The Europeans Who Will Lose Their Nationality

With ongoing uncertainty over the rights for EU nationals after Brexit, many Europeans who live in the UK are considering applying for British nationality. Although a lengthy and expensive process, it secures their future after March 2019.

This is the case for about 100,000 Dutch nationals living in Britain. The Dutch PM has previously warned them that taking a British passport means giving up their Dutch passport. The government even launched a campaign last month to explain the risks to Dutch citizens abroad.

Some 22,000 Dutch nationals abroad have signed a petition to demand a relaxation of the law. But the Dutch government has stood firm. In his response letter to the petition leader, the Dutch PM writes: “The possession of nationality is always linked to the existence of an actual and effective relationship with a particular country.”

Only a handful of European countries do not officially allow dual citizenship: Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Slovakia.

*Poland does not explicitly allow or recognise dual citizenship, yet it is tolerated by the government for a Polish person to hold two passports.

The dual nationality discussion in these countries is two-fold: around nationals abroad and foreigners in the country.

In Austria, where dual citizenship is illegal, it has triggered heated debates centred around a large number of people with Turkish roots living in the country.

For foreigners, most of these countries have already introduced exemptions to the ban. For example, for people who are naturalised, for spouses and children of national citizens and for people coming from countries where citizenship acquired by descent is inalienable.

Yet for nationals from these countries living abroad, there are no exceptions. It means renouncing their original citizenship. And that could mean giving up some of the democratic rights they were born with, such as the right to live and work in their country of origin. It may also have emotional implications.

For those in the UK, the other option is not to take up British citizenship, which could potentially cause problems in areas such as work permits and rights to education.

Denmark was one of the latest EU countries to allow dual citizenship, with a new law in 2015. But Brexit has revitalised the debate in most of the remaining countries.

Norway, for example, seems to be slowly opening its doors. The largest party in government voted in favour of dual citizenship in March this year. As with the Dutch, loyalty to the country is at the heart of the debate.

The Lithuanian parliament also proposed a bill last April to allow Lithuanians to keep their Baltic passports. “Lithuania does not have the luxury to lose so many of its educated, tax-paying, English-speaking citizens,” Dalia Asanaviciute, leader of the UK’s Lithuanian community, told AFP.


Comment by Zoran Panović


Macedonia was one of the six republics of Tito’s Federal Socialist Yugoslavia. Even back then, Todor Zhivkov’s Bulgaria had intentions to assimilate the identity...

Aleksandar Vlahović, President Of The Association Of Serbian Economists

A Road To Avoid

Possible explicit or tacit punishment of Serbia by the EU, in response to what the EU deems to be inappropriate political decisions, could be...

Jurij Bajec Ph.D., Special Advisor At The Economics Institute And Full Professor At The University Of Belgrade Faculty Of Economics

Open Balkan Is A Good Initiative

During times of great uncertainty and deeply disrupted international economic and political relations, Serbia should seek additional forms of economic connection that complement its...

Milojko Arsić Ph.D., Professor At The University Of Belgrade Faculty Of Economics

There Will Always Be Bread, But Not Smarts

Even during the times of the harshest sanctions imposed during the 1990s, enough food products were still available in Serbia. Temporary shortages of such...


Reception On The Occasion Of 140 Years Of Friendly Relations Between Japan And Serbia

Ambassador of Japan in Serbia H.E. Katsumata Takahiko hosted a reception in his residence to mark the 140th anniversary...

Nikola Jokic And Nuggets Agree On Historic 5-year Extension

Nikola Jokic has gone from draft pick No. 41, to two-time MVP, and now the holder of the largest...

Japanese Investors Welcome To Serbia

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic attended a reception marking 140 years of the...

EU Agrees On Rules To Tame Crypto Market

The European Union has agreed on ground-breaking rules for regulating crypto assets, EU lawmakers said on Thursday, as the...

The EIB And Unicredit Promote Socially Inclusive Employment And Entrepreneurship

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and UniCredit Bank Serbia (UniCredit) have officially launched a €30 million credit line aimed...