1.11.2009 | Von:
Daniel Naujoks


Developments in the political system show that despite existing concerns there is a certain willingness to take a fresh look at dual citizenship and to accept it to a higher degree. The Intercultural Council, has established an alliance for action.

Recently, the Intercultural Council, an association of individuals and organisations promoting intercultural dialogue, has established an alliance for action called "Against the obligation to opt" in which prominent representatives of politics, trade unions, academia and civil society demand that young adults should not be obliged to choose one of two citizenships upon coming of age. In August 2009, the then-minister of justice in Germany, Brigitte Zypries (SPD), also pleaded against the obligation to opt, on the ground that this would mean a denial of realities. [1]

On the other hand, bills recognising dual citizenship to a greater extent introduced by the party The Left (Die Linke) and the Green party have recently been rejected [2] and it is not likely that the government coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU) and Liberals (FDP), elected in September 2009, will take action on dual citizenship in the near future.

As mentioned in the beginning, the practical consequences of the "option model" and of the associated obligation for many German-born people of foreign parents to choose between German citizenship and that of their parents is set to become increasingly apparent. Perhaps, faced with young Germans with two passports, people will finally come to accept that dual citizenship does not represent a threat to society and values. It is hoped that a critical mass of second-generation migrants in key positions in trade and industry, research and politics, together with increased immigration of highly qualified people, will lead to a change in the perception of immigrants and matters of immigration generally. By this means, and through the growing realisation that an inclusive society not only conforms to our values but also creates a better society, the reluctance to turn de facto German citizens into de iure citizens will abate.

In conclusion, it should be observed that the acceptance of dual citizenship does not, on its own, lead to social inclusion. In addition to objective legal norms, there is, above all, a need to develop a general immigration mentality, characterised by the acceptance of mixed-cultural identities and a fundamental desire for inclusion. Nevertheless, however, the recognition of multiple citizenship would be an important step along this route.


The German minister of justice is quoted in Berliner Zeitung of 13 August 2009. The call of the alliance for action can be found under http://www.wider-den-optionszwang.de.
The bill introduced by the Green party (Bundestagsdrucksache BT-Ds. 16/2650 2008) did not aim at accepting dual citizenship generally. However, it proposed to eliminate the obligation to opt, to accept dual citizenship for persons born in Germany and defined further exceptions from the principle of avoiding dual citizenship. The party The Left (BT-Ds. 16/1770 2006 and 16/9165 2008) proposes a general recognition of dual citizenship. The plenary protocol of the parliamentary session of 2 July 2009 documenting the rejection by the Grand Coalition of Social and Christian democrats can be accessed at http://www.wider-den-optionszwang.de/dl/Plenarprotokoll_020709.pdf.



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