Autonomous Eurozenship: Addressing the EU Citizenship Tourism Dilemma
As a consequence of granting all MS nationals the status of EU citizens (Eurozen), the interdependence of national acquisition processes has increased. Nationality acquisition however remains within the prerogative of individual MS and as such, cooperation between MS is practically non-existent.
Granting national citizenship no longer concerns only one MS, but affects other members of the Union. A number of arguments can be, and have been, made in support of an endeavour to harmonise the conditions or criteria for the grant of national citizenship, if the future of Eurozenship is indeed the “fundamental status of nationals of the Member States”, as the ECJ as proclaimed in a number of cases . One such argument is the need to address the legal loophole created by the proliferation of the free movement of persons within the EU, namely, ‘citizenship tourism’.
Citizenship tourism refers to the possibility for a TCN to selectively choose which of the 27 MS’s nationality to attain in order to (quickly, cheaply and easily) acquire Eurozenship and avail of the rights that comes therewith. This concept is distinct from “citizenship shopping” or “passport shopping”, which generally refers to the ability to buy citizenship by investing in the MS concerned.