• Germany's news in English
 

Greens to push dual citizenship issue

The Local · 25 Feb 2013, 12:20

Published: 25 Feb 2013 12:20 GMT+01:00

Under current rules introduced in 2000, people born to a non-European Union family are allowed dual citizenships only as children. They must chose between nationalities before their 23rd birthday - or automatically lose their German passport.

“We've been demanding for a long time that this forced choice be abolished and we'll be bringing an initiative in the Bundesrat [upper house of parliament] to that effect,” Renate Künast, head of the Green party parliamentary fraction told Die Welt newspaper on Monday.

Künast said the obligatory choice at the age of 23 was unreasonable and a tough test of loyalty for young people from non-European immigrant backgrounds. The rule does not apply to children who have a parent from an EU country - they can retain dual citizenship.

“Dual citizenship is an expression of the diversity and openness of our society,” said Künast, suggesting Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was behind the times with its opposition to non-EU dual citizenship.

“To deny that only shows how backward-looking the thinking of the CDU is," she said.

The initiative appears to be a clever bit of political manoeuvring by the opposition, which is keen to exploit its newly-won upper house majority and give Chancellor Angela Merkel as many headaches as possible in the five months to go before the general election.

Künast's comments on dual citizenship came on the second day of Merkel's state visit to Turkey, where Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded the Chancellor abandon her opposition to dual citizenship.

The Greens' move also comes less than a week after the governing junior coalition partner the Free Democrats (FDP) catapulted the topic back into the headlines when Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called for a change in the law.

By inserting the issue straight into the Bundesrat, the Green party and their allies the Social Democrats (SPD) could force the FDP to break ranks with their CDU coalition partner and support the initiative.

The path through the upper house is another way of getting the lower house Bundestag to address an issue. If the SPD, Greens and the Left party use their opposition majority to pass an initiative in the Bundesrat, it will automatically pass to the lower house for discussion.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:48 February 25, 2013 by pepsionice
You simply open up the door to tax madness....to which country do you pay taxes to? The Germans will grin and say them. The Turks will say themselves. Why even bother saying citizenship to two countries? Why not have a passport to sixteen different countries?
13:59 February 25, 2013 by Steve1949
If there should ever be another party to be banned from politics it should definitely be the Green Party. They never come up with any ideas that are worth anything.
14:06 February 25, 2013 by adam.müller
by law, 2000, people born to a non-European Union are NOT allowed dual citizenship BUT the rule does not apply to children who have a parent from an EU country.

so how these dual citizens are more loyal to Germany than people forced to have one one citizenship?

The fact is, Turkey is a booming economy with Increased +8.49 % growth of total GDP $1.288 Trillion. Our growth is 0.9% (2012 estimate). Turkey has gained great economic social and political influence all over the world in the last 10 years and its increasing.

We will be looking for Jobs in Turkey in next 10 years. There is the reason that we have "suddenly" felt close to Turkey and want to open dual citizenship. We need them more than they need us.
14:27 February 25, 2013 by Tatsiana
I hope this will soon come to action.

No one should be forced to choose between their heritage and their present life. I lived 25 years of my life in my motherland, my parents live there, and they will always be a part of me, even after 50 years in Germany. Not to mention that having German passport alone is simply economically not worth for me: if I give up my nationality, I'll have to pay 100 euro for a visa to visit my parents. And I go for a visit 3 - 4 times a year.

However, this strange factor, that I cannot get a full rights in this country no matter how long I live here, make me consider moving somewhere, where people are more open for diversity, like US or UK. And I am what they call "highly skilled worked", who Germany needs so desperately.

I''ve also met many software developers that prefer to work in France just because they can have eu passport and keep their passport too.

I think if Germany wants to attract more skilled professionals, they should think that many immigrants would prefer to go to the country where they can have rights as other citizens, but at the same time keep their ability to visit their family regardless of visa. Because if you ask me - getting visa to see your home is just way too much.
14:58 February 25, 2013 by M Australian
@pepsionice

As per current law: the country of residence ie. country where one lives for min 183 days per year.
17:43 February 25, 2013 by IchBinKönig
Why not just make everyone in Turkey a German Passport holder?
17:51 February 25, 2013 by johnny108
Turkey is a booming economy. It has also failed to meet the standards for inclusion into the EU- on humanitarian and freedom-based grounds. Why should the EU open it's doors to a path most EU members believe will lead to more islamic terrorism?
18:18 February 25, 2013 by neunElf
Steve1949 and Johnny 108 are quite right indeed!

How terrible to force someone to make a decision! Most of us had NO choice!

These ungrateful people who want to maintain their ethnic fantasy while enjoying the advantages of German/EU citizenship are truly disgusting.

Why do they deserve "special treatment"?
18:49 February 25, 2013 by The-ex-pat
12:48 February 25, 2013 by pepsionice

You simply open up the door to tax madness....to which country do you pay taxes to? The Germans will grin and say them. The Turks will say themselves. Why even bother saying citizenship to two countries? Why not have a passport to sixteen different countries?

As a Brit with a UK and German passport, I pay tax in the land I live in...........Germany. It does not get any simpler.
20:56 February 25, 2013 by ovalle3.14
If this fear with the "tax madness" was true, how is it gonna get worse when already EU citizens can have dual citizenship? Isn't it also gonna be quite hard to file taxes in a country where you don't live (and probably haven't lived in for years)? Come on folks, don't drink the Kool-Aid.
21:24 February 25, 2013 by yourkeau
«You simply open up the door to tax madness....to which country do you pay taxes to? The Germans will grin and say them.»

Tax liability in Germany has NOTHING to do with citizenship. Thus, foreigners living in Germany more than 180 days a year are liable for taxes, while Germans living abroad are not liable for taxes. Simple as it is. Then if the country of your second citizenship has the same system, then you only pay taxes in the country you live, that will be one country. Then, there is a country like the US which has tax liability based on citizenship rather then on residency. But again, there is an agreement between Germany and the US, so Americans do not pay taxes twice. In the worst case, when your country requires you to pay taxes, you can give up your second citizenship or keep and pay taxes twice. That should be a choice.

@Tatsiana

You have a good point! People just want to visit their family without visas, and that's it.
22:11 February 25, 2013 by Steve1949
@ johnny108..........Why do you think that Merkel all of a sudden is pushing for Turkey's membership in the EU.
01:22 February 26, 2013 by blackboot11
I am all for dual citizenship here. I was born and worked in the USA for most of my life. Now I I am married to a German and living in Berlin for the last 6 years. If I give up my USA pass to get a German Pass, I also would also give up the Rentenversicherung that I have paid into for MANY years in the USA ... for this reason alone I opt not to take a German pass with these conditions. Let me know when this changes and I will have a different Meinung.
07:02 February 26, 2013 by Nancy Hewett
Why would I ever give up my US citizenship to become a German citizen? Or renew my residence permit and pay high taxes without the right to vote? Do I want to bring my children to live in such an unfriendly place?
07:55 February 26, 2013 by The-ex-pat
07:02 February 26, 2013 by Nancy Hewett

Why would I ever give up my US citizenship to become a German citizen? Or renew my residence permit and pay high taxes without the right to vote? Do I want to bring my children to live in such an unfriendly place?

So the USA is the same a Germany then. A Green Card (Residents permit) give me the privilege to pay taxes and keep my mouth shut when it comes to voting...............
08:08 February 26, 2013 by Nancy Hewett
The USA allows dual citizenship. Germany does not.
19:42 February 26, 2013 by onemark
Due to a fortunate accident of birth, I have citizenships of New Zealand, the United kingdom and the Republic of Ireland - all of them completely legal.

In all these countries the state doesn't care how many passports you have as long as you obey the laws of the country you are in at any given moment and have obtained these citizenships legally.

Now if we can do it, why can't - or more to the point, why won't - Germany follow suit? It's not difficult.
06:11 February 28, 2013 by Bettylou
Nancy Hewitt; of course Germany allows dual citizen ship. the article above says so! I have both German and Australian citizenship
16:24 March 2, 2013 by Nancy Hewett
The article is about allowing non-EU backgrounds dual citizenship. Like me, many potential future citizens find it unacceptable to give up our current citizenship.
Today's headlines
Migrant crisis
Hungary says refugees are 'German problem'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (l) and refugees boarding a train at Budapest's Keleti station. Photos: DPA

Hungary says refugees are 'German problem'

1 hour ago

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban insisted Thursday the migrant crisis was a German problem, not a European one as he defended his government's handling of thousands of refugees flooding into his country.

Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers
Photo: DPA

Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers

3 hours ago

Germany's big private banks are increasing fees for customers at other financial institutions to withdraw cash from their ATMs, making ordinary people pay the price for a bankers' spat.

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller smashes a bottle of Berliner Weisse beer against the metal skin of a new U-Bahn train to christen it. Photo: DPA

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains

4 hours ago

The first of an all-new model of Berlin U-Bahn trains was christened on Wednesday evening by city mayor Michael Müller in a typically Berlin ceremony.

Migrant crisis
Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly
A man leads migrants in a chant in front of police lines at Budapest's Keleti railway station on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly

5 hours ago

Germany, France and Italy called for an overhaul of laws on the right of asylum and a fairer distribution of migrants throughout the European Union, Italy's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The Local List
7 ways Germans get English totally wrong
Don't let their confidence fool you: Germans aren't always the best at English. Photo: DPA.

7 ways Germans get English totally wrong

20 hours ago

As much as English-speakers might feel insecure about their Deutsch skills when faced with Germans' comparatively widespread grasp of English, Germans themselves often mess up English - in some pretty hilarious ways.

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger at a press conference earlier this week. Photo: DPA

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees

20 hours ago

Germany's World Cup-winning footballers have condemned xenophobic attacks on the thousands of foreigners pouring into their country and led calls to help the refugees amidst the ongoing crisis.

Islamist vigilantes face trial for 'Sharia police'
Islamic fundamentalist preacher Sven Lau. Photo: DPA

Islamist vigilantes face trial for 'Sharia police'

22 hours ago

State prosecutors in the Ruhr city of Wuppertal said on Tuesday that they have brought charges against notorious Islamic fundamentalist Sven Lau, who was behind a short-lived 'Sharia police' vigilante force in the city.

Are you a typical expat living in Germany?
Expats love German schools, but they're not so sure they receive a good welcome. Photo: DPA

Are you a typical expat living in Germany?

1 day ago

A new survey is full of revealing facts about expats in Germany, why they came here, what they love and what they loathe. So how do you measure up?

Lufthansa pilots 'could strike at any moment'
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots 'could strike at any moment'

1 day ago

Airline pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said on Wednesday that talks with Lufthansa had failed to reach an agreement and that their members could walk off the job at any moment.

Builder on speed blasts pepper spray at refugees
Emergency services in Massow on Tuesday evening. Photo: DPA

Builder on speed blasts pepper spray at refugees

1 day ago

A man was arrested in Brandenburg on Tuesday evening after he attacked refugees with pepper spray while he was high on amphetamines. Eight of his victims were taken to hospital for treatment.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,953
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd