Government to take another look at dual citizenship

Ministries to meet next spring to study way forward for more residents to carry two passports

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December 17th, 2012 7:21 pm| by admin
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In order to fit in to what he called the “international world “and “modern society”, Justice Minister Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne) said that laws must be established to allow more Danes to claim dual citizenship.

Currently, dual citizenship is allowed in very few cases in Denmark. In certain circumstances, Danes can be born dual citizens, but they cannot go on to obtain a second citizenship later in life without forfeiting their Danish citizenship. Likewise, foreigners wanting a Danish passport must first forfeit their original citizenship before becoming Danish.

A team made up of members from four different ministries will meet next spring to develop proposals for rules making the possibility of dual citizenship a reality for more people.

"Dual citizenship is an issue that affects many people living both in and outside Denmark, and the government wants to make it possible,” Bødskov said in a statement.

Bødskov did not say precisely who might find it easier to obtain dual citizenship, only that the committee would establish "different options" for increasing the availability of dual nationality. The committee will also explore the possibility of restoring Danish citizenship to some who have lost it by, for example, becoming citizens of another country.

In October 2011, the newly-elected government announced its support for offering dual nationality. To the disappointment of many who had advocated for changes to the current rules, however, a law to allow dual citizenship was not included in the law catalogue for this parliamentary year. 

Even with Bødskov's newly-announced plans, dual citizenship might still be some time coming. A majority of MPs voted against a 2009 proposal from Liberal Alliance to allow dual citizenship despite the signatures of 10,000 Danes living abroad who demanded it. The proposal was torpedoed by opposition from Dansk Folkeparti, with former party MP Søren Krarup calling it “bigamy”. 

Even if dual citizenship were to pass, an immigration lawyer contacted by The Copenhagen Post estimated it may take up to five years to be fully approved. Should it become a reality, however, Denmark would be joining a growing group of EU member states that allow dual citizenship. Twenty of the 27 EU countries allow for dual nationality. The most recent to join the club was Belgium in 2008, while Sweden joined in 2001.

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