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International standards for the acquisition of nationality by immigrants and their descendants Jan Niessen (MPG) Co-financed by the European Fund for the.

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Presentation on theme: "International standards for the acquisition of nationality by immigrants and their descendants Jan Niessen (MPG) Co-financed by the European Fund for the."— Presentation transcript:

1 International standards for the acquisition of nationality by immigrants and their descendants Jan Niessen (MPG) Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third- Country Nationals

2 Low and slow Eurostat: 2% of foreigners naturalise annually in EU - 27 Including persons with longer residence would not lead to a significant increase It takes on average ten years to naturalise in EU - 15

3 Percentage of naturalised citizens among non-EU-born immigrants, 2008, Naturalisation is surprisingly low Certain immigrants are less likely to naturalise, but policies explain a lot of the difference

4 Why is that a problem for individuals and society as a whole? Two types of citizens and residents: nationals and non-nationals What to do to raise the numbers? And Why?

5 Naturalisation as part of approach to inclusive citizenship Naturalisation is best guarantee of residence & rights Improves immigrants socio-economic and political participation, protection from discrimination, perception in society, and POLITICAL POWER Increases support for inclusive integration & social policies (voting power & counter-balance to far right) Across EU, residence-based citizenship and naturalisation are COMPLEMENTARY strategies to inclusion; States dont do one without other (TCN political rights); fighting for one alternative over another undermines the argument

6 Citizenship and political rights EU 25

7 Citizenship and political rights

8 Promoting naturalisation: a two-pronged approach Residence-based citizenship and naturalisation are complementary and necessary for inclusion Country-by-country: remove obstacles (use MIPEX, ACIT) Countries with inclusive laws need citizenship campaigns since few states or NGOs promote naturalisation & voter participation among immigrants Countries with restrictive laws need legal reform based on what all citizens have in common: Proposed international standards for acquisition of nationality (ACIT)

9 Proposed international standards: descendants of immigrants 1.1 Automatic ius soli for children of residents of 5 years 1.2Right to citizenship for immigrant minor children (so- called1.5 generation) after 5 years schooling 2.1Naturalisation of parents leads to that of minor children

10 Proposed international standards: ordinary naturalisation 3.1Legal residence (any) for 5 out of past 6 yrs (1 yr for BIP/ stateless, or married/partnered to national for 3 yrs) 3.2Willingness to learn language to level provided in state- funded courses (elderly & disabled exempt) 3.3.1Fulfil same civic responsibilities as citizens 3.3.2Willingness to learn about civics or citizenship only if required of all pupils in compulsory education (same requirement, same support, elderly & disabled exempt) 3.4No serious threat to public security in the country 3.5Basic fee; persons economic situation is no obstacle 4Multiple nationality accepted for all citizens

11 Proposed international standards: procedures for acquisition 6.1Documentation for ordinary naturalisation 6.2A public service welcoming citizens-to-be 6.3Procedural guarantees (strong judicial review) 6.4Equal treatment and recognition of new citizens (e.g. Facilitating voter registration)

12 Further reading Migrant Integration Policy Index EUDO Observatory on CITIZENSHIP CITIZENSHIP.eu EWSI Special feature on access to nationality


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