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Dealing with Loopholes in National and EU Citizenship: Spanish Nationality in the Case of Western Sahara

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the potentially fuzzy boundaries of the concept of European citizenship, and its deep interconnection with the nationality legislations of the European Union (EU) Member States. Spanish nationality law remains deeply anchored in the traditional paradigm of a country of emigration. The chapter reviews the interconnections between the nationality laws of Member States and the concept of EU citizenship as defined by European Treaties and institutions. It reviews the main characteristics of current Spanish citizenship law by linking current legislation with its historical background, stressing both Spain's connections with its former colonies and its concern for the fate of Spanish communities living abroad. The chapter explores, with regard to Spanish nationality legislation, the specifics of the case of the Western Sahara. It concludes that the Spanish judicial authorities are playing a crucial role in establishing the limits of the characteristics of EU citizenship.

Keywords: European Union (EU) citizenship; Member States; Spanish nationality law; Western Sahara



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