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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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UN report regards imposition of Russian citizenship in Crimea as a source of human rights violations

The recent report by the UN Human Rights Office regards the imposition of Russian citizenship in Crimea as a source of violations of human rights. “The citizenship issue has had a major impact on the lives of many residents of Crimea,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Read more here and access the full report here

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

Newly elected member of the Swiss government renounces Italian citizenship even though the law does not demand it

The Swiss parliament has elected Ignazio Cassis, a member of the Italian-speaking minority, to the seven-member Swiss cabinet on Wednesday. He will replace Didier Burkhalter on the multi-party government.

Before the election, Cassis had been in the cross-hairs of the Swiss People's Party, who questioned his loyalty to Switzerland because he held dual nationality. Born to Italian parents in Switzerland in 1961, Cassis held both an Italian and a Swiss passport. 

During the campaign, Cassis announced he would give up his dual nationality if elected to the cabinet although he's under no legal obligation to do so. He insisted that it was a personal and “spontaneous” decision not influenced by any political pressure. Nevertheless, the decision was widely criticised.

The debate has also annoyed the more than 775,000 Swiss living abroad, the vast majority of whom (73.5%) have dual nationality. “We regret this decision, for it implies that dual nationals are not fully Swiss," said Ariane Rustichelli, director of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad. 

Swiss political scientist Nenad Stojanovic has emphasized that the election of Cassis is still “historical”, as he is the first naturalized citizen to be elected to the federal council. Stojanovic insisted that, when seen from this angle, the election is a strong positive signal to foreigners and naturalized citizens in Switzerland.

Read more here, here and here

Interview with Stojanovic here (in German). 

Sierra Leone enacts citizenship amendments

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on amended the bill entitled “The Citizenship Amendment Act 2017” on 5 July 2017.The bill amends the Citizenship Act of 1973 to take into consideration the amendment made to the Citizenship Act in 2006 providing for citizenship by birth to be granted through the mother.

Read more here.

Kazakhstan adopts Law on citizenship deprivation

The President of Kazakhstan  Nursultan Nazarbaev has signed into law a bill that would enable the authorities to annul the citizenship of people convicted of certain crimes related to terrorism and state security.The bill was previously passed in both chambers of Kazakhstan’s parliament.

Read more here.

Taiwan eases citizenship rules

Taiwan has amended its citizenship policy to relax naturalisation requirements. According to the new legislation, foreigners with five years of residency can apply for Taiwanese citizenship, and if “they are high-level professionals in the technological, economic, educational, cultural, art, sports, or other domains who have been recommended by the central competent authority”, they need not renounce their nationality of origin. In addition to this, renunciation was abolished for spouses of Taiwanese nationals.

Previously, to obtain the citizenship of Taiwan, a foreigner was required to first renounce their citizenship of origin, thus remaining at the risk of statelessness.

Read more in Taipei Times and Taiwan News here, here and here.

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