Swiss Citizenship

AuthorTanusha Selimi - Darjel Sina
PositionResearcher, PhD candidate, European University of Tirana - Associate Professor
Vol. 5 No.1
May, 2019
Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
ISSN 2410-759X
Acces online at
Swiss Citizenship
Tanusha Selimi
Researcher, PhD candidate, European University of Tirana
Darjel Sina
Associate Professor
The desire for naturalization and the aspiration to be member with all the e ects of one society
and to participate on the life of the community is a constitutional right of the foreigners who
have lived many years inone society1. At the moment that a person is going to present an
application for the acquisition of the citizenship of the country where he has been leaving
for many years, he declares his goal to be integrated as a member of the society with all the
rights and duties that will follow the acquisition of the citizenship of the country. Its means
also that the person with the naturalisation has achieved the highest level of integration in
the country. At the end of April 2014 there were 1. 906.753 million foreigners in Switzerland,
which make 3,3% more than the previos year. The number of citizens outside EU/EFTA was
611.039 (2013 601.388) which is 1.6 % more than the previous year. At the middle of May 2013
until April 2014 there were 151.852 people that have immigrated to Switzerland. The rst
on line were the people from Kosovo (14.414), a er them portugals +12.599, germans + 7503,
italians +6937 and french+6285. With about 27% of its working-age population being foreign-
born, Switzerland has together with Australia and Luxemburg one of the largest immigrant
populations in relative terms in the OECD2.
Keywords: immigration, quotas, ius sanguinis, ius solis.
*Public Commissioner at Ve ing Institution. Prof. Asoc. Dr. Darjel Sina Gratuated at the
National Kapodistrian University of Athens in Law. Post Doc University of Zurich with the
Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship
I. Introduction
The writing of this article will be focused on the process of acquisition of the Swiss
citizenship and the cases of losing it. The article is structured as follows. The rst
section outlines the de nition of the concept of citizenship and will be given a picture
of the naturalisation process during the years in Switzerland and OECD countries.
This section provides the integration process of immigrants into the Swiss society and
the positive impact that naturalisation has itself. On this section it wil be mentioned
the dual citizenship in Switzerland and the OECD countries. The second section
outlines the international criteria of obtaining citizenship. Switzerland applies the
Ius Sanguinis principle on a three institutional level (Federal, cantonal, municipal).
It wil be mentioned the ordinary and facilitated acquisition of the Swiss citizenship.
1 Wanner, P. and Steiner, I. (2012). Naturalisation en Suisse-Evolution 1992-2010, p. 19.
2 Liebig, T. et al. (2012), “The labour market integration of immigrants and their children in Switzerland”,
OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 128, Directorate for Employment, Labour and
Social Affairs, OECD Publishing, pg. 2-4.
Vol. 5 No.1
May, 2019
Balkan Journal of Interdisciplinary Research
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
ISSN 2410-759X
Acces online at
The nal section outlines the recommendations about the acquisition system of
citizenship in Switzerland.
A. De nition of Citizenship
The interesson the citizenship is rooted in the reinvigoration of this concept
in wider political-philosophical debates on civil society, social cohesion, and
communitarianism3.Citizenship in a broad sense, although it remains something
of a contested concept4, refers to membership and participation in a community5;
additionally, it denotes both entitlements and responsibilities which a ach to the
citizens who belong to the said community6.Citizenship is a status, is the legal link
between a person and the state. It is o en understood as including political rights7.
Citizenship then, it is the culmination of incorporation into a society8. Bellamy has
identi ed rights, participation and solidarity as the key componentsof contemporary
citizenship9.The notion of European Union citizenship10, whichhas its own distinctive
features, complements (rather than replaces) national citizenship and is now formally
articulated in Articles 17–22 EC as inserted by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992.Many
scholars in the migration and ethnic relations eld have done in distinguishing
di erent citizenship models or regimes11. These authors have come up with three
types of citizenship regimes, each de ning a speci c institutional and discursive
se ing for political contention over migration and ethnic relations. The rst regime,
labeled “ethnic” or “exclusive,” denies migrants and their descendants access to
the political community or at least makes such access very di cult by way of high
(institutional and cultural) barriers to naturalization. Germany is usually the typical
example for this model; other examples that are mentioned in the literature include
Austria, Switzerland, and Israel. The second type of regime, labeled “assimilationist”
or “republican,” and exempli ed by France or the old “melting pot” approach in the
United States, provides for easy access to citizenship, among other things through jus
soli acquisition at birth, but requires from migrants a high degree of assimilation in
3 Walzer, Michael. (1983). Spheres of Justice. New York: Basic Books, p. 98. Schlesinger, Arthur D. 1998.
The Disuniting of America: Re ections on a Multicultural Society. Rev. ed. New York: Norton, p. 56.
Steenbergen, Bart van, ed. (1994). The Condition of Citizenship. London: Sage, p.67.
4 Faist, T. (2001). ‘Social Citizenship in the European Union’, Journal of Common Market Studies 39:1, pg.
5 Marshall, T.H. (1950), Citizenship and Social Class, p. 78.
6 Kofman, E. (1995), ‘Citizenship for Some but not for Others: Spaces of Citizenship in Contemporary
Europe’, Political Geography 14:2, pg. 121–137.
7 Fleiner, Th. Misic, A, Töpperwien, N. (2012), Constitutional Law in Switzerland, p. 189.
8 Curries, S. (2008). Migration, Work and Citizenship in the Enlarged European Union, p. 45.
9 Bellamy, R. (2004), ‘Introduction: The Making of Modern Citizenship, p. 6.
10 Shaw, J. (1997). ‘The Many Pasts and Futures of Citizenship in the European Union’, European Law
Review 22:6, pg. 554–572. Shaw, J. (1998), ‘The Interpretation of European Union Citizenship’, Modern Law
Review 61:3, pg. 293–317.
11 Castles, Stephen, and Mark Miller. (1993),The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in
the Modern World. London: Macmillan. Kleger, Heinz, and Gianni DAmato. (1995), "Staatsbiirgerschaft und
Einbiirgerung—oder: Wer ist ein Burger? Ein Vergleich zwischen Deutschland, Frankreich, undder Schweiz."
Journal fur Sozialforschung 35, no. 3/4: 259—98 Smith, David M., and Maurice Blanc. (1996),"Citizenship,
Nationality, and EthnicMinorities in Three European Nations." International Journal of Urban and
Regional Research 20, no. 1: 66-82.Safran, William. (1997), "Citizenship and Nationality in Democratic
Systems:Approaches to De ning and Acquiring Membership in the Political Community." International
Political Science Review 18, no. 3: 313-35.

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