Sunday 12 July 2020

No date yet for dual nationality proposals, despite spring hopes

No date has yet been set for the publication of draft legislation to modernise Dutch rules on dual nationality, the justice ministry has confirmed.

Junior justice minister Mark Harbers told MPs last September that the government aimed to publish proposals in the first quarter of 2019. However, a ministry spokesman told DutchNews.nl the process to develop the legislation is still ongoing and no time frame can be given at the moment.

‘All relevant jurisprudence is being looked at,’ the spokesman said.

That jurisprudence involves the ground-breaking Tjebbes case, ruled on by the European Court in March this year, and which deals with current Dutch rules on losing citizenship, the spokesman said.

Currently Dutch dual nationals lose their Dutch nationality if they live outside the country for 10 years and fail to renew their Dutch passports. In the Tjebbes case, the European court did not rule this process illegal, but did say it should be proportional – which means individual circumstances should be taken into account.

Update

The government pledged in its 2017 coalition agreement to take steps to change the restrictive Dutch laws on nationality. In order to become Dutch, most people have to renounce their original nationality, unless they are married to a Dutch national, and Dutch nationals who take another nationality also lose their Dutch passports.

Harbers said at the time the modernisation process will be in two parts. One will ‘expand’ the possibility of having more than one nationality for first generation emigrants and immigrants. ‘

At the same time, there will be a compulsory choice for the following generations which will not allow them to hold more than one nationality, which would mean the children of Dutch nationals living in another country or foreigners in the Netherlands would have to choose which nationality to keep.

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