The main particularity of the Taraskovyan Imperial Citizenship is that it is in fact multi-layered, with Taraskovyans being not only Imperial Citizens, but also Citizens of their respective municipalities and Realms. This system, often confusing to foreigners, is in fact very straightforward and logical.
Throughout their history, Taraskovyans very often identified themselves within the immediate group or area they resided. A clan, a tribe or a city, especially before the unification of Taraskath lands by Lord Uidath, commanded the loyalties of its denizens. Eventually, as first the Taraskath and then Taraskovyan state developed, people retained the “local identification”. A Taraskovyan was always first of all a citizen of his village, town or city, which pertained or not to a Country or to a Duchy. Through local identification, denizens became citizens of the larger administrative division, such as the aforementioned Duchies and, through them, of Taraskovya as a whole.
This system is at the core of the federalist nature of Taraskovyan society. And even in modern, largely centralized Empire, the tradition survived in the form of the legal term “Origin”. Each Taraskovyan citizen has a municipality of “Origin”, of which he is a citizen and which defines the upper level citizenships.
The Municipal Citizenship, which is the core of the concept of “Origin”, is the cornerstone of the Taraskovyan citizenship and even political system as a whole.
An “Origin” is gained through several fashions:
- Jus sanguinis: upon birth, the child acquired the “Origin” of either his mother or father. If the parents are married and each has a separate Origin, they may choose which Origin to bestow upon their first child and his successive siblings. If no choice is made, then the children get the mother’s Origin by default. In any case, this measure is provisional as upon reaching his legal maturity, the child can choose which of his father’s or mother’s Origin to adopt.
- Marriage: upon marriage, the wife (or the husband) may choose to acquire her husband’s (or his wife’s) Origin. Upon divorce, the spouse may opt to lose the acquired Origin and go back to his or her pre-marriage one.
- Interior Naturalisation: a Taraskovyan who is domiciled outside of his municapility of Origin can apply to be granted the Origin in his municipality of residence. Nowadays, the procedure is fast, even if a person cannot change Origins more than once every three years.
- Automatic Dominion naturalization: is a recent concept designed to improve the local voting base of Imperial Dominions. If a Realm citizen elects domicile within a Dominion, he automatically loses his Origins within a Realm’s municipality and gains an Origin with a Dominion municipality. With this, he loses certain political rights, as shall be explained later in the article.
- Naturalisation of Foreigners: a foreigner who applied for Taraskovyan citizen acquires the Origins of his place of domicile and residence. It should be noted, however, that unlike some years ago, new Imperial legislation strips the municipalities of any power of decision on naturalisation. Such decisions are now taken on the Realm/Dominion and Imperial levels only. Please refer to the relevant section of the article for additional information.
Is only pertinent for those Realms and Dominions that are organized Federally. The concept, however, is of great actuality within the United Kingdom of Dakathia and Cardinia (formerly the so-called Grand Duchy of Taraskovya proper). Indeed, that particular Realm is where the Taraskovyan statehood began and Fiefdoms enjoy considerably autonomy (within the scope of autonomy granted to the Realm by the Empire, quite obviously). As such, Taraskovyans that have an Origin within a Fiefdom’s municipality gain that Fiefdom’s citizenship.
The same goes for other federated Realms (such as the Atlantic Islands, Nyi-Gardarika, Tavaroth, etc). Unitarian Realms and Dominions (Zoria, Dreamreach, Sortavala) do not know this intermediate step.
Quite logically, a Taraskovyan whose Origin is with a municipality located in a particular Realm and Dominion gets that Realm’s or Dominion’s citizenship. See above for the modalities of acquiring an Origin.
“All who have an Origin are Taraskovyans and all Taraskovyans are Imperial Citizens,” as the saying goes. Imperial citizens have the same basic freedoms and civil liberties, even if political rights are different in between Realm and Dominion citizens. The Imperial Realms form the core and account for 95% of the Imperial population. Dominions are currently defined negatively in the Imperial Constitution, and can simply be defined as everything that is not a Realm but still under Imperial jurisdiction. They include Colonial holdings, protectorates and other territories.
Role and FunctionsEdit
The Taraskovyan Empire is a federally organized State, consiting of a number of territories that have important interior autonomy. The concept of multi-layered citizenship, thus, is rooted deeply within Taraskovyan society and allows for a smooth functioning of the political system.
The first and foremost role of an Origin is the local and even Imperial voting rights and eligibility. While other states use the system of domicile to decide who votes in what federated entity, the Taraskovyan Empire replaces it with the Origin concept. A citizen whose Origin is in Vigvar, shall vote in municipal elections and referenda in Vigvar, in Fiefdom votations in the Fiefdom of Vigvar, in Realm votations in the United Kingdom of Dakathia and Cardinia and, finally, in all Imperial elections and referenda. And this regardless of whether he lives in Vigvar, in Darmth (another municipality in the same Fiefdom), in the Fiefdom of Amalor or even in the Imperial Realm of Nyi-Gardarika.
In this, a Taraskovyan with Origin in Vigvar is similar to a foreign expatriate who often shall continue to exercise political rights of his country of origin, vote in those country’s elections, even without residing in his country of origin.
Constitutional and Legislative InitiativeEdit
The entirety of the legislative power is not vested only with the Imperial Veche, the Taraskovyan parliament, but also with the Taraskovyan People. The People, under Imperial constitutional law, is a political actor and even a constitutional organ, having the power to submit proposals for full or partial reviews of the Imperial Constitution, Imperial Statutes, challenge Imperial Statutes in referenda. All this, of course, provided the meeting of certain criteria, chief amongst which is respect of current constitutional values and a certain demographic weight (translated in the need for a certain number of signatures to be collected for any proposal to be considered).
This is not limited to the Imperial levels only. Indeed, Taraskovyan citizens have the same rights in the Realms and Dominions in which they have their Origin, and for federally structured Realms and Dominions, in their relevant Fiefdoms or Provinces.
Realm versus DominionEdit
The important difference in between Realm and Dominion citizenships is that those with Origin in a Dominion do not participate in Imperial level elections and referenda and, as such, Taraskovyan Dominion citizens are not part of the Taraskovyan People as it is understood under constitutional law. Dominions do not send representatives to the Imperial Veche (the tricameral Imperial legislative body), their citizens also do not have the right of Imperial constitutional or legislative initiative and are not eligible to any elected Imperial post (appointed duties and posts subject to contractual employment are not restricted).
Whilst this arrangement is criticised by some, it is explained mainly by the fluctuating status of many Dominions vis-à-vis of the Empire. Indeed, whilst many Dominions have their status reglemented under an Imperial Statute, many others have an ever evolving nature and, this, are often reglemented under ordinances of the Imperial Government, or even just the Vasilevs himself. This is particularly true to little outposts and colonies under exclusive corporate exploitation, where a firm status would only hinder development, not promote it.
Naturalisation of ForeignersEdit
There are four ways for a foreigner to obtain Taraskovyan citizenship, of which only two are open to the general public and the others are carried out on exceptional and other occasions.
Bestowing by the VasilevsEdit
The Vasilevs of all Taraskovya may, on an individual basis and without offering any justification, grant Imperial citizenship to a foreign subject. This is mostly done to reward a particular foreigner's immense, outstanding and exceptional contribution to the Taraskovyan Empire in any domain and is a rare honour. Examples include exceptional scientists, virtuose musicians and foreigners serving with the Taraskovyan National Defence Forces who have heroically served the Empire.
The ordinary naturalisation is reserved for foreigners residing with Imperial Realms. After living a certain number of years in a particular Realm, without long period stays abroad, the foreign national may get naturalised and shall obtain an Origin with the municipality of his residence or domicile at the time of the accepting of his request by the authorities.
An important detail is that entire families can get naturalised all at the same time if one of the spouses or parents (in case of minors) gets naturalised. Majors need to follow individual naturalisation procedures.
This is reserved for foreigners migrating to the Imperial Dominions. The condition of time spent living is drastically reduced in comparison to the ordinary naturalisation. Otherwise, the process is rather comparable.
However, those who were subject to simplified naturalisation are bound to their Origin for fifteen years and may not get an interior naturalisation within an Imperial Realm. The case of switching of Dominion Origins within the fifteen year period is still undecided, the Imperial Tribunal having so far had no legal ases to this matter.
Imperial Citzenship EdictEdit
In the past this instrument was known as the Grand Ducal Citizenship Edict and is only reserved to inhabited territories annexed by the Taraskovyan Empire if the Imperial Veche deems that the conditions are right to grant the local inhabitants with the full rights and duties of Imperial citizens. Territories inherited or purchased through diplomatic means have until now always been subject to immediate Imperial Citizenship Edicts, often with inhabitants keeping their previous citizenship.
Territories taken through feat of arms and kept through right of conquest have always underwent or are still undergoing an "adaptation process". During this process, the legal ties to the former owner of the territory is severed and previous citizenship of inhabitants is voided in favour of the Imperial one.
The system has proven controversial with a small number of Taraskovyans, especially those hailing from recently annexed territories. Some petition for the removal of any legal power currently attached to the concept of Origin and replacing it with the rule of Domicile. However, a vast majority of Taraskovyans vehemently reject any such plans and hold their Origin dear.