December 2011

Nationality law proposal to Dutch parliament before Christmas

Minister Donner expects to present his proposal for modifying the Dutch nationality law to parliament before Christmas.

In October we wrote about Minister Donner’s plan to eliminate dual nationality for Dutch citizen. The proposal, which has not yet been officially presented to the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch House of Representatives), will be sent to parliament before the Christmas break. Minister Donner answered this in response to questions by House member Gerard Schouw of the D66 party.

Importance of Dutch expats

The minister estimates that there are about 850,000 Dutch passport holders living abroad, but it is not known how many of them hold dual nationality. The minister “acknowledges the importance of Dutch expats for the Dutch economy and Dutch diplomatic relations”.

Position of the Tweede Kamer

The new law, which if it was accepted would have a significant negative effect on Dutch citizens living abroad, is controversial. A majority of parties in the Tweede Kamer has spoken in support of Dutch citizens abroad who could no longer maintain their Dutch nationality when applying for foreign citizenship.

On November 22nd a motion was brought forward to ask the minister to reconsider the aspects of the proposal that would impact Dutch citizens abroad. The motion did not get a majority in the Tweede Kamer though since the VVD did not support it, on technical grounds. Eelco Keij, who initiated the online petition against the proposal, remains optimistic: “This was just a procedural move by the VVD. When it comes to the content, they already publicly stated they are on our side.”

The petition by Dutch citizens abroad has received almost 19,000 signatures and significant coverage in the Dutch media. More information in Dutch about the petition can be found on NederlanderBlijven.com.