Slovakia’s new government announced plans to loosen its total ban on dual citizenship, Hungarian news portals in Slovakia Új Szó and Paraméter reported.
Upon the publication of the government program, Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovič revealed that instead of a total ban, they would allow for Slovak citizens living in another country long-term to obtain the citizenship of that country without losing their Slovak one.
In addition, the program deals with minorities in a separate chapter, which states that the new government wouldn’t restrict minority rights acquired so far, and that they aim to create conditions in which nationalities can preserve their languages and cultures. The Cabinet also declared to commit itself not to take steps that one way or another targets or supports assimilation.
The document also sets out two specific measures. The first would be about the legal status of minorities that would slow down assimilation and enable the exercising of minority rights. They are also considering the establishment of an Office of National Minorities, through which minorities would be involved in those public affairs which affect them.
Seen by many as a response to the Hungarian government’s move in 2010 to implement a simplified process and to make citizenship available to a broader scope of people, Slovakia totally banned dual citizenship. Besides legal and constitutional concerns, the Slovak legislation was also criticized by the European Union. As of February 2020 data, in total 3,217 people lost their Slovak citizenship due to the law, the majority being German (Hungarians are the sixth).
featured image: illustration (bridge between Esztergom and Párkány (Štúrovo); via Sándor H. Szabó/MTI