Schooling As a Basis for Naturalisation: Exploring the Educational and Philosophical Underpinnings of a Legal Debate in Greece
Global Citizenship Education, Multiculturalism and Social Inclusion in Europe: The findings of the Project - I Have Rights (2018); ISBN: 978-989-20-8570-8
35 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2018
Date Written: June 9, 2018
Greek Law 3838/2010 provided for the possibility of young immigrants acquiring Greek citizenship after having attended Greek schools for at least six years. This provision was based on the premise that schooling is capable of promoting Greek culture and achieving the social integration of immigrant children, as provided for in Art. 16 of the Greek Constitution.
Surprisingly enough, in a retroactive decision, the Greek Supreme Administrative Court (the so-called ‘Council of State’) has declared this provision to be unconstitutional. According to its reasoning, six years of Greek state schooling does not necessarily lead to the development of a Greek consciousness, which is a necessary requirement for an immigrant to acquire Greek citizenship. Moreover, the Court stressed that the notion of ‘nation’ enshrined in Article 1 of the Greek Constitution obliges the State, in the naturalisation process, to examine the degree of each individual immigrant’s social integration and Greek consciousness. This paper aims to examine the educational and philosophical underpinnings of the relationship between education, integration and the prerequisites of naturalisation.
Keywords: Greek naturalisation law, immigrant school children in Greece, Greek ethno-cultural identity
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