legislation in Portugal consult our country profile pages.

Trump: citizenship revocation for burning the US flag

On 29 November, the president-elect of the United States Donald Trump tweeted that individuals who burn the US flag should bear the consequences of their act, such as ‘perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail’. The tweet was motivated by the action of a student ay Hampshire College Massachusetts who burned a US flag in protest over Trump’s victory in the election.

Read more in The Atlantic.

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

Dissidents in the Gulf states stripped of their citizenship

The Economist writes that following their independence from the British rule, many Gulf states have started stripping dissidents and their families of their citizenship, often rendering them stateless. Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar have all resorted to citizenship revocation as a mechanism of maintaining control over their subjects. 


Read the full text in The Economist

Post-Brexit citizenship for British EU officials? Residency issues

Jonathan Faull, the former leader of the Commission’s Brexit task force, requested a ‘high level action’ by the Commission to facilitate the acquisition of dual nationality for British European Union (EU) officials in Belgium and other countries. 

British officials seeking Belgian citizenship need to have five years of legal residence, commonly evidenced by paying employment tax and health insurance, or having a national ID. However, employees of the EU do not pay taxes to the Belgian government directly and hence have no tax residency. They also have special EU IDs, hence a further hurdle in proving residency.

Read full text at Politico.

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