Acquisition of Citizenship: Justice Commission of the Belgian Parliament addresses Council of State for Legal Advice
On June 22, 2011, the Justice Commission found no agreement on the draft bill of several Flemish political parties concerning the tightening of the acquisition of citizenship in Belgium
On Wednesday, the political parties N-VA, CD&V and Open-VLD brought a new draft bill into the Federal parliament, which was discussed in the Justice Commission of the First Chamber of the Parliament (“The Chamber”). The draft bill foresees the tightening of two main ways of the acquisition of the Belgian citizenship: 1) According the draft bill, the preconditions to receive the citizenship via the parliamentarian commission for naturalisation would be changed in 5 years of legal stay instead of 3 years. Additionally, the draft bill foresees language knowledge of the official language of the region of residence (now: no language knowledge required), and proof of economical integration (by 2 years of employment; now: no such requirements). 2) According to the draft bill, the preconditions for the so called “declaration of citizenship” would be changed from 7 years of legal stay into 10 years of legal stay. However, no political consensus was reached on the draft bill and the Justice Commission decided to address the Council of State for a Legal Advice on the draft bill.