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CJEU Case C-221/17/ Judgment

M.G. Tjebbes, G.J.M. Koopman, E. Saleh Abady, L. Buboux v Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Grand Chamber
Decision date:

Key facts

  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Articles 20 and 21 TFEU and of Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between M.G. Tjebbes, G.J.M. Koopman, E. Saleh Abady and L. Duboux, on the one hand, and the Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken (Minister for Foreign Affairs, Netherlands) (‘the Minister’), on the other hand, concerning the latter’s decision not to examine their respective applications for a national passport.


On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:

Article 20 TFEU, read in the light of Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which provides under certain conditions for the loss, by operation of law, of the nationality of that Member State, which entails, in the case of persons who are not also nationals of another Member State, the loss of their citizenship of the Union and the rights attaching thereto, in so far as the competent national authorities, including national courts where appropriate, are in a position to examine, as an ancillary issue, the consequences of the loss of that nationality and, where appropriate, to have the persons concerned recover their nationality ex tunc in the context of an application by those persons for a travel document or any other document showing their nationality. In the context of that examination, the authorities and the courts must determine whether the loss of the nationality of the Member State concerned, when it entails the loss of citizenship of the Union and the rights attaching thereto, has due regard to the principle of proportionality so far as concerns the consequences of that loss for the situation of each person concerned and, if relevant, for that of the members of their family, from the point of view of EU law.