“Everyone has the right to a nationality”

About us

Established in 2012, the European Network on Statelessness is an open and growing civil society alliance with 150 members in over 40 countries. ENS is committed to ending statelessness and ensuring that the estimated 600,000 people living in Europe without a nationality are protected under international law.

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Why the need for a European Network on Statelessness?

The UN Refugee Agency has estimated that there are over 10 million stateless people worldwide. Some 600,000, at least, live in Europe. Yet statelessness remains a relatively hidden and little understood issue. With both government and civil society organisations often unaware of the problem, many stateless people find themselves stuck in the margins of society without respect for their basic human rights. ENS was set up against this backdrop and to fill a perceived gap by acting as a coordinating body and expert resource for organisations across Europe who work with or come into contact with stateless persons.

Areas of work and our impact

We aim to reach our goals by conducting and supporting legal and policy development, awareness-raising and capacity building activities.


Statelessness is a growing concern in Europe but although numerous organisations have a mandate to address it, few possess the specialist knowledge to tackle the root causes. ENS achieves this through the provision of training and by providing a forum for the exchange of information and good practices. The ENS specialist pool of trainers implements our Europe Wide Training Programme, delivering trainings in a range of countries across Europe. 


Our goal is to ensure full respect for stateless persons’ rights, through evidence-based advocacy. We believe that the full scope of this problem must be understood in order to implement effective policy solutions. Our dedicated working group aims to bring about change through the targeted use of strategic litigation. We are working hard to raise the issue of statelessness higher up the EU’s agenda.


Despite some recent awareness-raising gains, statelessness remains a relatively little understood issue. We aim to put a human face on the problem. Our weekly blog provides opinion and analysis of current developments, to a readership of thousands. Our research and policy work generates extensive media coverage and we run targeted online campaigns in order to achieve our main objectives.

  • Stateless persons

    often lack access to basic rights and services that others take for granted.