The Court held that it is not contrary to EU law for Member States to withdraw citizenship obtained by deception, even if the effect is to also withdraw citizenship of the Union, so long as the decision observes the principle of proportionality.
The applicants are ethnic Armenians born in Azerbaijan. The case addresses extensively the situation of ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan who left Azerbaijan before the fall of the USSR, and lived in Russia in the 90s. Their potential Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian nationalities are considered. The Court also discusses the legal residence requirement for a travel document in accordance with the 1954 Convention, and finds that such a permit does not need to be of a permanent nature. Applicants are found stateless by the Court and entitled to a stateless persons travel document.
The applicant requested a travel document for stateless persons. The Court pondered on whether he may be stateless, and discussed the concepts of de jure and de facto statelessness, but ultimately ruled that it is irrelevant for the applicant's request because he does not have the right to reside legally in Germany, and therefore is not eligible for a travel document in accordance with Article 28 of the 1954 Convention.
The applicant was born in 2011 in Germany to a German father and a stateless mother. Her birth certificate contained the disclaimer that the mother's identity is "unconfirmed", which the applicant and the parents appealed against, as the stateless mother was extensively documented among others with a travel document for stateless persons issued by Germany. The Court upheld the appeal, and ordered the civil registry to issue a new birth certificate without disclaimers as to the mother's identity.
Germany’s highest administrative court decides on a case in which stateless minors (the applicants) were granted German nationality. The applicants’ parents applied for their nationality using false information, namely that the family would originate from Lebanon instead of Turkey. The Court held that the withdrawal of nationality is only valid if done promptly, i.e. within a maximum of five years after the nationality has been granted.