Citizenship grants immigrants equal rights and responsibilities, and it ensures their recognition as a full part of society, it is particularly important in the context of the European Union. Yet access to the European Citizenship is linked to the acquisition of the nationality of each member state, and is therefore regulated by national legislation. With Spain quickly becoming one of the main countries of naturalisations in Europe it is necessary to understand the role that the state plays in this crucial step towards integration. To contextualise how the naturalisation process can affect potential New European Citizens this conference will present the results from the research project “Differentiation in the Naturalisation of Immigrants in Spain” (DNIs), directed by CIDOB and co-funded by the Open Society Foundations.
This will be followed by a discussion on how to remove the obstacles to citizenship and to promote naturalisation. In part this will include the presentation of the “Immigrant Citizenship Campaigns” project, funded by the Open Society Institute for Europe (OSIFE), which promotes naturalization and political mobilisation of migrants as citizens in 10 European countries.
Finally, the possible role that the European Union can play in this debate will be analysed. The debate will focus on the impact that European Citizenship has had in the remodelling of the Member States’ competences in terms of acquisition and loss of nationality.