News and Updates

Address by the European Ombudsman, Ms Emily O'Reilly, to the ILEC Final Conference

Ms Emily O'Reilly, the European Ombudsman, delivered the keynote address to the ILEC Final Conference on 11 December 2014. A transcript of Ms O'Reilly's address can be found here.



ILEC Final Conference: EU Citizenship at the Crossroads: Enhancing European Cooperation in Nationality and Fundamental Rights

The ILEC Final Conference was jointly organised by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and Maastricht University together with the Permanent study group on Immigration and Integration (IMI) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). This event took place on Thursday, 11 December 2014 at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, and on 12 December 2014 at the European Economic and Social Committee, Brussels.

The programme for the Final Conference can be found here.


Elspeth Guild, CEPS; Sergio Carrera, CEPS; René de Groot, University of Maastricht; Aikaterini Dimitrakopoulou, European Commission


Emily O'Reilly, European Ombudsman

René de Groot, University of Maastricht

Rainer Bauböck, EUI

Kay Hailbronner, University of Konstanz

Maarten Vink, University of Maastricht

Judit Tóth, ICCR

Patrick Wautelet, University of Liège

Eva Ersbøll, Danish Institute for Human Rights

Irini Pari, EESC

Georgia Georgiadou, European Commission

Luis Miguel Pariza Castaños, EESC

Nicoletta Charalambidou, European University Cyprus

Aurelia Álvarez, University of León

Owen Parker, University of Sheffield


Amanda Weston, Garden Court Chambers

Kees Groenendijk, Radboud University Nijmegen

Jason Schachter, UNECE - UN Economic Commission for Europe

Alenka Privinšek Persoglio, Interact4

Adrian Berry, Garden Court Chambers

Inge Sturkenboom, UNHCR




Mid-Term Conference Proceedings Report

The Proceedings Report from the Mid-Term Conference held on 29 April 2014 at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels, is now available in English and Spanish.



Interviews with Professor Rainer Bauböck, Professor Maarten Vink and Professor Patrick Wautelet

Following the ILEC Mid-Term Conference, the opportunity was taken to ask Professor Rainer Bauböck, Professor Maarten Vink and Professor Patrick Wautelet about the role of their respective institutions in the ILEC Project, the focus of their research for the Project and their views about what they consider to be the most pressing issues in the area. Transcripts of the interviews can be found here:

Professor Rainer Bauböck 

Professor Maarten Vink

Professor Patrick Wautelet



ILEC Mid-Term Conference

WHO OWNS EU CITIZENSHIP? Loss and Acquisition of Citizenship and the Role of the EU

Date: Tuesday, 29 April 2014 (09.00 - 18.00)

Venue: 1 Place du Congrès, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium


European citizenship has become the fundamental status of EU Member States’ nationals yet questions related to acquisition and loss of nationality have remained firmly in the exclusive competence of Member States. At the same time, the past twenty years have seen the traditional boundaries delimiting Member State discretion over nationality laws being challenged and reshaped with the emergence of a set of international standards, principles and supranational case law. The Court of Justice of the European Union for instance has held that national policy and legislative interventions need to take ‘due regard to’ European Union law, as well as their impact over citizenship of the Union rights and freedoms and the wider obligations in the Treaties.

This conference asked can Member States’ sovereign powers to lay down the grounds for the acquisition and loss of nationality still be freely exercised without any EU law supervision? How do national level rules and procedures applicable to loss and acquisition of nationality across the EU measure up to European and international legal standards? And what are the current challenges in member state practices covering the withdrawal of citizenship from their nationals (in both loss and quasi-loss of citizenship cases)?

The conference drew upon research underway in the ILEC project together with the contribution of policymakers, legal practitoners, academics and civil society to examine these questions.

Click here to download the full PROGRAMME of the Conference


ILEC partners make first overview of data collection results 

13 December 2013

With the data collection phase of the ILEC project now almost complete, ILEC partners met in Brussels to make a first overview of the results. Questionnaires were sent in May 2013 to experts across the 28 member states, aiming to make a comprehensive overview of the rules and administrative practices governing loss of nationality in European member states. These surveys have delivered a wealth of information, and provide considerable added-value as compared with the data in the current modes of loss database on citizenship available on the EUDO website. That database will be revised to include this information in the spring of 2014.

Analysis of the questionnaire findings now begins in earnest, and the first conclusions will be presented in preliminary form at the ILEC mid-term conference on 29-30 April 2014. 




ILEC in the Spanish press (Castilla y León) 

27 August 2013

Spanish media and regional newspapers have taken a keen interest in the ILEC project and its research agenda, following dissemination activities by ILEC partner, the University of León. Read the news articles covering the start of the ILEC project (in Spanish) via the links below: 

El Mundo:



Diario digital de León:

El Diario de León:

El Norte de Castilla:



ILEC Brochure available for download

15 July 2013

For a summary of ILEC’s scope, objectives and research team, see the project flyer for key information at a glance.

Download the flyer here and share with your networks. 



ILEC survey launched 

06 May 2013

ILEC’s data collection exercise was launched in May with the release of an in-depth questionnaire survey on the rules and administrative practices governing loss of nationality in European member states. The survey has been distributed to experts (policymakers, legal practitioners, academics, and NGO representatives) in the 27 EU member states plus Croatia.

The results of the survey, to be published in 2014, will provide the first comprehensive comparative analysis of the regulations, administrative practices and statistical data concerning involuntary loss of nationality across the EU.



ILEC begins activities

11 March 2013

11th March 2013 saw the Kick-off meeting of the ILEC project at the premises of the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

The seven consortium partners came from their respective member states (Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) to set up the work plan for the following two years of research. The most critical discussions centred around the design of the questionnaire survey that would figure as the primary data collection tool of the ILEC project.

Activities during the first year of the ILEC project will primarily be devoted to gathering the regulations and practices covering loss of nationality in the 27 (plus Croatia) member states of the European Union and making a comparative analysis of the data. The second year of the project will focus on the exchange of practices among national policymakers and developing a common set of standards.