Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser wants to significantly reduce the conditions for the naturalization of foreigners. In addition to reducing the waiting time, the knowledge test previously required for some groups is also to be eliminated. Meanwhile, the CDU is warning of a "sale" of German passports.
The reform of citizenship law agreed in the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP is making progress. This is intended to make naturalization easier. A corresponding draft law is "almost ready" and will be sent to the other ministries shortly, said a spokesman for Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser in Berlin.
"Bild" and the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" reported on details of the plans, which had largely already been agreed between the coalition partners. Above all, people who have already lived in this country for several years should be able to become German citizens more easily. Instead of the previous eight years, you should be able to obtain citizenship after five years of residence in Germany. In the case of "special integration achievements" this should even be possible after three years - for example if immigrants have shown special academic or professional achievements or voluntary work or have particularly good language skills.
Having multiple citizenships is set to become much easier with the reform. For integration, language skills, education, professional integration and, for example, "a commitment to the free democratic basic order are far more important than the question of whether someone has one or more nationalities," quotes the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". The old legal principle no longer corresponds to current practice. For more than 15 years, more than half of the naturalizations "almost consistently" have been "completed with the acceptance of multiple nationalities".
The initiative was criticized primarily by the CDU and CSU. "The German passport must not become junk," warned Thorsten Frei, parliamentary manager of the Union faction in the Bundestag. The German naturalization law is already attractive and liberal, German citizenship must come at the end and not at the beginning of the integration process.
The deputy parliamentary group leader of the CSU, Andrea Lindholz, also expressed concerns. The planned new regulations would deprive foreigners of a major incentive to integrate. "This can become a real threat to the cohesion of our society."
In its coalition agreement, the government had agreed on a reform of the naturalization law. According to the report, the planned law is to be presented to the cabinet later this year.