Second Henley & Partners' nationality index sees Germany top the rankings and UK down to 12th

14/09/2017 Will Sidery

Germany’s quality of nationality is ranked first in the world, according to the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), which was launched in London yesterday (13/09/2017). 

Consistently securing the top spot for the last six years, Germany scored 82.7 out of a possible 100 percent on the index – which the firm says is the first of its kind to objectively rank the value of every nationality of the world in terms of legal status in which to develop your talents and business. 

The global mean in 2016 was 39.32 percent, with Afghanistan sitting at the bottom of the index with a score of 14.6 percent.

Following closely behind Germany are France and Denmark who share second place on the index with a score of 82.4 percent. Iceland ranks third overall at 81.3 percent. 

Despite the looming Brexit, the UK also made it into the ‘Extremely High’ category on the index, just missing out on a top ten place by coming 12th with a score of 79.2 percent. 

The US, meanwhile, ranked only 29th on the QNI with a score of 68.8 percent - mainly due to its relatively low settlement freedom compared to nationalities of the EU Member States, and its weak showing on the peace and stability element of the index.

Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a constitutional law professor with a long-standing interest in European and comparative citizenship law, said the key premise of the index is that it’s possible to compare the relative worth of nationalities, as opposed to, simply, states. 

“Everyone has a nationality of one or more states. States differ to a great degree - Russia is huge; Malta is small - Luxembourg is rich; Mongolia is less so,” he said. 

“Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too. Importantly, there is no direct correlation between the power of the state and the quality of its nationality. Nationality plays a significant part in determining our opportunities and aspirations, and the QNI allows us to analyze this objectively.”

“Before the launch of the QNI, no single, credible source existed that ranked the nationalities of the world. The second edition of the QNI - which represents the status quo as on 10 October 2016 - reflects the quality of all the world’s nationalities. It also includes a number of new nationality and status entries, such as Israeli laissez-passer, South Sudan, and eight British nationalities/statuses. The methodology has also been updated to include territories such as Dutch and French overseas territories, US territories, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands as settlement destinations,” added Prof. Kochenov.

This second edition of the QNI also examines the quality of a post ‘hard Brexit’ British nationality, comparing it to its current status. According to Prof. Kochenov, a hard Brexit could leave the UK with a nationality that doesn’t enjoy settlement and work rights in 30 leading states, overwhelmingly impairing the quality of its nationality. 

The QNI research shows that even if you presume no economic loss to the UK as a result of leaving the EU and focus only on the external rather than internal components of nationality quality, the UK will be in a free fall in terms of its quality, losing its value very sharply and by far exceeding the losses experienced by the countries in the midst of bitter political and armed conflicts, as well as divided societies whose nationalities are at the forefront of failing to perform, such as the Syrian and Libyan nationalities.

“The UK is about to establish a world record in terms of profoundly undermining the quality of its nationality without going through any violent conflict, falling from the elite group of Extremely High Quality nationalities to the Very High Quality group, changing its neighbors in the ranking from the likes of Switzerland and Germany to the likes of Brazil and Romania. The moral is simple: EU citizenship is an extremely valuable resource and getting rid of it - crippling citizens’ horizon of opportunities - should not be taken lightly,” Prof. Kochenov concluded.

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