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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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Hungary: Earlier reports on the citizenship law reform on EUDO CITIZENSHIP

Read a summary of the new provisions in the Hungarian Nationality Act (July 13, 2010)

"Ethnic Hungarians in transborder states may well be the biggest losers and victims of Hungary’s dual citizenship reforms"

by EUDO CITIZENSHIP experts Mária M. Kovács and Szabolcs Pogonyi

24 May 2010

During the past eight years of the socialist-liberal coalition government, the rift between the opposition and the ruling parties grew bitter: it seemed that no consensus on important political questions is possible between the Hungarian governing parties and the opposition. But after the landslide victory of the centre-right Fidesz party in the April parliamentary elections, consensual politics seem to be alive again – at least on some important national issues, primarily on offering citizenship for Hungarians living abroad and the commemoration of the tragic consequences of the 1920 Paris peace treaties. After initial discussions in the Parliament it seems that all major parties support Fidesz’s initiative to offer dual external citizenship for Hungarians living in the neighboring countries, and also endorse the commemoration of the anniversary of the 1920 Paris peace treaties as Hungary’s biggest national catastrophe.


Reactions in Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania and Serbia to Hungary's decision to give access to citizenship to ethnic Hungarians

Reactions in Ukraine

By EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Oxana Shevel

12 July 2010

Unlike in neighbouring Slovakia where the May 26 amendment to the law on Hungarian citizenship that granted persons of Hungarian ancestry residing abroad the right to Hungarian citizenship led to a domestic outcry, in Ukraine there has not been any official reaction so far. According to the 2001 census, Hungarians are the 7th largest ethnic group in Ukraine, numbering 156,600. They are concentrated in the Zakarpattia oblast (region) in the south-west corner of the country where they constitute the second largest ethnic group (after Ukrainians), numbering 151,500, or 12 percent of the region’s population. Given that within the region the Hungarians are further concentrated in the districts along the Hungarian border, and that today's Zakarpattia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and became part of the Soviet Ukraine only in 1945, one can expect Ukraine to be as sensitive as Slovakia and Romania to the dangers of Hungarian irredentism that some suspect lurking behind the new Hungarian law. The Hungarian law also relates to Ukraine’s long-standing concerns about, and opposition to, the principle of dual citizenship. This opposition stems first and foremost from the Ukrainian elites’ fears that dual citizenship with Russia can endanger Ukraine’s sovereignty and potentially even territorial integrity, given that Ukraine’s ethnic Russians are concentrated in Ukraine’s regions bordering Russia, especially in Crimea where they constitute the majority. Even though there is no dual citizenship agreement between Russia and Ukraine and Ukrainian legislation does not recognize dual citizenship, Russia has been issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens since the 1990s. According to some estimates, as many as 100,000 people in Crimea now hold both Ukrainian and Russian passports.


Belgium: Bill to tighten access to naturalisation

Shortly before resigning, the Belgian government led by prime minister Yves Leterme adopted a bill reforming acquisition of Belgian citizenship. This reform had been on the coalition government's agenda since July 2009. The fall of the government means that the future of the bill is uncertain. It has not yet been published in the official bulletin Moniteur Belge. The following text reprinted from Migration News Sheet May 2010 summarises the content of the intended reform.

[MNS 05/2010] On 9 April 2010, the Federal Government adopted a Bill aimed at tightening the conditions of access to Belgium citizenship.

Under the terms of the Bill, only foreigners holding a residence permit of unlimited duration are entitled to apply for Belgian citizenship.


France: new rules for proving nationality when applying for renewal of passports and ID cards

by EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Christophe Bertossi

French nationals applying for a new passport or identity card will now be able to provide former French passports and identity cards as a sufficient proof of French nationality instead of a French nationality certificate. The new rules came into force on March 1, 2010, following a joint decree of the French Ministry of Interior and of Foreign Affairs.


Greece: comprehensive citizenship reform passed in parliament on 11 March. Read a summary by EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Dimitris Christopoulos

by Dimitris Christopoulos


On 11 March the Greek Parliament approved a bill proposed by the Greek government that comprehensively reforms Greek citizenship law. The law will come into force upon publication in the Official Gazette. The main points of this important reform are:

1.Double ius soli. Automatic acquisition of Greek citizenship if one of the parents is born and permanently resides in the country (Article 1, par. 2, al.a).