Social Democrats seeking to amend Citizenship Act ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Citizenship ceremony.
Citizenship ceremony. Source: Riigikogu

Estonia's opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) on Thursday initiated in the parliament a bill seeking to amend the Citizenship Act, which should ensure children born and residing in Estonia are effectively able to grow up as Estonian nationals.

"Our bill aims to fix amendments to the Citizenship Act adopted in late January, which in theory enabled 1,500 minors to become citizens of Estonia, but in reality created unfair and unattainable conditions for acquiring citizenship," SDE member Jevgeni Ossinovski was quoted by spokespeople for the party as saying.

"Our bill would abolish the Kafkaesque waiting period spanning up to 18 years during which the person who applied for Estonian citizenship as a child will not effectively become a citizen until they reach the age of majority and are able to give up their citizenship of the Russian Federation," Ossinovski said.

The government-initiated amendments to the Citizenship Act will take effect from February 17. Pursuant to the amendments, Estonian citizenship will effectively be granted to only 130 minors. The rest are prevented from becoming Estonian nationals as Russian laws do now allow minors to be released from their citizenship until they turn 18.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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