• Germany's news in English
 

Greens to push dual citizenship issue

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
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,180
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd