Minister set to ignore advice on dual nationality

The government looks set to stand by its plans to clamp down on dual nationality, despite criticism from the Council of State, according to correspondence between home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies and the government’s most senior advisory body.


On Wednesday the Council said the government should reconsider the plans, stating that ‘nationality and loyalty are not automatically the same thing’.
Around 1.1 million of the 16.7 million population of the Netherlands have two nationalities.
However, the correspondence shows that Spies is deterrmined to go ahead with her plan to stop everyone who becomes Dutch from keeping their original nationality, apart from those who cannot do so by law. Dutch nationals who take another nationality voluntarily will also lose their Dutch passports, news agency ANP reports.
Spies says limiting people to one nationality will clarify ‘the rights and obligations between the state and the individual’.
Opposition
The opposition left-wing liberal party D66 hopes that the largest governing party, the right-wing liberal VVD, will persuade the Christian Democrat Spies to change her mind. The VVD is divided on the question because many of the Dutch expats are their own voters, says ANP.
On Thursday evening, D66 MP Gerard Schouw introduced changes to the plan that are designed to get it dropped. Party member and expat Eelco Key has started a petition supported by the US offices of the VVD and the Labour party. It has attracted thousands of, often emotional, reactions.
Spies is also planning to introduce compulsory language tests for everyone applying for Dutch nationality, who will also need a family income of at least the minimum wage and two years work experience or a professional qualification.
The Council of State is also critical of these moves.