General Question

choreplay's avatar

How does European Citizenship work?

Asked by choreplay (6290points) July 29th, 2011

Someone recently told me that since my grandmother was from Ireland I was entitled to European citizenship. Is this true and is it automatic with proof or some type of process. Not that I’m jumping at it or anything, it is just interesting.

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14 Answers

Jellie's avatar

Yes… you don’t need a visa to visit or live in any European state if you are a citizen of any one of the EU countries. They have a monetary and social union.

JLeslie's avatar

@choreplay It depends on the country. I know Italy has a process where if you are a grandchild of an Italian you can apply for citizenship. A friend of mine is doing it now, her cousin did it. Once you are a citizen of a country that is part of the European Union, then I guess you get all the privilages associated with it, but I am not sure how that works. Anyway, you would have to find out about Irish citizenship first, not European citizenship (not sure there even is really such a thing, or if the wording is used that way technically?).

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If your grandmother was a citizen in Ireland, then yes, you can become a citizen of Ireland. You would need to register with the proper authorities and include proof of direct kinship. Here is a link to the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service site where you can do more research on the requirements. Here is the page from that site with more specific details.

cazzie's avatar

I have residency in a European country and I come as go as I please. You would have to see if you qualify for an Irish passport. I believe that Ireland and Israel are the two counties that approve of residents based on genealogy.

zenvelo's avatar

My grandmother who died in 1974 was a British subject, I can still apply for British citizenship?

If I did, would that then be extended to my children if they wanted?

cazzie's avatar

I don’t think the UK does that anymore. Your kids might get a special work permit for 6 months or something if they are under 25 or something… but that is all…. They used to do that for kids in New Zealand, so I’m not sure. You’d have to look it up.

WrongW's avatar

I can answer you as EU citizen – generally people live in every EU country they want, you wont need any visa to travel through those countries, but it depends what nationality you are. Getting citizenship may be quite complicated. My sister was trying to get german citizenship and she had to take german language courses (you must speak the language of this country- I guess it’s not a problem cause you do speak english, it’s enough)
and you have to proof that your grandmother was Irish, maybe you will also have to pay for some documents – it’s generally complicated. But Im quite sure that the fact your gm was Irish doesnt make you Irish automatically. Just think if it’s worth the effort, if you really need this citizenship.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Okay, taking a step back here from my original answer…

Europe is comprised of many countries. Each country has their own rules and regulations when it comes to issuing citizenship. Yes, the countries have been working to make it easier for citizens of their countries to travel around Europe with less hassle, but it doesn’t open up the rights of of one to another, like voting.

As for citizenship, there are just way too many variables, so let’s narrow it down to the OP’s case and toss in @zenvelo.‘s

@choreplay As far as I know, there is no “European citizenship’ that encompasses all European countries.. The country in question is Ireland, and it is specifically about qualification through birth rights. Again, the quick answer to your question is “Yes, you qualify for consideration.” Ireland’s process looks easier than others, but their is still paperwork, costs, and probably other factors involved. You just have to do the research to find out. For example, does it make a difference what country you currently hold citizenship in? Will Ireland make you relinquish that citizenship, or will they allow dual citizenship? What if you were adopted? Would that still count? Do they require that you live there?

@zenvelo As for being a grandchild of a British subject, the rules have changed over the years and have even more if/then guidelines than before. If you are truly curious, here is a site that might help answer some of your questions.

The other area that may make it even stickier is when we throw around names like Ireland, United Kingdom and Great Britain.
* The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK for short) is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Note that it does not include The Republic of Ireland.
* Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales.
* As for Ireland, I have no clue how their government process works. Where do they draw the line between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland? Are the citizenship laws the same for both, or do they differ?

@WrongW‘s final comment is really what it comes down to: Just think if it’s worth the effort, if you really need this citizenship.

Personally, I just think it’s cool that you can say that you could be an Irish citizen based upon birth rights.

ml3269's avatar

… and for sure, with the citizenship of a EU-member-state you can live and work wherever you like in he Union… and vote… communal… and national in the state of citizenship.

Still unbelievable for me that we in Europa came that far in that short time… after centuries of slaughter, radicalism, fachism… :)

Hibernate's avatar

Aye. You get a country citinzenship for for all Europe. And if the country is in the UE you can travel freely in all countries that are in the UE.

@ml3269 you might not like Europe but bear with me. If Europeans wouldn’t have traveled and colonize other locations then some place wouldn’t be around. [ like the American continents that were inhabited only by a few people who weren’t progressing but regressing ].

ml3269's avatar

@Hibernate: You misunderstood me: I am 100% european, I see the EU like “my country”... I see the way we are going (to a kind of “USE”... in our way…) very positively and the one and only flag I have at home is the one of the EU…

Hibernate's avatar

Europe is not a “country” and you can’t really look at it like a particular country. And this because everyone here is different based on where they live. Dutch people are more open minded while Italians are not that open while Spanish lads are narrow minded when most Scotish people are patriots etc.
Yeah it’s easy now but since not all are the same you see why I had to say it.

JLeslie's avatar

@ml3269 When Europe decided to make a common currency I thought to myself, that is the beginning of a true United Europe. I believe the US making one federal currency was a very important step in forming the United States of America. Not only in a literal sense, but also in a psychological sense among the citizens. I find your opinion interesting, since I observe Europe from afar. I think each country will keep its individuality, but also overtime things might get more blurred, depending on how the populations moves around. It is the same as the many regions in the US having their own characteristics.

I think Europe has a real chance to have a lot of power in the future, power in a good way, I am optimistic about it.

mattbrowne's avatar

“Citizenship of the European Union was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992, and in force as of 1993. It exists alongside national citizenship and provides additional rights to nationals of member states of the European Union.”

The duties and rights of EU citizens may vary from country to country. In Germany for example EU citizens have voting rights for local elections including mayors and city councils in Germany where they have residency.

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