Listhaug must pull her finger out on dual citizenship

new automatic passport control at GardermoenNew automatic passport control at Gardermoen.Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

In March last year, parliament asked the government to explain their position on the possibility of opening up for dual citizenship.The proposals aren’t yet in place.


‘This is because parliament asked the government to come up with a proposals or dual citizenship, but then it has been exposed,and exposed, and exposed, and then postponed. It isn’t reasonable that it takes so long when parliament is impatient,’ said Sveinung Rotevatn of Venstre (Left – V) to VG newspaper.

In March last year, parliament’s (Storting’s) Municipal and Management Committee sent a resolution, asking the government to investigate the matter. A majority in the committee showed that developments in Europe have led to more nations having opened up for dual citizenship.

Almost one and a half years after the proposal, a bill still hasn’t been presented. In early June, then Deputy Minister for Immigration and Integration, Per Sandberg, answered a written question from Rotevatn, saying that a proposal will be presented as soon as possible.

Huge practical consequences

Before Christmas, Immigration Minister, Sylvi Listhaug, promised that a proposal will arrive in the spring. However, in May this year, Per Sandberg of Fremskrittspartiet (Frp) said that the question had been debated at the national and regional assembly meetings and the proposal had been postponed.

Rotevatn isn’t pleased that a proposal is not yet on the table, and justifies his dissatisfaction by the fact that it’s a matter that has great practical consequences for many people.

‘There are thousands of Norwegians abroad who want to take full advantage of the communities they live in. They can’t, because Norway is one of the few countries that don’t allow dual citizenship. In addition, there are foreigners here in Norway who would like to participate, for example by using the right to vote’, he said.

The government’s Høyre (H) and Frp have both agreed to allow dual citizenship at their Annual National Conferences.

VG newspaper reported last autumn about NRK’s program director, Thomas Seltzer, who’s denied Norwegian citizenship. Seltzer was born in Hamar, with an American father, and Norwegian mother, and lived in Wisconsin in the USA until he was six years old.

There area paucity of counter-arguments

It is only exceptionally that Norwegian law opens the way for dual citizenship. Customarily, this is either because one can’ t absolve oneself from one’s former citizenship, or if one was given a nationality from each parent at birth, or if one is a Norwegian citizen and receives citizenship in another country without having asked for it.

According to Rotevatn, the introduction of dual citizenship is also sound integration policy.

‘There are no good counter-arguments. Many countries allow this. Here, I think the government is showing a lack of respect for parliament and its own National Conference.

This is not exactly a reorganisation of the pension system, or a new National Transport Plan. A new section of the Citizenship Act is all that’s needed. Now Listhaug has to get her finger out’, he said.

The Ministry of Justice and Emergency Affairs told VG newspaper that they were waiting for the decisions of the National Conference,
and are currently working on the matter.

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today