Citizenship is a deeply sensitive issue for the European Union, and Member States hold dear their sovereign right to determine who should become a national. There has been strong resistance by Member States towards any discussion of citizenship acquisition at the EU level, despite some outré national policy changes in recent years. A decision by Malta’s government to sell 1,800 passports for 1.15 million euros apiece has caused unusual levels of furor, and this scheme may become the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
As hundreds of migrants were drowning in the Mediterranean, the United Nations General Assembly was hours from gathering for only the second time in its history to address international migration. The juxtaposition threw a question into sharp relief: does the world body have any impact on the world’s migrants?