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Helsinki Committee: There are legal possibilities for obtaining citizenship

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights has prepared a legal opinion on statelessness, referring to the law on citizenship, the law on foreigners and the law on persons not registered in the birth register.

Citizenship in the Republic of Northern Macedonia in accordance with Article 3 of the Law on Citizenship is acquired with: 1) origin; 2) birth in the territory of the state; 3) naturalization; and 4) international agreements. The analysis shows that there are two main categories of persons who live for many years in Northern Macedonia but do not have citizenship status: 1) persons who do not have regulated status
after the dissolution of the SFRY and 2) persons who are not registered in the birth registers, it is stated in the legal opinion.

At the same time, it is said that at the moment there are legal possibilities for obtaining citizenship of both affected categories.

“The existing legal regulation should simply be given a chance until the expiration of the deadline of 05.06.2021 provided in the Law on Foreigners and until the expiration of the deadline of 30.06.2021 provided in the Law on Unregistered Persons in the Mother Register of births. This is a period of three months in which the competent authorities must show dexterity and flexibility within the framework provided by law, to establish a predictable and uniform practice, through which they will timely share all relevant information about persons. and stakeholders. “If the status of stateless persons is not regulated by the implementation of existing legal provisions, then the state must find solutions for them, in accordance with international standards and the legislation and practice of the European Union,” said the conclusion of the legal opinion of the Helsinki Committee.

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