BEIRUT: Lebanon placed a low 147th place on the recent 2016 Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI). The index ranks the quality of nationalities based on internal factors such as the scale of the economy, human development, and peace and stability as well as external factors including visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad without cumbersome formalities.
In the 2016 nationality index for 158 countries, Lebanon scored directly above Myamar, Iran, and Djbouti, with Afghanistan coming in last.
At the top of the spectrum, Germany’s quality of nationality is ranked first in the world, according to the Index which was released on Wednesday.
"Consistently securing the top spot for the last six years, Germany scored 82.7 percent out of a possible 100 percent on the index. 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," said Henley in a statement.
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
The UK also made it into the Extremely High category on the index, just missing out on a ‘Top 10’ place by coming 12th with a score of 79.2 percent. But Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional law professor with a long-standing interest in European and comparative citizenship law, warns that Britain's score will markedly drop after the formal Brexit is implemented.
“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,” said Kochenov, adding, "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.”
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.
Kochenov says 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. Just as with the states, the nationalities themselves differ too," Kochenov said.
He added "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.”
The concept of residence and citizenship planning has been Henley & Partners chief focus for over 20 years. The firm notes that as globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors. The group also provides a government advisory service for the purpose of increasing foreign direct investment to clients.
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