German dual citizenship law paused at Bundestag reading stage
Germany’s new, modernised citizenship law was scheduled for its first reading on November 9 but has now been removed from the agenda until further notice.
Bundestag citizenship law reading postponed
Already in the final legislative stages, Germany’s plan to liberalise its citizenship law has now been put on the back burner. The law was headed for its first reading in the Bundestag on November 9, but reports from The Local suggest that the debate has been withdrawn from the agenda for the foreseeable future.
In its current form, the law will allow people who have been resident in Germany for just five years to apply for a German passport. They will also be able to keep their original nationality and have dual citizenship, and in cases of particularly impressive achievements in their work and developing their German language skills, the wait time for prospective citizens will be just three years.
A rise in the number of antisemitic attacks in Germany and a renewed focus on ingrained antisemitism in German society has been cited as the reason for the delay.
FDP and CDU toughen on citizenship reform
Compared to their coalition partners, the SPD and Greens, the FDP have always been more conservative when it comes to the specifics of Germany’s new citizenship law.
Speaking to the tabloid newspaper Bild, FDP deputy leader Wolfgang Kubicki claimed that reforming the citizenship law to give people who are born in Germany to parents legally resident for a minimum of five years rather than eight is at odds with the country’s goal of challenging antisemitism. “[T]his problem will not be reduced, but probably no longer be able to be overcome,” Kubicki argued.
Kubicki’s comments come after thousands of demonstrators of many nationalities have joined often-banned protests across German cities to condemn Israeli bombing in Gaza after the Hamas attack on October 7. Demonstrations in defence of Israel have been simultaneously ongoing.
Another response to the events came from CDU leader Friedrich Merz towards the end of October, who called for the coalition government to stop their reform plans, demanding that anyone who applies for German citizenship in future should formally declare their belief in Israel’s right to exist. "Those who are unwilling to make this commitment do not belong in Germany," Merz told ZDF.
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