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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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143 IIP applicants in Malta, opposition raises the issue of voting rights

As of April 2016, a total of 143 applicants for Malta’s Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) have completed the process. The revenue for the country’s government from property purchase through the programme amounted to 25.5 million euros, 12.3 million from rentals, and national philantrophic associations received almost 0.8 million through donations. 

In the meanwhile, the opposition in Malta has raised the issue of voting rights for beneficiaries of IIP.The Nationalist Party (PN) maintains that the majority of IIP citizens  were given right to vote without having spent six months in the last 18 months in the country - a prerequisite for enfranchisement. Issues surrounding the number of voters are particularly salient in small countries, such as Malta, where the 2008 national elections were won by an advantage of 1,580votes.

Read more in Malta Today and Independent, and check out our country profile page for further information on citizenship and electoral rights in Malta. 

For the debate on investment-based citizenship read our forum debate and Jelena Dzankic’s Working Paper

For an overview of electoral rights in Malta, consult our new Conditions for Electoral Rights.

Emergency appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the right of non-resident UK citizens to vote in the Brexit referendum

The case of Harry Shindler and Jacquelyn MacLennan, British expatriates who are not allowed to vote in the EU referendum because they have lived abroad for more than 15 years will be deliberated by the Supreme Court in an an emergency appeal next week. 

Previously, the UK high Court has reserved judgment on whether UK citizens living in other European Union Member States to vote in the upcoming referendum on the UK’s EU membership. The legal challenge was brought by two non-resident UK citizens seeking declaration that Section 2 of the EU Referendum Act 2015, which denies them a vote because they have lived abroad for more than 15 years, is incompatible with their EU law rights.

Read more at The Herald, the Guardian our forum debate on independence referendums, Ruvi Ziegler’s EUDO blog, and Jo Shaw’s paper on voting and unions.

Shindler case on expat vote in the Brexit referendum unsuccessful

The UK High Court has ruled in the case Harry Shindler MBE, Jacquelyn MacLennan -v- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that Section 2 of the EU Referendum Act 2015 does not infringe the free movement rights of the claimants as a result of the exclusion of all bar external voters who have only been resident outside the UK for 15 years or fewer from the franchise.

Read our earlier news item and the full text of the judgment. 

New electoral rules in Bulgaria: approved, implementation pending

In the last two weeks of April, the National Assembly of Bulgaria has approved a series of amendments to its Electoral Code. New rules include mandatory voting for resident citizens accompanied by deletion from electoral roll if the citizen fails to come to the ballot box in two consecutive elections of the same type – e.g., presidential or parliamentary, as well as fa ban for representatives and employees of officially-recognised religions from supporting electoral campaigns. The relevant provisions of the code have had the final vote in the parliament, but are not in force yet as the voting on the other chapters of the code is  still ongoing.

For more information check Sofia Globe here and here, and see our country profile page for more information on the electoral rights in Bulgaria.

Citizenship deprivation resulting in statelessness

"The power under review is an unusually strong one in international terms. It extends further than the laws of most comparable countries in Europe, North America or Australasia. Yet it has so far attracted less controversy than the recent introduction of more limited powers in Australia, Canada and France. This is, perhaps, a reflection of underlying attitudes to citizenship – or of the fact that the power under review largely replicates one that was used in the UK prior to 1974 and remained on the statute book until 2002. Since the power under review was only recently enacted by Parliament and has not yet been used, [he] make[s] no specific recommendations in this report as regards its operation. It remains to be seen whether the power will be used in future – or, if used, whether it will be of any practical benefit in the global fight against terrorism. Some possible reasons for scepticism are outlined in [the report]."

Read more here.