New Alliance behind dual citizenship proposal

The country's newest political party will soon submit a proposal in parliament to allow dual citizenship for foreigners here and Danes abroad

Foreigners living in Denmark can possibly look forward to the chance of obtaining Danish citizenship in the future without having to give up their current passport.

The New Alliance, the country's newest political party, is preparing to introduce a proposal to parliament that will make dual citizenship legal in Denmark.

Currently, foreigners with residence in Denmark may not obtain Danish citizenship without forfeiting their existing citizenship. Also, Danes living abroad may not obtain the citizenship of another country without giving up their Danish passports, due to the current language of Danish laws.

Naser Khader, the party's leader, has had the proposal on the New Alliance agenda for some time, but it is now taking shape in concrete form.

Mikael Godtfredsen, a political consultant for the New Alliance who is working on the proposal's language, said the bill would apply to all countries and is important if Denmark wants to keep pace both economically and socially with the rest of Europe.

'We're more or less living in a world without borders nowadays,' Godtfredsen told The Copenhagen Post. 'The current law is somewhat obsolete, when we have so many Danes working and living abroad or married to a foreigner. You don't give up your nationality just because you live elsewhere.'

A law change would also be a great benefit to immigrants living in Denmark, said Godtfredsen.

'Foreigners who are residents here should have the same democratic rights as Danes, such as to vote in national elections,' he said. 'They pay taxes, too. I also believe the change would help improve integration.'

Representatives from other parties who have opposed the proposal have often suggested that easing the restrictions of citizenship could open Denmark's door to more terrorists. Godtfredsen said that while he is aware of the concern, the issue is something for the nation's security authorities to deal with.

'Of course it's something we have to cover, but if other European countries have managed to work through it, then I'm confident Denmark can as well.' (RC)



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