Dual Nationality to be Phased Out?

I was born in the Isle of Man and, as a result, hold a British Passport. Having lived in the Netherlands since 1983, I also became a Dutch citizen in 2006 – so I currently have dual nationality.

Today, the minister for home affairs, Piet Hein Donner, has introduced proposed legislation that will mean that anyone who wants to adopt Dutch nationality will soon have to give up their original nationality if that is legally possible.

Obviously, the question in my mind is: will this also apply retroactively?

Frankly, I see this move by Donner as a step backwards – a sop to the burgeoning nationalism fanned by the likes of Wilders and the PVV. I actually feel proud of the fact that I am able to hold dual nationality – I feel it gives me a broader horizon – a step towards being a citizen of the world. If Donner has his way, I’ll be forced to retreat to a narrower view of the world. I’m not happy about this.

Addendum: a friend of mine who’s in much the same boat (born a Scot, lived in the Netherlands for years and now has dual nationality) wondered if he could add a new word to the English language:

Wilderize
– to change a tolerant country into an intolerant country.

I think he has a point.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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5 Responses to Dual Nationality to be Phased Out?

  1. Hmm. I can see why that’s troubling you.

    I wonder, however, to what extent that will apply to dual nationalities within the EU. Germany, for instance, does not generally accept dual citizenship. (This affected me personally: before officially becoming German, I had to give up — ‘renounce’ — my American citizenship. No citizen-of-the-world identity for me…)

    However, since, I think, 2007, there’s been an exception for citizens of EU countries (and Switzerland). I’m not sure whether this is a result of EU law or something else, but I could well imagine — if it even comes to a change in the law — some kind of exception based on this principle.

    After all, the law is probably not primarily aimed at Europeans, is it? (Or is it?)

    Germany also recently introduced more stringent language and ‘citizenship’-style requirements for citizenship (which your unpleasant-sounding minister chap also seems keen on). I found them pretty easy (and, actually, rather reasonable) but it seems to have led to a reduction in applications for citizenship.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      John, I’m going to have to study the Dutch legalese of the proposed law in detail. I have difficulty enough with legalese written in English, so this could take some time. The issue seems to be that at the moment there are exceptions that allow dual nationality (e.g. for me, being British, and therefore also from an EU country), but it does seem to be the intention to remove them going forward. Whether that will affect me retroactively is not clear.

    • JL says:

      Giving up U.S. citizenship is not such a bad idea. I recently found out it’s the only country in the world that requires you to file tax returns even if you haven’t lived there in decades. Even if you do give it up, you’re still required to file tax returns for the next ten years.

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