Norway’s small but potentially powerful Greens party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) decided during its national board meeting over the weekend to support rising calls to allow dual citizenship in the country.
Norway has long been one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t allow dual citizenship, forcing new immigrants to decide whether they’re willing to give up their own citizenship in order to obtain a Norwegian passport. Exceptions can be made, and many Norwegians who have obtained citizenship in other countries can maintain both as long as they don’t report their new citizenship to the authorities, but there’s a growing feeling of unfairness about how the system works.
“It’s become steadily more common that people in Norway have ties to more than one country and more than one culture,” Rasmus Hansson, national spokesperson for the Greens, said during the weekend meeting. He said Norway’s current ban on dual citizenship can also “hinder full integration” of immigrants who can’t bring themselves to give up their original citizenship, even though they’ve lived in Norway for many years. Statistics show that includes many Americans, for example, who rarely will relinquish a US passport voluntarily, for fear of never getting it back again.
A majority in Parliament agreed earlier this year to evaluate a law change to allow dual citizenship, and it’s been going through hearings. The Liberal Party, one of the government’s two support parties, also supports dual citizenship.