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Justice Ministry yet to present nationality law reform
Luxembourg

Justice Ministry yet to present nationality law reform

2 min. 12.06.2015 From our online archive
While the CSV has submitted a proposal to reform the law to acquire Luxembourg citizenship in parliament, the Justice Ministry is yet to present its own bill, despite this having been announced for 2014 when the government took office.

(CS) While the CSV has submitted a proposal to reform the law to acquire Luxembourg citizenship in parliament, the Justice Ministry is yet to present its own bill, despite this having been announced for 2014 when the government took office.

Speaking at a government press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said that the Chamber of Deputies had expressed its intention to develop the proposal put forward by the CSV further.

The Premier said that he would meet the heads of the different factions in parliament to discuss the matter, especially since the government is also called upon to submit a review of the document.

CSV proposals

The proposal of the CSV in its key changes to the current law foresees that children born in Luxembourg should automatically be given the right to adopt citizenship upon their 18th birthday, should they wish to do so and under the condition that they have their legal residency in the country at the time and have lived in Luxembourg for at least five years after the age of 12.

Additionally, the proposal suggests to lower the duration of residency from seven to five years, and abolish it altogether for people marrying a Luxembourg national.

The document, submitted by Claude Wiseler, wants to keep the language tests, although it states that the requirements should be slightly lowered. Furthermore, non-nationals who have lived in Luxembourg for more than 20 years should not have to take a test, according to the proposed law.

The proposal was already submitted in February but gained traction during the referendum campaign, in which the CSV advocated making access to nationality easier for non-nationals instead of granting voting rights to foreigners.

Justice Ministry text still outstanding

The Justice Ministry's own bill on the reform of nationality law meanwhile is still outstanding. It was announced for 2014 by the government shortly after it took office, but failed to materialise last year.

Xavier Bettel on Friday merely said that the text by Justice Minister Félix Braz had not yet been submitted for consideration to the cabinet, adding that when it is ready Braz himself would present it to the press.

The Justice Minister was not immediately available for comment and a spokesperson at the ministry on Friday afternoon was unable to say when the document would be published.

Already under the previous CSV-LSAP coalition work was started to reform the nationality law. However, after the elections the new government announced that it would re-work the bill introduced in 2013. The result has yet to be unveiled.

Voters not in favour of easier access

A March Politmonitor study among voters in Luxembourg showed that the Luxembourgish public was not in favour of a number of the measures proposed by the CSV.

A majority said that they did not agree with lowering the residency clause and language requirements, as well as abolishing the language test. However, most voters did agree with granting children born in Luxembourg citizenship when they turn 18.