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Criticism of the traffic light plan: Union opposes easier naturalization

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A tough struggle over the reform of naturalization law is emerging between the traffic light coalition and the opposition Union. Leading representatives of the CDU and CSU sharply criticized the federal government’s plan to make it easier for foreigners in Germany to obtain German citizenship.

The Union’s position on the controversial issue is important because it has a political power lever: Union-led countries could force changes to the reform through the Bundesrat. They had only recently succeeded in doing this when drafting the traffic light.

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Chancellor Olaf Scholz campaigned for the plan agreed in the coalition agreement, which Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) is now pushing. Germany needs “better regulations” for naturalization, said the SPD politician in his video message “Kanzler compact” that was distributed on Saturday.

According to Scholz, the men and women and sometimes children who have come to Germany over the past few decades have played a major role in making the German economy so strong. “Some have lived here for a very, very long time and have children and grandchildren. And that is why it is very good when those who have lived with us for so long also decide to acquire German citizenship.”

Campaigns resolutely for the reform of naturalization law: Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday at the state party conference of the Brandenburg SPD in Cottbus.
© dpa / Annette Riedl
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Scholz said that many people had emigrated from Germany over many centuries. “It has been different for many decades. Germany has become a country that is the land of hope for many.” Germany needs better regulations “for the naturalization of all these great women and men”.

The draft law of the Ministry of the Interior provides that people in particular who have already lived here for several years can become German citizens more easily. Instead of eight years, as is currently the case, it should be possible 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.

The Union called on Interior Minister Faeser to stop their project in its current form. “Citizenship involves significant rights, but also obligations,” said the parliamentary director of the Union faction in the Bundestag, Thorsten Frei (CDU), the Tagesspiegel. Therefore, “the German passport must be at the end of the integration process – and not at the beginning”.

This German special path leads in the wrong direction and ultimately endangers the cohesion of society.

Thorsten Frei, Parliamentary Secretary of the Union faction in the Bundestag

Dual citizenship should not “become the standard case”, but should only be possible “in justified exceptional cases and against the background of special family situations”. The CDU politician continues: “This German special path leads in the wrong direction and ultimately endangers the cohesion of society.”

The Union warns that dual citizenship could become the norm with the reform.
The Union warns that dual citizenship could become the norm with the reform.
© Imago / imago/Christian Ohde

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt told the “Bild” newspaper: “Selling off German citizenship does not promote integration, but has the exact opposite purpose and will trigger additional pull effects in illegal migration.” The CDU member of the Bundestag and interior expert Stefan Heck spoke of an “inflationary issue of German passports” that contained “enormous social explosives”. Faeser had to stop the plans, he demanded.

The President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, praised the plans: “Germany’s skilled labor problem will be exacerbated by demographics and increasing competition for the brightest minds if politicians do not act much more decisively than before,” said he the “Handelsblatt”. A clear perspective on nationality is an important element in making Germany more attractive to foreign skilled workers.

The chairman of the Turkish community in Germany, Gökay Sofuoglu, also welcomed the planned reform. (with dpa)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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