Wessel Reijers

Global Citizenship Compact


On December 19, 2018, the U.N. General Assembly endorsed the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), a non-binding agreement approved in a historical moment in Marrakech on 10 December by 164 Member States. The GCM is the first time in which the international community has widely agreed on how to address the global migration challenge. The topic of citizenship, however, has been left outside of the GCM and remains the last stronghold of national sovereignty, which seems to need no international regulation. Is this assumption still politically valid, or is the world ready for a Global Compact on Citizenship?

The project explores models for a “Global Compact on Citizenship” (GCC) from different perspectives. It has six objectives: [1] to investigate the history of citizenship and what it can teach us about 21st-century challenges; [2] to identify the recent legal developments and establish the most up-to-date legal standards in the field of citizenship law that, taken together, may form the basis for GCC; [3] to set out the theoretical foundations and the justifications for the establishment of GCC; [4] to analyze the normative and structural implications of a GCC for future citizenship regimes; and [5] to explore the interrelationship between GCC, global migration, and constitutional identity.

In essence, the project seeks to formulate international standards by which states can admit migrants without fundamentally changing their citizenship narratives and slipping into extreme nationalism. The outcome can serve as a basis for a future reform in international law, EU law, and national legal systems.