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FDP backs fast-tracked citizenship to spur integration

The Local · 14 Sep 2010, 14:46

Published: 14 Sep 2010 14:46 GMT+02:00

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The FDP’s parliamentary interior affairs expert Hartfrid Wolff told regional daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Tuesday that the party hoped the change would encourage foreigners to learn German and quickly become valued members of society.

“The option of accelerated naturalisation is an important signal of openness and acceptance for all immigrants,” said Wolff. “Those that speak German, are well qualified, integrated in society and have a permanent job shouldn’t have to wait eight years for citizenship.”

He said a fast track for immigrants committed to staying in Germany would help alleviate the country’s worrying dearth of skilled workers.

Serkan Tören, the FDP’s point man in parliament for integration matters, also demanded changing Germany’s inconsistent acceptance of dual citizenship, saying it was hindering foreigners from becoming German nationals.

“For many immigrants it is a huge step to give up the citizenship of their birth country,” he told the paper. “Moreover it’s hard to justify why Europeans are allowed to have dual citizenship but other foreigners aren’t.”

Tören, who was born in Turkey but came to Germany when he was 10 months old, said the first step to better integration would be to stop forcing immigrant minors to choose between German citizenship and the nationality of their parents at the age of 18 to 23.

Story continues below…

According official statistics, the number of naturalisations in Germany has been cut nearly in half over the past decade. Last year, only 1.4 percent of the country’s 7.2 million foreign residents opted to become German citizens.

The Local/mry (news@thelocal.de)

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:45 September 14, 2010 by catjones
Fast rack so the Sarrazins can rant?

The problem is not the length of the journey, it's the destination.
19:11 September 14, 2010 by Prufrock2010
One minute Germany can't wait to get rid of the immigrants, or to "punish" them for failing to assimilate into society, and the next minute there's a proposal to fast-track citizenship. Mixed messages, anyone?
23:04 September 14, 2010 by crm114
being integrated has nothing to do with german citizenship. Under which circumstances would a german speaking, well qualified, integrated in society permanent job holder really require a stamp in a book? Smells more like damage limitation.
23:55 September 14, 2010 by Nancy Hewett
So who's gonna pay your Versicherungs?
03:25 September 15, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
*sigh* Don't even know what to say.
07:09 September 15, 2010 by Keith_F
This is obviously just an attempt by the FDP to try and win people over to the party that were offended by the SPD Sarrazin Scandal.
15:28 September 15, 2010 by Johnne
17:52 September 17, 2010 by onemark
As long as it's multiple and not just dual citizenship.
21:55 September 18, 2010 by dbert4
@onemark - Yeah got it already. And what benefit would allowing multipule citizenship offer GERMANY? Or really any honest person?
17:35 September 20, 2010 by onemark

The question is, where's the DISadvantage of multiple citizenship to Germany? I have three passports (legally), I pay my taxes and more or less obey the law. Problem?

And what's dishonest about multiple citizenship? Whichever country you're in, you have to obey the law of the land. Problem?
16:45 September 25, 2010 by kangaruh
Allowing dual or multiple citizenship would not disadvantage Germany one iota. But it would allow people like me, who grew up in another country but are fully integrated here to take out citizenship. I cannot toss the country I was born in and where I spent the first 25 years of my life in, in the proverbial rubbish bin. And exactly that is what defenders of single citizenship (who I would suggest have never emigrated to another country and never been forced to make the choice) demand. It is a singular cruelty and selfishness on their part. To claim that dual citizenship is "dishonest" betrays an utter ignorance of the importance of citizenship to us immigrants.

Now that Niedersachsen has a CDU Ministerpräsident with German and British passports, you have to wonder if there are any arguments left to defend single citizenship.
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