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Reduction of Statelessness and Access to Nationality: The need for EU-regulation – The showcase of stateless Roma in Slovenia

Månsson, Matilda LU (2013) JURM02 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Rätten till medborgarskap kodifierad i artikel 15 i FN:s declaration om de mänskliga rättigheterna tolkas som rätten att ha rättigheter. Genom medborgarskap säkras tillgång till grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter. Personer som inte betraktas som medborgare i någon stat enligt dess lagar är de jure statslösa. Åtnjutandet av mänskliga rättigheter för de jure statslösa är följaktligen begränsad.

För närvarande finns det ett flertal internationella instrument som reglerar statslöshet. Några av de mest betydande är 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the 1997 European Convention on Nationality och the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of... (More)
Rätten till medborgarskap kodifierad i artikel 15 i FN:s declaration om de mänskliga rättigheterna tolkas som rätten att ha rättigheter. Genom medborgarskap säkras tillgång till grundläggande mänskliga rättigheter. Personer som inte betraktas som medborgare i någon stat enligt dess lagar är de jure statslösa. Åtnjutandet av mänskliga rättigheter för de jure statslösa är följaktligen begränsad.

För närvarande finns det ett flertal internationella instrument som reglerar statslöshet. Några av de mest betydande är 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the 1997 European Convention on Nationality och the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State Succession. I dessa uppmanas stater att ”underlätta tillgång till medborgarskap" eftersom detta är den enda "hållbara lösningen” av statslöshet. Denna permanenta lösning kan uppnås genom erkännande av medborgarskap (vid födsel) eller naturalisation (ansökan om medborgarskap).

Trots ovannämnda instrument, finns det states som tillämpar medborgarskapslagar som försätter individer i statslöshet. För romer i Central-och Östeuropa är detta särskilt tydligt. Flera rapporter från människorätts- och romarättsorganisationer och Europarådets kommissionär för mänskliga rättigheter uttrycker stor oro för situationen och antalet statslösa romer i denna region, där Slovenien utgör ett exempel där många romer är statslösa till följd av secession och ny statsbildning, diskriminerande medborgarskapslagar och administrativa förfaranden, särskilt gällande villkor för naturalisation.

Detta indikerar att det finns situationer där internationella instrument helt enkelt inte är tillräckliga, främst på grund av det svaga stödet för deras innehåll. Inte heller på EU-nivå kan medborgarskap garanteras eftersom frågan om in situ statslöshet inte behandlas alls i EU-lagstiftning. Anledningen till detta är bland annat EU’s bristande lagstiftningskompetens i frågan samt principen om staters suveränitet. Denna uppsats beklagar avsaknaden av sådan kompetens, då EU-lagstiftning vore ett alternativ och komplement till redan befintliga instrument, för att mer effektivt begränsa statslöshet samt försäkra rätten till medborgarskap inom EU.

Det faktum att det finns rättsliga omständigheter som hindrar EU från att anta lagstiftning i frågan, avfärdar dock inte sakförhållandet att sådana rättsliga åtgärder behöver vidtas. Genom EU-lagstiftning kan restriktioner och normer för naturalisationsvillkor åläggas medlemsstaterna vilket i förlängningen skulle trygga tillträdde till medborgarskap genom naturalisation och följaktligen minska förekomsten av statslöshet i enlighet med internationella principer om mänskliga rättigheter. (Less)
Abstract
The right to nationality codified in article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is understood as the right to have rights. By possessing nationality, access to fundamental human rights is ensured. A person who is not considered a national of any state according to its laws is de jure stateless. De jure stateless persons are consequently impeded to enjoy such human rights.

As of today there are several international instruments addressing the issue of statelessness, of which the most important ones are the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the 1997 European Convention on Nationality and the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of... (More)
The right to nationality codified in article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is understood as the right to have rights. By possessing nationality, access to fundamental human rights is ensured. A person who is not considered a national of any state according to its laws is de jure stateless. De jure stateless persons are consequently impeded to enjoy such human rights.

As of today there are several international instruments addressing the issue of statelessness, of which the most important ones are the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the 1997 European Convention on Nationality and the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State Succession. According to these, states are urged to provide ‘facilitated access to nationality’ as this the only ‘durable solution’ to statelessness. This permanent solution is achieved through recognition of nationality or naturalization.

Despite these instruments, states apply nationality laws rendering individuals stateless. For Roma in Central and Eastern Europe this is especially evident. Several reports from human and Roma rights organizations and the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights express great concern for the situation and the number of stateless Roma living in CEE.
Slovenia is just one example where Roma face statelessness as a result of state succession, discriminatory nationality laws and administrative practices, especially concerning naturalization requirements.

This indicates that there are situations where international instruments simply are not enough, mainly due to the weak support for their content. Neither on EU-level can access to nationality be ensured as the issue of in situ statelessness is not addressed at all in EU-law. This lacuna of EU-law is a result of lack of legislative competence on the matter and the doctrine of state sovereignty. As such, this thesis regrets that the EU does not have the competence to adopt such legislation, as an EU-instrument would be an alternative and compliment to already existing instruments, in order to more efficiently address reduction of statelessness and access to nationality in an EU-context.

In any case the fact that there are legal obstacles that prevent EU from adopting legislation on the issue does not dismiss the fact that such legal action is needed. If the EU had the competence to regulate, restrictions and standards on naturalization requirements could be imposed which in extension would create facilitated access to nationality through naturalization and consequently reduce statelessness in accordance with principles of international human rights law. (Less)
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author
Månsson, Matilda LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
public international law, EU law, reduction of statelessness, access to nationality, naturalization requirements, Roma, Slovenian nationality law
language
English
id
3800897
date added to LUP
2013-06-13 15:15:16
date last changed
2013-06-13 15:15:16
@misc{3800897,
  abstract     = {The right to nationality codified in article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is understood as the right to have rights. By possessing nationality, access to fundamental human rights is ensured. A person who is not considered a national of any state according to its laws is de jure stateless. De jure stateless persons are consequently impeded to enjoy such human rights.

As of today there are several international instruments addressing the issue of statelessness, of which the most important ones are the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the 1997 European Convention on Nationality and the 2006 Council of Europe Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in relation to State Succession. According to these, states are urged to provide ‘facilitated access to nationality’ as this the only ‘durable solution’ to statelessness. This permanent solution is achieved through recognition of nationality or naturalization. 

Despite these instruments, states apply nationality laws rendering individuals stateless. For Roma in Central and Eastern Europe this is especially evident. Several reports from human and Roma rights organizations and the CoE Commissioner for Human Rights express great concern for the situation and the number of stateless Roma living in CEE.
Slovenia is just one example where Roma face statelessness as a result of state succession, discriminatory nationality laws and administrative practices, especially concerning naturalization requirements.

This indicates that there are situations where international instruments simply are not enough, mainly due to the weak support for their content. Neither on EU-level can access to nationality be ensured as the issue of in situ statelessness is not addressed at all in EU-law. This lacuna of EU-law is a result of lack of legislative competence on the matter and the doctrine of state sovereignty. As such, this thesis regrets that the EU does not have the competence to adopt such legislation, as an EU-instrument would be an alternative and compliment to already existing instruments, in order to more efficiently address reduction of statelessness and access to nationality in an EU-context. 

In any case the fact that there are legal obstacles that prevent EU from adopting legislation on the issue does not dismiss the fact that such legal action is needed. If the EU had the competence to regulate, restrictions and standards on naturalization requirements could be imposed which in extension would create facilitated access to nationality through naturalization and consequently reduce statelessness in accordance with principles of international human rights law.},
  author       = {Månsson, Matilda},
  keyword      = {public international law,EU law,reduction of statelessness,access to nationality,naturalization requirements,Roma,Slovenian nationality law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Reduction of Statelessness and Access to Nationality: The need for EU-regulation – The showcase of stateless Roma in Slovenia},
  year         = {2013},
}