German Bundesrat votes through new dual citizenship law
Germany’s modernised citizenship law has been voted through the Bundesrat. During the proceedings, members heralded a step in the right direction for a country that urgently needs skilled workers from across the world.
Bundesrat members vote through modernised German citizenship law
Germany’s dual citizenship law has been voted through the German Bundesrat. The event marks another step taken in the proceedings to ease the path to German citizenship for foreigners living and working in the federal republic and allow applicants to hold dual citizenship with their original nationality.
Speaking to the floor, SDP member Daniela Behrens said, “If we look at the worker shortage there is no doubt that in the future, Germany, has to be a land of immigration. It is obvious that we need regulated migration in order to strengthen the economy”. Behrens added that Germany’s decision to allow dual citizenship was long overdue.
But with immigration authorities being some of the areas worst affected by Germany’s worker shortage, Behrens also stressed that local administrative bodies should not be abandoned once the law is introduced, and should be given time and guidance in processing the large number of citizenship applications that Germany expects.
In the chamber, Deputy Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate Katharina Binz agreed that the new law was “urgently needed” and commended that, with its adoption, migrants in Germany who have given their careers and lives to the country will now be able to be properly politically engaged through voting.
Bundestag will now prepare for citizenship law reading
The Bundesrat represents the governments of Germany’s 16 states and deliberates on all legislative decisions, but in this case, the vote was largely a formality.
Because the planned changes to the citizenship law will be adopted at the federal level and do not concern the budget or amendments to the German constitution, even if Bundesrat members wanted to, the house cannot stop the new legislation from being passed into law.
The legislative proceedings will now move into the next stage, with a reading in the Bundestag. The first reading has been scheduled for either November 9 or 10.
“Reading” in this context means debating, and this debating phase of the legislative process will have three key stages. Between the first and second readings, a special committee will be designated to the bill, which will then be in charge of organising public hearings to further discuss the law and make any recommendations.
Finally, the law will be voted on at the end of the third reading. On this occasion, the current German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will ask the elected politicians for their votes or abstentions.
If all this goes to plan, people in Germany can expect the new citizenship law to be enforced from April 2024. But don’t get too excited yet - processing times to apply for German citizenship can be years-long in some German cities, so it might still be a while until you hold your very own passport.
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