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Examining the proposed amendment to the Slovak Citizenship Act from the perspective of EU law

Question écrite de M. Loránt VINCZE - Commission européenne

Question de M. Loránt VINCZE,

Diffusée le 10 janvier 2022

Subject: Examining the proposed amendment to the Slovak Citizenship Act from the perspective of EU law

In recent years, the Commission has repeatedly stated that it is engaged in a dialogue with the Slovak authorities on the Slovak citizenship law.

The amendment of the Act was most recently postponed – again – by the Slovak Parliament last autumn; however, it appears from the proposal that the problem which has existed since the adoption of the Act in 2010 has not been solved with the creation of new exemptions. The legislation particularly affects the country’s largest minority, the Hungarian community, which in Hungary would be able to apply for a second nationality.

The legislative amendment pending adoption at second reading would unduly discriminate against EU citizens in terms of their losing or acquiring Slovak citizenship. While non-Slovak nationals living abroad can acquire Slovak citizenship, Slovak nationals residing in Slovakia lose their Slovak nationality when acquiring the nationality of another Member State, unless they have resided in the other State for five years.

1. What is the state of play of this dialogue: has it been successful so far, and if not, why not?

2. Does the draft comply with the requirements of EU law, in particular the principle of proportionality, and are the legal remedies which were previously lacking, for example, now guaranteed?

3. To what extent is legislation acceptable if it is indirectly directed against certain national minorities (including EU citizens)?

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 1 mars 2022

Answer given by Mr Reynders on behalf of the European Commission

(2 March 2022)

The dialogue with the Slovak authorities on this issue in the context of the EU Pilot procedure is ongoing.

The Commission does not assess whether draft legislation discussed at national level complies with Union law. The Commission will analyse the legislation once adopted.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has previously held that it is for the competent national authorities and the national courts to determine whether the loss of the nationality of a Member State concerned, when it entails the loss of citizenship of the Union and the rights attaching thereto, has due regard to the principle of proportionality so far as concerns the consequences of that loss for the situation of the person concerned and, if relevant, for that of the members of his or her family, from the point of view of EC law (1).

The situation described by the Honourable Member, which concerns the loss of the nationality of one Member State as a result of the acquisition of the nationality of another Member State is different as it does not entail the loss of citizenship of the Union and the rights attaching thereto.

⋅1∙ J udgment of 2 March 2010, Rottmann, C‐135/08, EU:C:2010:104, paragraphs 55 and 56. See: EUR-Lex — 62008CJ0135 — EN — EUR-Lex (europa.eu) | | ( | | )

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