With over 300 hearing delegates it is greatly positive that dual citizenship will be introduced. In a short time, the government will present a proposal that will allow this.
The government wishes to abandon the principle that one can only be a citizen of one country. Thus, Norwegian practice may be in line with the other Nordic countries, most European countries and, among others, the United States.
Already last December, when then Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) sent the proposal to allow double citizenship to be heard. A large majority of the more than 300 hearing statements are positive to the proposal. Many of these statements are from Norwegians living abroad who wish to retain or reclaim their Norwegian citizenship.
– Wishing a Welcome
“As a Norwegian citizen living in Sweden, I can not become a Swedish citizen without losing my Norwegian citizenship. I welcome this modernization. Sweden did this over ten years ago,” it says in an anonymous hearing statement.
The government will come forward with its proposals for legislative amendments to Parliament during the summer.
“We note that many are positive about the Government’s proposal to change the principle of dual citizenship,” states Secretary of State Kristin Holm Jensen (H) in the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture at NTB.
The amendment will probably mean that people will no longer lose their Norwegian citizenship if they become citizens in another country. It may also mean that people will no longer have to renounce previous citizenship to become Norwegian citizens.
Although Norway has until now had the principle of citizenship, the reality is that we have largely practiced double citizenship. During the period 1 January 2010 to 1 April 2017, between 50 and 60 percent of those who applied for Norwegian citizenship were granted except for the requirement to state their nationality.
In addition, many people have dual citizenship because they have automatically received it at birth.
Negative for retaliation
One of the reasons why the government wants to change the legislation is that people who have only one citizen can not get this revoked.
“Dual citizenship is a prerequisite for refusing people of Norwegian citizenship due to terrorist acts or the like,” said Minister for Immigration and Integration, Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) when the proposal was presented in December.
This statement alone gets more critical comments in the hearing round. Amnesty International believes that better guidelines should be developed for handling cases of revoking citizenship, while the Anti-racist Center is highly critical and denotes the proposal for loss of citizenship as very unfortunate.
Forced marriage and child abduction
The Integration and Diversity Directorate (IMDI) supports a legislative amendment from an integration-based point of view, but points out that dual citizenship can make it more difficult for Norwegian authorities to assist persons exposed to forced marriages.
“Experience from Sweden shows that having dual citizenship makes it very difficult to provide consular assistance for forced marriages or detention in the country of origin,” IMDI writes in its consultation statement.
State Secretary Kristin Holm Jensen has noticed the inputs.
“The hearing delegates also point out some issues we are now considering more closely,” she says.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today