German cabinet accepts dual citizenship

The German government signed off on a draft law that will allow young Germans of foreign origin to have dual citizenship, a move that relaxes some of Europe's strictest nationality laws and will benefit the large Turkish community.

German cabinet accepts dual citizenship

World Bulletin / News Desk

Children of immigrants born in Germany will be eligible to apply for dual citizenship if a proposed draft law is approved by the Federal Parliament.

The German Cabinet on Tuesday accepted the draft law. Under the current system children of immigrants have to decide whether to quit their original nationality in order to get German citizenship.

The new draft will allow young people to have dual citizenship if they were born in Germany and lived here for at least eight years or attended school for six years until their 21st birthday.

The current system primarily affects Turks living in Germany. There are more than two million people of Turkish origin residing in Germany.

"That's a great signal for many young people in our country. Hundreds of thousands of them can breathe a sigh of relief," said Aydan Oezoguz, Germany's federal commissioner for migration, refugees and integration.

"I'm pleased that in future many young people will no longer have to decide against their parents' nationality or even become foreigners in their own country," she added.

However, Turkish community leaders have criticised the new law because it applies only to youngsters and does not cover older people who have often spent decades in Germany.

The government's approval of dual citizenship gives the green light to a pet project of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with Angela Merkel's conservatives.

Merkel's conservatives had long opposed dual citizenship, arguing it is impossible to be loyal to two countries at the same time. The SPD had been in favour of completely abolishing the obligation to choose between passports.

The law still needs to be approved by parliament. Conservatives and members of the SPD have both said they will push for changes when it goes through the lower house Bundestag.

Last Mod: 08 Nisan 2014, 16:43
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