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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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Austrian politicians demand tougher sanctions against Austrian-Turkish dual citizens

After demonstrations by supporters of Turkey’s president Erdogan against the attempted military coup in Turkey, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, as well as spokespersons of the Conservative Party and one Green Party MP demanded stricter controls or higher penalties to enforce an existing ban against dual citizenship. Austrian law permits dual citizenship in cases where it is in the national interest or where a citizenship of origin cannot be renounced, but requires that other applicants for naturalisation provide evidence that they have lost their previous citizenship. The above-mentioned politicians claim that a significant number of naturalised immigrants of Turkish origin have reacquired their temporarily lost Turkish citizenship without informing the Austrian authorities. If detected, these persons would lose their Austrian citizenship.

Read an op ed commentary by EUDO Citizenship co-director Rainer Bauböck in the Austrian daily Der Standard (in German).

For details of current and past citizenship legislation in Austria, consult our country profile page.

Increase in requests for Irish passports after Brexit

After the decision of the UK to leave the EU, an increasing number of British citizens have applied for Irish citizenship to secure the status of EU citizenship. Compared to the period between January and July 2015, the number of applications for citizenship to the Irish passport office has increased by 11 per cent. Most of the new applicants are residents in Northern Ireland (7,045) and Great Britain (5,719).

According to the 2011 census, 407,000 in the UK are Irish citizens by descent from parents or grandparents born in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. In some cases, in order to establish their citizenship, they will first need to enter their names on the register of foreign births. But for many people asserting their Irish citizenship which has been dormant is simply a matter of applying for an Irish passport.

Read more in the Sunday Business Post and The Journal, the opinion pieces on the effects of this trend in Irish Times here and here, as well as a recent analysis in Bloomberg.

For more information on the current and past citizenship legislation in Ireland, consult our country profile pages

Brexit results hit Malta’s IIP

Malta’s much debated Individual Investor Programme (IIP), introduced in 2014, has already seen some drawbacks from the recent decision of the citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) that they no longer wish their country to continue being an European Union (EU) Member State. Times of Malta writes that fearing the loss of free movement to the UK, a number of investors has withdrawn their IIP application. At the same time, Brussels-based Politico has noted that UK citizens might be interested in purchasing the passport of Malta, which would enable them to benefit from the rights of European citizenship.

Read more in Times of Malta, and consult our country profile pages for details of the current and past citizenship legislation in Malta. 

For a discussion of IIP, see our forum debate and Jelena Dzankic’s working paper. For the effects of Brexit on citizenship see our news item.

Romanian Constitutional Court overturns law allowing elected officials with suspended prison sentence to keep office

On 22 June 2016 the Romanian Constitutional Court found that the Law on the status of local elected officials, which allowed elected officials with suspended prison sentence to keep office, was unconstitutional. The Court acted upon a referral from the Romanian president. Initially the President returned the law to the Parliament but the legislative body failed to amend the controversial provisions. According to the Court, allowing convicted elected officials to keep their office brings prejudice to the integrity and responsibility of the public office. The President argued that the law was incompatible with the rule of law principle, undermined public trust and hindered efforts to fight against corruption. According to media reports, 61 mayors received suspended prison sentences last year and Bucharest’s general mayor and six district mayors were arrested under corruption-related charges.

Read more at Euractiv (in Romanian)and Radio Romania International (in English)and check out our country profile pages for details of current and past electoral and citizenship laws in Romania.

Two thirds failed the new Danish citizenship test

Only 31.2 per cent of 2,359 foreign nationals who took the new Danish citizenship test in June passed. The test has been criticised for its heavy emphasis on history, as well as for questions such as which Danish restaurant has 3 Michelin stars and whether society’s rules should prevail over religious beliefs. In order to pass the new test, the applicant is required to answer 32 out of 40 questions (80 per cent). The country’s integration minister Inger Støjberg refused to change the test highlighting that applicants who failed did not study hard enough for the exam.

Read more in The Local and consult our country profile pages for details of current and past citizenship legislation in Denmark.