Paet: Estonia should allow dual citizenship by birthright

MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Member of the European Parliament Urmas Paet (Reform) said yesterday that Estonia should introduce legislation to allow dual citizenship by birth. Dual citizenship is allowed in 15 EU member states, and seven more allow a naturalized citizen to keep their original nationality under certain conditions.

"Our current Citizenship Act dictates that an Estonian citizen may not hold citizenship of another country, yet our constitution precludes the possibility of stripping Estonians of their birthright citizenship,” Paet explained.

“This limitation of the Citizenship Act needs to be changed, and dual citizenship by birth allowed,” Paet said. “The Estonian state shouldn’t have to force its citizens to face the entirely unnecessary choice of either making it Estonia or another country. It shouldn’t push its people away,” he added.

European Commission member Dimitris Avramopoulos referred to a survey recently conducted in member states of the European Migration Network, which reflects various practices in use in the 22 countries which replied to the questionnaire. “According to this survey, legislation in 15 member states allows for dual citizenship,” said Avramopoulos. “Dual citizenship is generally not allowed in seven other member states and in Norway. However, under certain circumstances, candidates for citizenship in those countries may retain their existing citizenship,” he added.

The 15 member states responding to the questionnaire whose legislation allows for dual citizenship are Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The seven member states responding to the questionnaire where dual citizenship is generally not permitted are Austria, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Slovenia.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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