Law puts plug on Belgium Naturalisation
by FFE EU News Staff
Becoming a new citizen in Belgium is now more difficult after a law that was implemented back in 1 January 2013. Of the 508 applications submitted this year until 30 November, none have been approved by the lower house of Parliament.
The implementation of the law has resulted in a very significant change in the number of naturalisations in Belgium. Under the old rules last year, thousands of applicants were successfully granted naturalisation. But with the new law, applicants now need to ‘have shown, or be able to show, outstanding services to Belgium’ in fields like science, sports or culture.
The daily La Libre Belgique commented that ‘The effects of the new nationality law are significant.’ As the backlog of applications clear up, senior MP Georges Dallemagne predicted there will be no more than two to three naturalisations a month.
This is a good thing for Dallemagne, who added ‘It’s not for MPs to examine tens of thousands of naturalisation requests every year apart from a few exceptions where the person can contribute to Belgium’s standing in the world.’