Index ranks Irish nationality as ninth best in the world

Ireland's quality of nationality has been ranked ninth best in the world, according to a new international index.

The ranking for 2017 moves us up from 11th place back in 2016.

The Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) measures both the internal value of nationality - such as the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth - and the external value of nationality, which identifies diversity and quality of opportunities that nationalities allows us to pursue.

Ireland is in the 'Extremely High Quality' group - along with most of Europe.

France's quality of nationality is the best in the world, according to the QNI.

The French nationality earned a score of 81.7% out of a possible 100%, fractionally ahead of Germany.

Iceland and Denmark take third and fourth place, respectively.

The UK drops down a position to 13th place, while the US increases its position by two ranks taking 27th place.

On Brexit, the study says: "A 'hard Brexit' would see the UK losing its settlement and work rights in 30 of the world's leading states, overwhelmingly impairing the quality of its nationality.

"But it could also increase tension and competition between the UK and the rest of Europe and potentially destabilise the nationalities of EU member states that had hitherto enjoyed close ties to the UK."

China climbs two places to rank 59th, and Russia maintains its position at 63rd place.

The UAE has for the first time ever overtaken Israel - now ranking 46th, with Israel in 48th position.

The Qatari nationality suffered "substantially" from the country's diplomatic conflict with Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The Gulf states de-facto suspended the application of the Gulf Cooperation Council legal framework to Qatar last year, which reduced the value of the Qatari nationality from 70th place to 87th.

The Iraqi nationality also dropped 15 places, with a large number of countries introducing travel restrictions for Iraqis.

Year-on-year, Georgia and Ukraine are the biggest climbers globally - rising 20 and 19 positions.

The index says: "The ascent of both nations can largely be attributed to the visa-waivers they signed with the Schengen Area in 2017, which significantly increased their Travel Freedom scores."

Professor Dr Dimitry Kochenov is co-creator of the index, and a leading constitutional and citizenship law professor.

He said: "In today's globalised world, the legal status of millions of nationals extends their opportunities and desires far beyond their countries of origin: the confines of the state are simply not the limit of their ambitions and expectations.

"The QNI proves that one cannot possibly be correct in stating that all nationalities and passports are equally good.

"Some nationalities are radically better than others: being born French gives one a huge advantage over the liability brought about by a Somalian nationality, for example.

"With the QNI, illustrating this discrepancy becomes simple.

"Secondly, the QNI proves that it is not true that the most prosperous and economically important countries endow their citizens with the best nationalities: while China is an economic giant, its nationality has a very modest objective value, and while Liechtenstein has a micro-economy compared to that of China, its nationality is world-leading."

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