Given the single market and many of the EU directives that apply are there any benefits other then patriotism or nationalism that would advocate for having two or more EU citizenships?

  • I give it as a comment because I'm not sure, but the difference arises when you have foreign profits (from without EU) for example from offshore companies. Then you're still oblidged to tax them in your country of citizenship. And the differences between taxes are significant.
    – user41
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:59
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    Planning for the day the EU collapses? Also employment in some sensitive positions in the army and elsewhere but you would have to decide if it's a “benefit”.
    – Gala
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 18:45
  • This question is obviously pre-Brexit, and not considering the risk of further exits - France, Denmark, Netherlander, Sweden ... . Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 17:17

5 Answers 5


Inside the EU, they should have the same benefits, so if you don't plan on leaving the EU, it should not matter.

However countires outside of the EU doesn't look at the EU as a single country, so they can have different (reciprocal) agreements. This includes getting tourist and also work visas outside of the EU. In this case you might get some benefit of having multiple citizenships.

For example if you get a British cizienship you also become a citizen in one of the Commonwealth countries, making it easier to travel to other Commonwealth nations.

An other example is the Visa Waiver Program in the USA, which means that for some countries you don't need to get a visa to travel to the USA for short term. Poland is still not inside this program, but most other EU countries are, so if you only have a Polish Citizenship you cannot benefit from it.

Also note that in some EU countries euroskepticism is becomming prevalent - "Brexit" is already a reality - meaning it might be possible, that an EU country will leave the EU. Although this hasn't happened before(*) so we don't know how the laws will change, but probably this would also mean that if you only have a citizenship in a country that left the EU, you would probably lose the EU citizenship as well.

(*) Except for Greenland leaving the EEC in 1982 as noted by @gerrit. Note that although Brexit is in progress, we still don't know how it will end, and what will happen afterwards.

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    I doubt it, Euroscepticism is the EU equivalent of the skepticism towards the federal government in the US. As such a innocent fact of life.
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 13:43
  • But for the rest superb answer
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 13:44
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    Greenland left the EEC in 1982, the UK may be going to have a referendum, and there are many differences between the EU and the USA. I wouldn't equate the two skepticisms, as they can have very different origins.
    – gerrit
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 13:44
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    @gerrit Greenland as far as I know isn't a country. There are a multitude of territories of member states that are not considered EU.
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:03
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    @AndrewFerrier it's correct. You have become a citizen of the United Kingdom, which is one of the Commonwealth countries.
    – SztupY
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 15:05

To add on to StzupY's answer, a country's nationals often have a much easier time getting things done. That means, even if the law eventually treats everyone practically the same, foreign EU-nationals usually have to deal with more paperwork and longer processing times.

I also think that there are still enough differences in civil law, that could have a feelable impact on your life. For example, Polish naming law allows for husband and wife to have two different last-names, taking into account the masculin and feminin suffix. German naming law requires husband and wife to have identical last names. So for example in Polish, I am Cichocki, and my wife would be Cichocka. If we married under German name-law, my wife would be called Cichocki - which in Polish sounds ridiculous.

I've just started this family-thingy ; ), but I'm prepared to deal with lots of more little nuances, because my wife and I are of different EU-nationalities.

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    They other way around is also true. EU citizen sometimes have an easier life then local citizens, simple because for EU citizens the EU law applies as for locals the local law applies. I don't know all details, but once you have lived in another EU country you are legally much more European then if you have stayed in your own country all of your life.
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:09
  • @Andra this would be new to me, it would be awesome if you posted some examples when you remember any. : ) Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:11
  • The example I know of is about family reunion, which is much easier for EU citizens then it is for locals. I am pretty sure I will pass the details pretty soon, I will then add a link as reference in the comments here
    – Andra
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:13
  • @Andra That's completely correct and quite relevant but I am guessing that experience was in the Netherlands. You said elsewhere that you were a Dutch citizen but the country is notorious for that, in fact. In other countries, family reunion is typically not easier for EU citizens than for locals.
    – Gala
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 0:31
  • The note on German family names isn't quite current any more, but the principle still holds.
    – o.m.
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 6:30

As the others have said, the differences are mainly going to be perceptible outside the EU. But even within the union, some countries restrict some of their benefits to actual nationals: for instance, I'm a French citizen living in Sweden, and I can't benefit from their study grant program. I'd have to have the Swedish nationality.

This is the only example I can think of, but I'm sure there are a couple other instances where being an actual national grant you more rights than just being a member state citizen.

  • +1, interesting case but I am very surprised and while I am not a lawyer I doubt that this rule would hold if challenged in court (at least if you stayed in Sweden for more than 5 years or if your parents work there; if you just came to study that's a different thing but then the restriction is not strictly speaking based on nationality only).
    – Gala
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 9:36
  • Yeah, I shortened it for simplicity, but there are indeed rules where you can get the grant even without having the nationality (as you said, being in the country for 5 years for instance). Still, it's an example of a difference in treatment between EU students and locals, because obviously most foreign students don't fit those criteria.
    – Timst
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 18:15

One advantage could be the work permition - there were some restrictions for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania until 2014, and there are still restrictions for citizens of Croatia - only 8 EU countries don't restrict Croatian workers. So Croatian citizens (and most likely citizens of upcoming EU members) will benefit from dual EU citizenship

Another point are the elections - you cannot vote on all elections in the country where you're only resident but not a citizen.

  • But the EU citizens can vote in communal elections in other EU countries, can't they? Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 8:54
  • @just-learning yes, EU citizens can vote on communal elections.
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 9:35
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    You can also vote in elections to the European Parliament, but you may have to certify that you won't vote in the country of your nationality (you're only eligible to cast one vote in the election, not one per country). Commented Jan 14, 2015 at 9:35

When you have nationality (and citizenship) of one of the European country, you are automatically granted also the European Citizenship.

But the European Citizenship do not make you equal with the Citizens of another EU country.

The rights of a European citizen in european country where he is not citizen can be checked here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_of_the_European_Union

So the more states you are a citizen the more advantages you get in those states.

  • You can also have disadvantages, where EU law may protect any EU citizens in country X except the nationals of X themselves.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 16:16

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