09 Jan 2015

A Comparative Analysis of Regulations on Involuntary Loss of Nationality in the European Union

Gerard-René de Groot / Maarten Peter Vink

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This study looks at loss of citizenship of the European Union (EU) due to the loss of nationality of an EU member state. Only the nationals of a member state possess European citizenship; the loss of nationality of a member state thus also implies the loss of European citizenship. Member states are in principle autonomous in nationality matters, which means that their rules on loss of nationality, and loss of EU citizenship, differ considerably. But member states must respect international law and the general principles of European law when dealing with loss of nationality.

This report aims to provide a comprehensive and systematic comparative analysis of existing regulations and procedures in EU member states with regard to the involuntary loss of nationality. These rules are also assessed in light of international and European standards, in particular with regard to the prevention of arbitrary deprivation of nationality, the principle of proportionality and procedural guarantees. The report offers recommendations for policy-makers, judges and other authorities dealing with this issue.

Gerard-René de Groot is Professor of Comparative Law and Private International Law in Maastricht, Aruba and Hasselt. Maarten Peter Vink is Professor of Political Science at Maastricht University and a part-time Professor at the European University Institute.