Civil Rights and EU Citizenship
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Civil Rights and EU Citizenship

Challenges at the Crossroads of the European, National and Private Spheres

Edited by Sybe de Vries, Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger

The process of European integration has had a marked influence on the nature and meaning of citizenship in national and post-national contexts as well as on the definition and exercise of civil rights across Member States. This original edited collection brings together insights from EU law, human rights and comparative constitutional law to address this underexplored nexus.
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Chapter 5: Nationality and EU citizenship: strong tether or slipping anchor?

Hanneke van Eijken and Pauline Phoa


In principle, Member States are exclusively competent to decide how persons can acquire and lose their nationality, but EU law, and more specifically Union citizenship rights, provides important outer limits. The chapter first offers an overview of recent reports on this topic, highlighting commonalities and idiosyncrasies of the domestic systems. Furthermore, it provides an analysis of developments in the EU that provide the aforementioned legal framework that Member State laws need to respect. The chapter subsequently comments on recent developments in the light of the interplay of the EU legal framework with domestic nationality laws. It is concluded that the relationship between Member State nationality and EU citizenship can be looked at from two perspectives, namely, on the one hand, as an example of the dynamic division of competences between the EU and its Member States, and on the other, from a more conceptual, fundamental level.

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