Little can be done to help unwilling dual nationals, ministers say


MPs will on Wednesday debate calls to help people who unwillingly have a second nationality to get rid of it, but ministers have already said there is little prospect for change in the current situation.

The debate comes as a group of 12 Dutch Moroccans renew their calls on the government to help them ditch their Moroccan nationality which they were automatically given at birth.

Ministers said last week they did not support calls by D66 MP Jan Paternotte for the establishment of a register of ‘unwanted nationalities’ but have said they will set up a committee to look into the issue. That committee is due to report back next spring.

Some 400,000 people in the Netherlands have Moroccan nationality, including tens of thousands of second and third generation immigrants.  ‘The group is only getting bigger, but you have to look to the future,’ campaigner Mohammed Amesses told broadcaster NOS. ‘They are completely Dutch.’

Some 26 other countries, including Argentina, Greece, Eritrea and Syria, do not allow their citizens to drop their nationality either.


The Netherlands, by contrast, automatically removes Dutch nationality from people who have lived abroad for a long time and who no longer have an up-to-date passport.

That too is subject to calls for change. Dutch expat organisation SNBN recently renewed its campaign to win dual nationality rights for Dutch nationals who live abroad, and hopes to make the issue part of the general election campaign.

People who become naturalised Dutch citizens also have to renounce their original nationality whether they want to or not.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation