Liberals propose end of dual citizenship ban

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Sveinung Rotevatn of the Liberal Party. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix
17:43 CEST+02:00
Sveinung Rotevatn, a Liberal member of the employment and social affairs committee, told NRK on Wednesday that the Liberals, one of the government’s two support parties in Parliament, want to make it easier for foreigners who have settled in Norway to achieve dual citizenship.

“We will propose that Norway accept dual citizenship, just like most of our neighbouring countries do,” Rotevatn said.

“It’s important for integration, it will make it possible for foreign immigrants to serve in the military, to take part in all elections and even to play on the Norwegian national football team.”

For most foreigners in Norway, who’ve qualified for permanent resident status, it will mostly mean they can vote in national elections and referenda, and not just in local elections.

Norway’s ban on dual citizenship has been criticised as being anachronistic and out of touch with today’s global society.

The ban has recently become more controversial, because of globalisation and those who view the ban on dual citizenship as a hindrance to integration in a multicultural country. Norway is among the few countries in Europe with a ban on dual citizenship.

The issue has also picked up momentum recently because of the story of Cecilie Myhre, a Norwegian who moved to Australia and had to give up her Norwegian citizenship when she needed Australian citizenship in order to accept a job in the public sector. Norwegians who move abroad and become citizens of other countries are also required under Norwegian law to formally give up their Norwegian citizenship.

Myhre now lives back in Norway and told the Norwegian state broadcaster, NRK, this week that she loves both countries and didn’t want to have to compromise her identity.

“Now I’m officially a foreigner in Norway, but I have applied to get back my Norwegian citizenship for me and my children, who are born in Australia,” Myhre told NRK. “But I also want to keep my Australian citizenship. I feel like I belong in both countries and am loyal to both, and believe the regulations should reflect that. I want to be a democratic citizen of both."

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