Pre-Accession, Naturalization, and 'Due Regard to Community Law': The European Union's 'Steering' of Citizenship Policies in Candidate Countries During the Fifth Enlargement
Romanian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004, pp. 71-88.
18 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2006 Last revised: 28 May 2016
Altough the EU Commission holds the necessary tools to determine the candidate countries in the recent enlargement to resolve the citizenship issue, sometimes the conclusions were drawn on other basis than those resulted from the monitoring process. The examples of Latvia and Estonia are both contradictory and presented as successes for the process. When one looks at these countries, sees a high degree of Commission's success in changing the situation of the minorities and stateless residents trough concrete measures: elimination of age windows system in providing the citizenship, allowing the children from stateless parents to obtain the nationality at birth, elimination of the extra-fees system for the naturalization exams, but can also witness the prevalence of some negative provisions as the income discrimination in the citizenship granting-process. The paper admits that important steps were made during the pre-accession negotiations particularly with Latvia and Estonia but the main criticism, generally available, is that there were not clear standards versus the evaluation of the citizenship policies. The fact that Latvia and Estonia did as good as other countries accessing the EU in May 2004 despite the minorities problem is an evidence for this criticism.
Keywords: European Union, enlargement, pre-accession, citizenship, naturalization, pre-accession, Copenhagen criteria
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