How the European Council can break the impasse and give EU citizens certainty

Authors: Ruvi Ziegler, Brad Blitz


The way that EU27 citizens in the UK have been used as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations is woeful. Unfortunately, write Ruvi Ziegler (University of Reading) and Brad Blitz (Middlesex University and LSE), the EU has not helped matters by conceding that the rights of UK citizens living in the rest of the EU were negotiable, too.

This undermines the principle of freedom of movement, which is a fundamental tenet of the EU. When it meets on 14 December, the European Council should end this deplorable state of affairs and guarantee the rights of UK citizens in the EU, thereby putting the ball squarely in Britain’s court.

Do EU citizenship rights matter? This is the question the European Council needs to answer when it meets this month.  The answer is vital not only to the Brexit negotiations, but to the future of the European Union itself.

Read the full article on the LSE Brexit blog here.


About the Authors

Ruvi Ziegler

Ruvi Ziegler

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading School of Law, where he is a member of the Global Law at Reading (GLAR) research group (specialising in human rights, international humanitarian law and international refugee law).

He is Editor-in-Chief, Working Paper Series, Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London). He is a Research Associate of the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and an Academic visitor at its Faculty of Law. He is also a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute (analysing the treatment of African asylum seekers in Israel as part of the Constitutional Principles project).

Previously, he was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School (affiliated with its Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program) annd a Tutor in Public International Law at the University of Oxford. He holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; LLM with specialisation in Public Law from Hebrew University; and a joint LLB and BA from the University of Haifa.

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Brad Blitz

Brad Blitz

Brad K. Blitz. received his Ph.D. in International Development and Education from Stanford University.

In April 2013 he took up the post of Deputy Dean and Professor of International Politics in the Middlesex University Law School. Brad has extensive experience of international education as both a student and academic programme leader. During the course of his education, he studied in Belgium, France, Russia, the USA and United Kingdom. He later directed an international Masters programme with partners in Jamaica, Mexico, and the USA and has written about education exchanges in the context of European integration.

A former Jean Monnet Chair in Political Geography at Oxford Brookes University and Research Associate in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, he is widely regarded as a leading expert on post conflict integration, statelessness, migration, development and human rights. He has acted as an advisor and consultant to UNDP, UNICEF, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Bank, OSCE, Council of Europe, DFID, and the Russian and Albanian governments and has appeared as an expert witness advising UK and Australian courts, on over 20 occasions. In 2008 the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and a panel of experts, selected his research as one of 12 projects which would guide and support the legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent publications include Statelessness in the European Union: Displaced, Undocumented and Unwanted, Cambridge University Press, 2011; and Statelessness and Citizenship: A Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. In 2011, he completed a US State Department funded project 'Measuring the Costs of Statelessness', a livelihoods study of 980 stateless and formerly stateless households in Bangladesh, Kenya, Slovenia, and Sri Lanka, which will be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2014. He also contributed to UNDP's Asia-Pacific Human Development Report and is the author of Migration and Freedom: Mobility, Citizenship, Exclusion, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014.

He is the author of over 40 academic articles and has also published in The Economist, Guardian, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Oregonian, Times, Times Higher Education Supplement, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, World Today.

Languages spoken

English, French; some German and Russian

View all articles

About the Authors

Ruvi Ziegler

Ruvi Ziegler

Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading School of Law, where he is a member of the Global Law at Reading (GLAR) research group (specialising in human rights, international humanitarian law and international refugee law).

He is Editor-in-Chief, Working Paper Series, Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London). He is a Research Associate of the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and an Academic visitor at its Faculty of Law. He is also a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute (analysing the treatment of African asylum seekers in Israel as part of the Constitutional Principles project).

Previously, he was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School (affiliated with its Immigration and Refugee Clinic and with the Human Rights Program) annd a Tutor in Public International Law at the University of Oxford. He holds DPhil, MPhil, and BCL degrees from the University of Oxford; LLM with specialisation in Public Law from Hebrew University; and a joint LLB and BA from the University of Haifa.

View all articles

Brad Blitz

Brad Blitz

Brad K. Blitz. received his Ph.D. in International Development and Education from Stanford University.

In April 2013 he took up the post of Deputy Dean and Professor of International Politics in the Middlesex University Law School. Brad has extensive experience of international education as both a student and academic programme leader. During the course of his education, he studied in Belgium, France, Russia, the USA and United Kingdom. He later directed an international Masters programme with partners in Jamaica, Mexico, and the USA and has written about education exchanges in the context of European integration.

A former Jean Monnet Chair in Political Geography at Oxford Brookes University and Research Associate in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, he is widely regarded as a leading expert on post conflict integration, statelessness, migration, development and human rights. He has acted as an advisor and consultant to UNDP, UNICEF, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Bank, OSCE, Council of Europe, DFID, and the Russian and Albanian governments and has appeared as an expert witness advising UK and Australian courts, on over 20 occasions. In 2008 the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and a panel of experts, selected his research as one of 12 projects which would guide and support the legacy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent publications include Statelessness in the European Union: Displaced, Undocumented and Unwanted, Cambridge University Press, 2011; and Statelessness and Citizenship: A Comparative Study on the Benefits of Nationality, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. In 2011, he completed a US State Department funded project 'Measuring the Costs of Statelessness', a livelihoods study of 980 stateless and formerly stateless households in Bangladesh, Kenya, Slovenia, and Sri Lanka, which will be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2014. He also contributed to UNDP's Asia-Pacific Human Development Report and is the author of Migration and Freedom: Mobility, Citizenship, Exclusion, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014.

He is the author of over 40 academic articles and has also published in The Economist, Guardian, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Oregonian, Times, Times Higher Education Supplement, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, World Today.

Languages spoken

English, French; some German and Russian

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