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50th anniversary of the United Nations 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness

Written declaration No. 502 | Doc. 12766 | 07 October 2011

Mr Pietro MARCENARO, Italy, SOC ; Ms Tina ACKETOFT, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Mörður ÁRNASON, Iceland, SOC ; Mr Deniz BAYKAL, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Mr Márton BRAUN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Vannino CHITI, Italy, SOC ; Mr Christopher CHOPE, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Ms Tülin ERKAL KARA, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Gianni FARINA, Italy, SOC ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Annette GROTH, Germany, UEL ; Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Davit HARUTYUNYAN, Armenia, EDG ; Mr Serhiy HOLOVATY, Ukraine, ALDE ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Mr Terry LEYDEN, Ireland, ALDE ; Mr Younal LOUTFI, Bulgaria, ALDE ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Philippe MAHOUX, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Dick MARTY, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Meritxell MATEU PI, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Pirkko MATTILA, Finland, NR ; Mr Michael McNAMARA, Ireland, SOC ; Mr Jean-Claude MIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Pier Marino MULARONI, San Marino, ALDE ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Tudor PANŢIRU, Romania, SOC ; Mr Jørgen POULSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Mr Christos POURGOURIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Janusz RACHOŃ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Giuseppe SARO, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Luigi VITALI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Konstantinos VRETTOS, Greece, SOC ; Ms Nataša VUČKOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC

The 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness provides an opportunity for the Council of Europe member states to recall their commitment to fight statelessness.

Stateless people are marginalised in society as, without nationality, it is difficult for them to access education, to own goods and property, or even to open a bank account. They cannot register their marriages and, without identity documents, have no right to work and thus cannot support themselves financially.

The Second World War and other major events disrupting Europe (for example the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia) have contributed to the increase of stateless people in Europe. The states thus adopted the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Stateless Persons, whilst the Council of Europe adopted the European Convention on Nationality (ETS No. 166) and the Convention on the Avoidance of Statelessness in Relation to State Succession (CETS No. 200).

It is important that all Council of Europe member states ratify the conventions relating to statelessness and that they modify their national legislation so that each European citizen can enjoy a nationality.