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Recent publications on citizenship laws and policies


The integration needs of mobile EU citizens: Impediments and opportunities

By Elizabeth Collett, Migration Policy Institute Europe, Brussels, 2013

The right to free movement for all European Union citizens and the resulting mobility system represent one of the EU's signal achievements. The integration of mobile EU citizens has not been widely discussed, however, either at EU or national levels, and EU-level integration policies focus on the integration of legally residing third-country nationals.
The lifting of restrictions on movements of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals at year’s end is sparking concerns in some EU Member States over the costs of free movement on local budgets and national social security programmes. The question of who should be liable for the costs of integrating newcomers has also taken on new prominence; in Germany, the German Association of Cities recently called for additional federal financial support, saying municipalities face significant costs as a result of what it termed ‘poverty migration.’ And the Dutch government, outlining its most recent integration agenda, announced it will invest in policies facilitating the integration of mobile EU citizens.
A new Migration Policy Institute Europe report, The integration needs of mobile EU citizens: Impediments and opportunities, investigates the broad range of integration needs that exist in Europe and the role different actors, including employers, can play in meeting them. The topic is particularly relevant with respect to vulnerable groups such as minorities and the poverty-stricken.

The report, authored by MPI Europe Director Elizabeth Collett, outlines the near-equivalent set of legal and social rights that mobile EU citizens have compared to those of native residents in each EU country. While the strong rights framework enjoyed by these mobile citizens implies that the process of settling in is easier for those holding EU citizenship than for third-country nationals, the reality is typically more complex. Nationality makes little difference to the process of adapting to new languages, institutions, and social norms, and mobile EU citizens have many of the same integration needs as their third-country national counterparts—not least a need for language courses and orientation information concerning life in their new countries.

The report makes the case that EU citizens should more proactively be included in language and orientation courses on a voluntary basis. In addition, there is a critical need to improve the knowledge base, particularly for local actors, so that public services such as education and health can adapt according to need.

The MPI Europe report is the second of two studies examining labour mobility in the European Union; the first provides a detailed assessment of intra-EU mobility trends and drivers, and examines the evidence on the economic and social impact of free movement on origin and destination countries.

You can download the report.

For more information on MPI Europe and its research publications, visit www.mpieurope.org.

Study for the feasibility of a legal instrument in the field of nationality law and families (including the promotion of acquisition of citizenship)

By Alenka Prvinšek Persoglio and the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2012


Over the past years, there has been a notable increase in attention paid to legal issues in relation to the family dimension of loss and acquisition of nationality in Council of Europe member states. These are numerous and of considerably complexity. These legal issues are a result of the combined effects of demographic changes in Europe, such as increasing levels of mobility, decreasing fertility, increasing life expectation, changing family norms and practices as well as legal and policy responses to all these issues.

Download the full report.


Regulating Political Incorporation of Immigrants - Naturalisation Rates in Europe

By David Reichel, ICMPD Working Paper No. 4, December 2012

This paper describes and analyses the usefulness of naturalisation rates as an indicator for political incorporation of migrants in Europe. This paper was developed in light of the production of indicators of migrant integration across Europe by the European Commission, endorsed by the Ministerial Conference in Zaragoza in 2010. One such indicator is generally defined as the "share of immigrants that have acquired citizenship". This paper provides an overview of naturalisation rates in Europe by analysing existing data since 1998, discussing and examining different ways of calculating naturalisation rates, as well as seeking to explain differences in naturalisation rates across time and space. In addition, a case study on naturalisation rates in Austria is included, to further elaborate naturalisation rates. The paper shows that naturalisation rates - calculated as the percentage of annual acquisitions of citizenship to the total number of foreign citizens at the beginning of the year - are influenced by a variety of factors, including naturalisation policies and demographic developments. They, however, serve as a good general indicator for political incorporation of immigrants in European countries.

Dowload the full paper.

Russian Citizenship. From Empire to Soviet Union

By Eric Lohr, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2012.

Russian Citizenship is the first book to trace the Russian state’s citizenship policy throughout its history. Focusing on the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the consolidation of Stalin’s power in the 1930s, Eric Lohr considers whom the state counted among its citizens and whom it took pains to exclude. His research reveals that the Russian attitude toward citizenship was less xenophobic and isolationist and more similar to European attitudes than has been previously thought—until the drive toward autarky after 1914 eventually sealed the state off and set it apart.

Drawing on untapped sources in the Russian police and foreign affairs archives, Lohr’s research is grounded in case studies of immigration, emigration, naturalization, and loss of citizenship among individuals and groups, including Jews, Muslims, Germans, and other minority populations. Lohr explores how reform of citizenship laws in the 1860s encouraged foreigners to immigrate and conduct business in Russia. For the next half century, citizenship policy was driven by attempts to modernize Russia through intensifying its interaction with the outside world. But growing suspicion toward non-Russian minorities, particularly Jews, led to a reversal of this openness during the First World War and to a Soviet regime that deprived whole categories of inhabitants of their citizenship rights.

Lohr sees these Soviet policies as dramatically divergent from longstanding Russian traditions and suggests that in order to understand the citizenship dilemmas Russia faces today—including how to manage an influx of Chinese laborers in Siberia—we must return to pre-Stalin history.

See more on the Harvard University Press website.

Doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft bei Naturalisierung – Eine europäische Situationsanalyse unter spezieller Berücksichtigung Liechtensteins

By Martina Sochin d'Elia (collaborator Michael Kieber), Arbeitspapiere Liechtenstein-Institut Nr. 37, October 2012.

This paper deals with dual citizenship by naturalisartion. It analyses the current situation in Europe with a specific focus on Lichtenstein. Download the paper.