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According to Dutch law, you automatically lose your Dutch nationality when you live outside of the EU for more than 10 years. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not consider the passport applications of a number of people.

The Dutch Council of State presented the EU Court of Justice in Luxemburg on April 19th, 2017 with a request for preliminary rulings* regarding this.

The high court wants to know whether the automatic loss of Dutch nationality is in accordance with European treaties about EU-citizenship.

Loss of Dutch citizenship means loss of EU-citizenship as well. Since citizenship of the Union, not nationality, is the primary capacity of the citizens of EU member states, this loss is disputable.

Evidently, just like in cases of revocation of nationality, automatic loss of nationality should be checked against the principle of proportionality to avoid arbitrariness.

For more information, please contact Hermie de Voer.

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* Requests for preliminary rulings are rare in the area of nationality law. The high court can request them as explanation of EU law. In general even the European courts have ruled that in principle, the conditions for loss or acquisition of nationality are set by each EU member state individually, however this needs to be done within the scope of European rules and regulations.


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