Jus soli and Jus Sanguinis and Nationalism

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Posted by Bohdan A. Oryshkevich on March 29, 2001 at 14:19:40:

In Reply to: І ще - 3 posted by леся on March 29, 2001 at 10:25:51:

But the Moslem in France is considered a Frenchmen. In fact some Algerians born in France have disagreed with the premise that they are Frenchmen automatically. They have opted to preserve their Algerian identity and serve in the Algerian army. This is actually the subject of a treaty between France and Algeria. A person can be considered a full fledged Frenchman but opt to serve his military obligation to France in the Algerian army. The most popular Frenchman is Zidane, a Moslem, who is a soccer player. The child of a person living in France is considered a Frenchman. Was there not a French PM named Berehoviy?

In fact Europe exists on the French and German models. France, Holland, Sweden, the UK rely on the jus solis. You are where you are born. So is the USA.

In Germany and related countries you are what your heritage is. This is called jus sanguinis. Germany will accept as Germans Volga Germans who know know nothing about Germany except that they have a German name.

These two views are part of European history and the different heritages of these two countries. The French view of belonging and citizenship is built upon the absolutism of the kings of France and upon the revolutionary spirit of the French Revolution. That is as long as you contribute to the Revolution you are a citoyen.

The Germans built their country by uniting dispersed territories where Germans lived. So unifying lands on the basis of blood bondage was a necessity. While France was very compact even from medieval times. Germans were dispersed throughout north, central and eastern Europe. So the Prussian state tried to unite these territories where their blood brothers lived. This kind of citizenship existed because Prussia included many Polish lands and they were trying to build a German state and so tried to exclude Poles from citizenship and include the Germans who were living in areas of Poland not under Prussia.

To a certain degree the German view was discredited because the Nazi Regime took this idea of blood to an extreme. The Federal Republic of Germany has continued this idea of blood citizenship and now has to face its contradictions.

Ukraine by its constitution follows the jus solis principle. Soviet and now Ukrainian law generally followed that of the French Revolutionary model.

Ukrainian Nationalists wish that Ukraine would follow the German model. But Ukraine at this time is following the French model. Rukh in 1989 affirmed the jus solis principle. That is if you are born in Ukraine you are Ukrainian. I believe that this is how the Ukrainian constitution is formulated.

Some of the Baltic states may have followed the jus sanguinis model of Germany. But I am not certain that they are pure in that sense.

Bohdan Oryshkevich

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