Reply To: Citizenship instead of nationality

By Giuseppe Martinico

AvatarGiuseppe Martinico

Let’s say that the positions are both understandable and reflect a different vision of the reality we want to build.

In many contexts nationality and citizenship would be seen as synonyms, but from a legal point of view they are not always so. Today, comparative law shows us that the concept of nationality is not always relevant. The Spanish constitution expressly distinguishes between nation and nationality. In American law, the basic rule is the INA, theImmigration and Nationality Act (INA)
I quote a colleague “The term “nationality” also exists in the INA, but its historical unimportance in U.S. law has left its relationship to citizenship somewhat ambiguous. “Nationality” and “citizenship” are clearly not interchangeable, however. The INA defines “nationality” as the quality of “owing permanent allegiance to a state.”[96] Thus it has always been clear that not all nationals are citizens.[97] What is not clear is whether all citizens must be nationals. Consider, for instance, the expatriation statute: “A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality . . . .”[98] The statute mentions nationality six times, and citizenship not once. Strict construction of the INA thus contemplates people losing their “permanent allegiance to the United States,” but does not indicate that these expatriates must also lose the benefits and burdens of U.S. citizenship laid down elsewhere in the Statutes at Large” (source:https://jeanmonnetprogram.org/archive/papers/97/97-10.html)

Personally, I would opt for citizenship, after all it is a concept that is also found in multinational federations such as Canada. I believe that Canada, more than the United States, should be our model.
In the same way, to protect national diversity, we could introduce an article or paragraph similar to Article 4.2 TEU, according to which the “ The Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government”.

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