The Liberal democratic party D66 and the Labour party PvdA have submitted draft legislation to parliament which would allow dual nationality in the Netherlands.
Currently, Dutch nationals who take a second nationality lose their right to a Dutch passport, while most foreigners who become Dutch are required to reject their original nationality.
The proposal, submitted by Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch and D66’s Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, states that the current Dutch position on dual nationality is out of steps with the times.
Thousands of Dutch nationals have found they are no longer Dutch after applying for a second passport because of the rules. This, Sjoerdsma said in the Volkskrant, cam make it more difficult for them to come back to the Netherlands.
In addition, ‘the idea that loyalty to a country can be expressed by swapping one passport is old-fashioned,’ the MPs say.
‘At a time of increasing polarisation, it is important that all Dutch people feel they belong,’ Marcouch said in the Volkskrant. ‘There is nothing the matter with having two nationalities. Whether your are a newcomer or hold a second passport, you should never lose your Dutch nationality.’
D66 parliamentary hopeful Eelco Keij, who campaigns for the rights of Dutch expats, was one of the driving forces behind the draft legislation. ‘After four years of bashing Dutch nationals who live abroad, I hope the Labour party is not using this to win votes ahead of the general election,’ he said.
Some 1.3 million Dutch nationals hold a second nationality and earlier this week, the national statistics office CBS said the number of people taking Dutch nationality fell by over 20% last year.
People can apply to become Dutch after living in the Netherlands for five years, or three years if married to a Dutch citizen – if they have gone through the correct integration procedures.
However, the government is planning to increase this to seven years. That legislation is pending approval in the senate.
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