Change Edition

CSV tables nationality reform suggestions
Luxembourg

CSV tables nationality reform suggestions

24.07.2014 From our online archive
Luxembourg's Christian Socialists have made a number of suggestions on the reform of Luxembourg citizenship laws, while at the same time speaking out against a referendum on the right to vote for non-nationals.

(CS) Luxembourg's Christian Socialists have made a number of suggestions on the reform of Luxembourg citizenship laws, while at the same time speaking out against a referendum on the right to vote for non-nationals.

The CSV this week warned that a referendum could threaten social peace in the Grand Duchy, by giving a platform to right-wing and populist forces, which have seen a rise in many countries elsewhere in Europe.

Acknowledging that the issue of voting rights for non-nationals is an important topic up for debate, the party added that it is holding on to its position that full voting rights should only be granted to Luxembourg nationals. In return, the CSV tabled several suggestions to facilitate access to a Grand Duchy passport.

The recommendations include the following:

• Lowering the minimum residency period from seven years to five years, with additional cuts for non-nationals with a strong command of the Luxembourgish language.

• Facilitating access to Luxembourgish nationality when married to a Luxembourg national.

• Children born in Luxembourg should be given the option to adopt Luxembourg nationality upon their 18th birthday, provided they live in the Grand Duchy at the time and have been for several years. They should also be given the option to refuse.

• Learning Luxembourgish should remain obligatory; however, test requirements, especially for the spoken word, should be lowered.

• Non-nationals who have lived in Luxembourg for more than 20 years should be allowed to gain nationality without the need to fulfil any further criteria.

According to Claude Wiseler, deputy president of the CSV's faction in parliament, this compromise had found general approval among members of the party, although he conceded that the youth section had favoured more opened towards voting rights for non-nationals.

All branches of the CSV, however, agreed that the question should not be solved through a referendum, he added.

The reform of the nationality law was made a priority by the coalition government, and Justice Minister Félix Braz earlier this year said that a bill should be presented to parliament before the end of the year.

The reform was started under former Justice Minister François Biltgen in 2012, three years after the first reform allowing dual citizenship came into force in 2009.

Reporting by Michèle Gantenbein