Tuesday 01 November 2011
The government’s plans to bring in new restrictions on dual nationality will also hit thousands of Dutch expats living abroad, campaigners against the changes say.
‘This is the first time Dutch people living abroad have joined forces,’ says Dutch New Yorker Eelco Keij in the Volkskrant. Keij is one of the people behind an online petition against the changes.
The petition, signed by over 7,000 people by Tuesday morning, states that ‘identity and loyalty to the Netherlands do not get lost with a second nationality, which is often requested for purely practical reasons’.
According to the campaigners, the draft legislation states that Dutch expats who take another nationality will automatically become ‘ex-Dutch nationals’, making it much more difficult to return to their country of origin. It will also be harder for the children of expats to keep their Dutch citizenship.
Dutch lawyer Susanne Mooij in London told the Volkskrant the Netherlands is going against international trends, in which western countries are making it easier to have multiple nationalities.
The draft legislation is based on stopping foreign nationals keeping their original nationality if they become Dutch and the changes for Dutch expats are a ‘side effect’, the paper says.
‘Dutch citizenship is the crown on participation and integration into society,’ Donner said in a briefing on the new plans earlier this year. The new measures were included in the coalition agreement.
Opinion polls show majority support for eradicating dual nationality. However, in a DutchNews.nl poll earlier this year, only 19% of the over 2,000 people who took part thought dual nationality was a bad thing.