Scholz sticks to plans for naturalization law – politics
In the dispute over simplifying naturalization law, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has sided with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). “Nine million citizens live and work in our country without having German citizenship. But a democracy thrives on the opportunity to have a say. This creates legitimacy and increases the acceptance of state decisions,” said Scholz on Monday in Berlin. Faeser’s plans to allow naturalization after five years instead of eight, and in exceptional cases after three years, had previously met with criticism from the opposition, but also from the coalition partner FDP.
Scholz referred to the lack of skilled workers and called for Germany to be made more attractive as an immigration country. The integration of immigrants works best via the labor market. “Removing hurdles and delays on the way to the job market is therefore good for our country and good for those who want to live and work here,” emphasized Scholz. A spokesman for Interior Minister Faeser pointed out that the plans for simplified naturalization are merely a project of the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP.
In the coalition agreement, the traffic light parties had agreed on the creation of a “modern” citizenship law with the possibility of naturalization “usually” after five years, “in the case of special integration achievements” after three years. At the end of 2021, a good 72 million people with German citizenship and around eleven million with foreign citizenship were living in Germany. Most of them, almost six million, had been in Germany for more than ten years.
Faeser’s plan aims to speed up the integration of migrants. In addition to shorter waiting times before naturalization, the reform also provides for the abolition of a principle of German law: avoiding multiple citizenships. The aim of the reform is to “generally allow multiple nationalities,” says the paper. In practice, that was the norm anyway. Last year, the multi-state quota for naturalizations was almost 70 percent.
Union and FDP had nevertheless vehemently spoken out in favor of stopping the reform after the plans became known. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt criticized the government for “selling” citizenship. FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai warned that it was not the right time for a reform. According to the Ministry of the Interior, however, the reform is also necessary in view of the lack of skilled workers in numerous sectors.
According to information from government circles, the draft law is to be voted on between the ministries this week. The cabinet must then agree on a common template. The Union cannot stop the plans for a reform of citizenship law, unlike in the case of citizen income through the Federal Council.