An inspiring parallel between the Italian and Hungarian jurisprudence with a view to reducing statelessness
Abstract: Un parallelo stimolante tra la giurisprudenza italiana e ungherese al fine di ridurre l'apolidia
The right to a nationality is a fundamental human right proclaimed by Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, implying the right of each
individual to acquire, change and retain a nationality. Therefore, putting individuals at risk of not having a nationality and potentially becoming stateless constitutes a human rights violation in itself. Statelessness and its implications comparable to legal non-existence persist in Europe as a rather unseen, yet pressing and mostly intergenerational human rights issue affecting thousands of ’non-nationals’ in the area of freedom, security and justice, despite the existing international human rights instruments related to statelessness that most EU Member States have acceded to. This paper draws a parallel between the Italian and Hungarian statelessness related jurisprudence, reflecting on the Hungarian Constitutional Court decision declaring that the lawful stay requirement in the statelessness determination procedure breaches international law and the positive decision of the Civil Court of Rome changing a previous refusal of citizenship of a Romani woman born and
raised in Italy. The latter case also constitutes an important milestone in the eradication of Roma statelessness in Europe. The paper concludes that these cases set an example for other EU Member States with stateless populations, as well as for Yugoslav successor states with EU membership aspiration to bring about long-awaited legislative changes allowing stateless individuals to be recognized as nationals in countries of the enlarging area of freedom, security and justice in line with the EU's founding values, including equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Keywords: reducing statelessness, statelessness determination, nationality laws, Roma
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