German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday called for reforms to the country’s citizenship regulations, a day after the Interior Ministry said draft legislation on the citizenship process was “as good as ready.”
“Naturalization needs better rules,” Scholz said in a tweet Saturday. “It’s about respect and, of course, about our prosperity. Because all these women and men contribute to a strong economy. It is good if they also opt for German citizenship.”he said.
In his weekly video message, Scholz emphasized the integral role that immigrants have played in rebuilding and strengthening Germany, according to media reports. “Germany has become a country of hope for many,” the chancellor said. “The women and men and sometimes children who came to Germany have contributed greatly to making our economy as strong as it is today.”
Changing the citizenship rules is one of the reforms that the three-party coalition promised when it took office in December 2021.
German newspaper Bild on Friday reported that the Interior Ministry is preparing draft legislation that would enable foreigners residing in Germany to apply for naturalization after five years instead of eight. The ministry said proposals were still under discussion, according to the report.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Friday that reducing the waiting time to be eligible for citizenship is “an incentive for integration,” the Associated Press reported. “We are a diverse, modern country of immigration, and I think legislation must reflect that,” she said.
The Interior Ministry said on Friday that draft legislation is “as good as ready,” the AP reported.