Siim Kallas calls for legalization of dual citizenship (16)

Current Estonian laws do not technically allow for dual citizenship, unless an individual has the right to both by birth. (Eero Vabamägi/Postimees/Scanpix)
6/12/2016 5:32 PM
Category: News

Following the Reform Party’s general assembly, presidential hopeful Siim Kallas promised to organize a seminar regarding citizens and the state during which he plans to formally call upon the political parties in the Riigikogu to legalize dual citizenship in Estonia.

During the Reform Party’s general assembly on Sunday, Kallas stated that Estonia must bring its citizenship policy into compliance with the country’s Constitution and legalize dual citizenship.

The party’s honorary chairman noted that, according to the most recent statistics, 104,000 Estonian citizens currently lived abroad. “Many of them are married to foreign citizens, and many of them have children together,” explained Kallas. “Estonian law does not currently allow for dual citizenship. According to the law, if one wants to retain for example US or German citizenship, they must renounce their Estonian citizenship. I find that the requirement to renounce one’s Estonian citizenship is inherently unconstitutional and the best solution would be to legalize dual citizenship, without easing loyalty and language requirements.”

Kallas found that Estonia’s laws on citizenship and foreign residents were what dictated how open or closed the country was, and that the laws currently on the books were generally unreceptive to new citizens, foreign employees and foreign residents.

“And so,” he concluded, “Estonia’s citizenship policy is a relic of the past and needs broader debate. Insofar as a change in citizenship policy would be a big change for our society, if necessary, we can consider putting the question to a referendum.”

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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