EU Magistrate Finds Dutch Dual-Citizenship Rules Unfair to Kids

(CN) – An EU magistrate said Thursday that while Dutch law on dual citizenship may allow authorities to revoke citizenship for adults 10 years or more away from the Netherlands and the EU, the law cannot be applied to minors.

European Court of Justice Advocate General Paolo Mengozzi’s advisory opinion for the EU high court stems from a number of disputes lodged against the Netherlands by dual citizens who were denied renewal of their Dutch passports.

Under Dutch law, dual citizens who live outside the Netherlands and the EU for 10 years or more automatically lose their Dutch citizenship. The only way to toll the clock is for dual citizens to live somewhere in the EU for at least a year per decade.

But Mengozzi said applying the law to children who hold dual citizenship violates EU law, because children cannot typically take the steps necessary to avoid losing their Dutch citizenship – like setting up residence in the EU for a year every decade.

Furthermore, the magistrate said allowing them to reapply for Dutch citizenship when they become adults doesn’t reconcile Dutch law with EU law or remedy the fact that a child should never lose their Dutch – and therefore EU – citizenship without a careful examination of their best interests and status as a citizen.

Mengozzi’s opinion, which was not made available in English by press time, is not binding on the Court of Justice. The high court has already begun its deliberations in the case.

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