CPH Post


Christian Values | Quadruple citizenship will be next, DF

Christian Wenande’s Danish/American background caters well to a city brimming with cultural diversity and strife. The CPH Post journalist loves life in Copenhagen but yearns for the indomitable mountains, rolling prairie and starry nights of his Wyoming sanctuary

June 13, 2014

by Christian Wenande

I was going to write something about how crap it is that Denmark isn’t in the World Cup, but the revelation that the country finally agreed to dual citizenship seemed more important – and a fair bit less morose.

Tough on kids and foreigners

Growing up, the citizenship issue seemed ever-present. I remember my mother telling me when i was six years old that I would have to choose either Danish or American citizenship when I turned 18. 

Obviously I didn’t comprehend the ramifications at the time, but as I grew older I realised that I would not want to be without either and became frustrated that I was being coerced into choosing. I’m glad that my children won’t have the same trials and tribulations. Congratulations to all of us ‘Duallies’.

There is little doubt that Denmark will benefit from finally allowing dual citizenship. How many highly-skilled workers left Danish shores after being faced with having to give up their citizenship of 

How many people have lived in the nation for decades, working hard to make the country a better place, paying taxes and raising a Danish family, but are left feeling unwanted and outcast every time they find themselves down at the immigration centre pleading their case for yet another visa extension. Well congratulations to you all – let the celebrations commence.

Double standards

Someone who won’t be celebrating the change, however, is Dansk Folkeparti (DF). In a press release last week, Christian Langballe, the party’s spokesperson for citizenship affairs, said that “Citizenship expresses a loyalty and declaration of allegiance to Denmark and a connection to being Danish and living in Denmark. In other words, citizenship expresses that Denmark is a nation that one will fight for and defend. This loyalty and allegiance for the country cannot be shared among two nations.”

That’s strange. The Danish military had no such reservations about my dual nationality when it called me up for compulsory military service when I returned from university in the US. Is this a one-way street thing?
Interestingly, Russia just approved a law that would force Russians to report their dual citizenship to the authorities within 60 days or risk criminal charges and fines upwards of 40,000 kroner.  

Quadruple citizenship’s next

The man behind that bill, Andrei Lugovoi – who was actually born in Azerbaijan by the way – said the presence of a second passport “reduces the significance of the Russian nationality and influences related to the Fatherland”. Sounds a bit familiar eh DF? 

This archaic rhetoric fails to correspond with the massive movement of human beings and cultures indicative of the global village of today. My missus is a dual citizenship holder as well (Russian-Aussie). That’s quadruple citizenship just around the corner, DF, so get with it. It will enrich Denmark, not endanger it.

In fact, Bulgaria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom are among the many nations in Europe that allow dual citizenship.

Now, if the Danes had just allowed dual citizenship earlier they might have been going to the World Cup rather than watching it with envy from the sidelines. Olsen, Jensen and Hansen just didn’t get it done. So here’s hoping that Hussein, Johnson and Martinez do better in the future.



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