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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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Greece: Government promises to introduce ius soli

News summary by EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Dimitris Christopoulos

“My government will suggest the acquisition of the Greek nationality by birth for every individual born on Greek territory,” said the Greek Prime Minister Geórgios Papandréou jr. at the International Migration Forum. The Forum was held in Athens on 3-5 November this year.

For the first time in history a Greek prime minister advocated the inclusion of ius soli provisions in the nationality law. The new government is expected to present a proposal for amendments of the current law in the first months of the coming year. The minister of Interior Yiannis Ragousis has already agreed to have the Nationality Code amended. At this stage, however, it is unclear how far-reaching the government’s proposal for ius soli provisions will be.
According to some reports, the government plans to grant citizenship to about 250,000 children who were born in Greece or who have received basic education in Greek schools. The immigration status of the parents would not be treated as an issue here. However, it is not clear whether the parents would also be granted citizenship, and when the new legislation would be passed.

Read the report in the Times of Malta of 4 November 2009.

The reform is inspired by a new code on Greek nationality launched in January 2009 by the Greek League for Human Rights, the oldest human rights NGO in the country, with the support of Papandréou.

Read the report in Athens News of 14 April 2009.

Papandréou’s declaration already spurred a lively internal debate in Greece. The extreme right-wing party Popular Orthodox Alarm (LAOS) opposes the reform proposal.

Check out the Greek Country Profile.

Visit the website of the Hellenic League for Human Rights (in Greek)



Focus Migration publishes policy brief on dual citizenship in Germany

The information service Focus Migration has published a new policy brief on "Dual citizenship- the discourse on ethnic and political boundary-making in Germany".


Discussions on the permissibility of dual citizenship play a special role in social discourse. In addition to technical and practical considerations, this concerns ideas of citizenship and naturalisation as ethnic and political boundary-making, as well as attitudes within a country towards permanent residents of a different origin and their integration in the social system.

The policy brief introduces current developments and discusses critically objections against dual citizenship.

Download the policy brief.

Romania: former citizens, new citizens, new votes?

An article by the Romanian newspaper Cotidianul shows that after the simplification of the procedures for granting Romanian citizenship to former citizens in 2007, the numbers of acquisitions have risen steadily from 200 in 2007 and 4000-4200 in 2008 to 9000-9500 in 2009. In September and October 2009 alone, 2982 Moldovan citizens have acquired Romanian citizenship through this facilitated procedure. The newspaper suggests that the latter figure has to do with the current electoral battle and the government's "hunting for votes".

Read the article in Romanian 'Capcanele zilei de 22 noiembrie: Candidatul, volurile si moldovenii'

Read the report 'Romanian citizenship offered to Moldavians' by EUDO Citizenship expert Costantin Iordachi on May 12, 2009.

Bulgaria plans to amend citizenship law

The Minister for the Bulgarians Abroad disclosed his plan for the
amendment of citizenship law. The main points of the proposal include
a facilitated procedure for the naturalisation of foreigners who
graduate from Bulgarian universities as well as the restoration of
citizenship to former citizens (and their descendents) who
involuntarily lost their Bulgarian citizenship due to the loss of
territories following the Paris Treaty of 1947. The amendments are currently under discussion.

Read what the Bulgarian newspaper DNEVNIK writes about this debate (in Bulgarian).

Read a related article from the English-language The Sofia Echo: 'Bulgaria speeds up granting passports to ethnic Bulgarians'.




Italy to discuss citizenship law reform

Citizenship law reform is back in the agenda in Italy. On October 18, two leading politicians, Gianfranco Fini (President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Parliament’s lower chamber, and prominent figure of the governing party Popolo della Libertà/People of Liberty, PdL) and Massimo D’Alema of the Democratic Party (PD, the main opposition party) met in Asolo, a small town in Northern Italy, to discuss nationality law reform. They identified three areas in urgent need of reform: citizenship for children of migrants to be granted at the end of attending an Italian primary school, Islamic religious instruction in Italian public schools, and the right for foreign residents from non-EU countries to vote in local elections. The meeting was organized by two of the main Italian think tanks, Fini’s Fondazione Fare Futuro and D’Alema’s Italiani Europei. But the reform is supported by a much broader coalition, including the centrist party Unione dei Cristiani Democratici/Union of Christian Democrats (UDC).