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Regional Citizenship and the Evolution of Basque Immigration and Integration Policies

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Author:
Eduardo J. Ruiz-Vieytez
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Immigration policies are of great significance for minority nations, like the Basque Country. Basque nationalism is inclusive and civic; through regional institutions, it has created an informal citizenship with a strong social foundation. This regional citizenship, despite some limitations on regional powers, embraces immigrants by offering social rights to all in order to promote integration in a Basque nation in which identities are not clearly defined. From a technical and legal perspective, there is no specific or separate regional citizenship that could be created by regional institutions in the Basque Country. From a political perspective, however, the principle of inclusive citizenship incorporated by regional policies has played a significant role in the integration process. This trend is similar to the situation in Scotland although it differs slightly from the cases of Catalonia and Quebec, nations in which language is a strong marker of identity.

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