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EU Court Affirms Member State Authority in Citizenship Revocation: Insights from Cases of Dual Nationality

In a significant legal development, the European Union's Court of Justice has upheld the prerogative of Member States to revoke citizenship, including EU citizenship, in instances where individuals voluntarily obtain citizenship from another country. The ruling, issued in response to joined cases C-684/22 to C-686/22 Stadt Duisburg (Loss of German nationality), reaffirms the sovereignty of Member States in protecting the special ties they share with their citizens.


EU Court Affirms Member State Authority in Citizenship Revocation: Insights from Cases of Dual Nationality

According to the Court's judgment, EU law does not inherently prohibit individuals who willingly acquire another nationality from automatically forfeiting their citizenship of a Member State and, consequently, their EU citizenship. However, the Court underscored the importance of safeguarding against any unjust repercussions of such loss, affirming individuals' right to petition their country's authorities for a review of the decision.


The focal point of the case revolves around Turkish nationals who contested the revocation of their German nationality, which they had obtained through naturalization in 1999. Upon becoming German citizens, they had renounced their Turkish citizenship as required. However, subsequent to 2000, they opted to reacquire Turkish nationality, triggering an automatic loss of their German citizenship under amended German laws.


The German court, citing concerns over the compatibility of this automatic loss with EU legal principles, sought clarification from the Court of Justice. The Court highlighted the far-reaching consequences of such loss, not only stripping individuals of their Member State nationality but also depriving them of EU citizenship, thereby impinging upon their rights to free movement within the EU.


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While acknowledging the authority of Member States to delineate conditions for nationality acquisition and loss, the Court stressed the need for a balanced approach that respects both national interests and individual rights within the EU's legal framework. This ruling underscores the delicate balance between preserving national identity and ensuring the protection of EU citizens' rights in an increasingly interconnected Europe.

By fLEXI tEAM

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