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Citizenship Deprivation: A Normative Analysis. Liberty and Security in Europe No. 82, 19 March 2015

Bauböck, Rainer and Paskalev, Vesco (2015) Citizenship Deprivation: A Normative Analysis. Liberty and Security in Europe No. 82, 19 March 2015. [Policy Paper]

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    Most critical analyses assess citizenship-deprivation policies against international human rights and domestic rule of law standards, such as prevention of statelessness, non-arbitrariness with regard to justifications and judicial remedies, or non-discrimination between different categories of citizens. This report considers instead from a political theory perspective how deprivation policies reflect specific conceptions of political community. We distinguish four normative conceptions of the grounds of membership in a political community that apply to decisions on acquisition and loss of citizenship status: i) a ‘State discretion’ view, according to which governments should be as free as possible in pursuing State interests when determining citizenship status; ii) an ‘individual choice’ view, according to which individuals should be as free as possible in choosing their citizenship status; iii) an ‘ascriptive community’ view, according to which both State and individual choices should be minimised through automatic determination of membership based on objective criteria such as the circumstances of birth; and iv) a ‘genuine link’ view, according to which the ties of individuals to particular States determine their claims to inclusion and against deprivation while providing at the same time objections against including individuals without genuine links. We argue that most citizenship laws combine these four normative views in different ways, but that from a democratic perspective the ‘genuine link’ view is normatively preferable to the others. The report subsequently examines five general grounds for citizenship withdrawal – threats to public security, non-compliance with citizenship duties, flawed acquisition, derivative loss and loss of genuine links – and considers how the four normative views apply to withdrawal provision motivated by these concerns. The final section of the report examines whether EU citizenship provides additional reasons for protection against Member States’ powers of citizenship deprivation. We suggest that, in addition to fundamental rights protection through EU law and protection of free movement rights, three further arguments could be invoked: toleration of dual citizenship in a political union, prevention of unequal conditions for loss among EU citizens, and the salience of genuine links to the EU itself rather than merely to one of its Member States.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > European citizenship
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Liberty and Security in Europe
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2015 12:24
    Number of Pages: 40
    Last Modified: 27 Mar 2015 14:03

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