Petition calls for referendum on nationality law
(JB) A Luxembourger is petitioning for a referendum on the new nationality law, the first draft of which was published at the beginning of October.
The author of petition 564 wrote that the proposed new conditions for gaining nationality “call largely into question the need for having a command of the Luxembourg language, for respecting the culture, traditions, customs and habits of our country.”
He referred to proposed conditions under which people wishing to be naturalised would be exempt from a language test.
These include for those who have lived for eight or more years in the country and have completed 100 hours of Luxembourgish language courses within two years.
Foreign residents may also gain citizenship on the basis of marrying a Luxembourg national, on the proviso they have mastered one of the three national languages of the country.
Meanwhile, children born in Luxembourg to non-Luxembourgish parents, will automatically receive dual Luxembourg nationality on their 18th birthday, provided they have lived in the country up to a year before this date.
It is not by selling off Luxembourg nationality that things will improve
The petition author went on to say that it is “not by selling off Luxembourg nationality that things will improve,” quoting Saint Ambroise that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.
He went on to explain that as a foreign national living in Luxembourg, he had made the effort to “assimilate, master the language, the culture of the country and I find it worrying and dangerous for the future of this country (risk of emergence of a far-right party) to call into question the link between our language and nationality.”
A referendum was held on June 6, 2015, enabling Luxembourgers to decide on whether to allow foreign residents the right to vote in national elections provided they had lived in the country for 10 or more years and met other criteria. Luxembourgers voted overwhelmingly against with 78 percent opposing the proposal.
The government has said it will seek a broad consensus on the nationality law, which will likely to undergo a number of changes before being finalised.
Petition 564 will remain open for signatories until December 3. At the time of publishing, it had received 25 signatures.
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