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Government poised for dual citizenship proposal

Panel report helped pave the way


While a final proposal won’t be ready until October, due to an extensive hearing process, a strong majority in parliament are believed to be in favour of dual citizenship (Photo: Christian Wenande)

March 14, 2014
10:31

by Christian Wenande


A broad majority of the government is ready to allow dual citizenship in Denmark, the justice minister, Karen Hækkerup (S), said in a press release this morning.

The proposal will not only permit foreigners to gain Danish citizenship without having to give up the citizenship to their own country, but it will also allow Danes who have given up their citizenship for another to be able to reclaim it.

The government’s decision to allow dual citizenship is based on a report (here in Danish) by the panel that the government established in late 2012 to look into the issue.

“I applaud the thorough report because it provides a solid foundation for discussing the question of dual citizenship,” Hækkerup said in a press release.

“The government believes that it should be possible to have dual citizenship in a modern society such as the Danish one. The report conveys a number of benefits of dual citizenship in Denmark.”

READ MORE: Dual citizenship in annual law catalogue

Waiting for October
The panel had looked into the possibility of limiting dual citizenship to other EU nations or countries in NATO, but found that such a law would risk not living up to European human rights conventions concerning discrimination.

“There are no nightmare scenarios with dual citizenship. We won’t change a comma regarding what it takes to become a Danish citizen, so it’s all about people not needing to pick and choose,” Hækkerup said.

“This is an element of being in a global society. Today, people travel the world, fall in love, start a family, find an exciting job and discover that they want a future there.”

Hækkerup said that parliament would commence negotiations, and while a final proposal won’t be ready until October because of an extensive hearing process afterwards, she fully expects that a strong majority in parliament will be in favour of it.

Larry Feinberg, a dual citizenship advocate who has campaigned for years for the right to be granted dual citizenship in Denmark, was ecstatic to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It means a lot because it’s been a long and hard battle,” Feinberg told The Copenhagen Post. “Danes who have had to renounce their citizenship have had their representative here, the organisation called Danes Worldwide, and the only one who has been fighting for foreigners living in Denmark to not have to give up their citizenship, has been me. So it’s been difficult.”

The panel report findings also pointed to the dual citizenship ramifications in other countries, including Sweden, which has allowed dual citizenship since 2001.



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