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Slovak cabinet approves legislation in response to Hungary's Citizenship Act
26 May 2010 Flash News
In reaction to the amended Citizenship Act passed by the Hungarian Parliament on the morning of May 26, Slovakia’s cabinet endorsed a draft amendment to Slovakia's Citizenship Act, the SITA newswire wrote. Cabinet ministers also supported the proposal to ask parliament to approve the legislation in a fast-track procedure.
The proposed amendment introduces a rule that if a Slovak citizen takes steps to voluntarily obtain citizenship of another country, obtaining it will mean losing citizenship in the Slovak Republic. The amendment defines that this will occur if “acquiring the citizenship of a foreign country happens based on a deliberate act of will”.
The rule will not apply to cases in which a Slovak citizen acquires another citizenship by marriage or if a child is granted citizenship of a country where he or she was born. A person who has been stripped of Slovak citizenship will be obliged to report this to the appropriate regional administration, SITA wrote. The draft amendment to Slovakia’s Citizenship Act also states that holding any public position in the Slovak Republic is bound to Slovak citizenship.
Slovakia’s Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) welcomed the adoption of the amended Citizenship Act by the Hungarian Parliament, easing terms under which ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries can apply for dual Hungarian citizenship.
“The SMK considers the hysteria stemming from adoption of the bill from the side of the Slovak cabinet as inappropriate and exaggerated,” the party wrote in a statement, as quoted by SITA. The party is prepared to defend the interests of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia also before international forums. The SMK further said in the statement that the Hungarian law will become effective as of January 1, 2011 and hopes that until then, details connected to applicability of the law will be cleared up between Hungary and Slovakia.
Under the amended Hungarian Citizenship Act, around 2 million ethnic Hungarians in central and eastern Europe will have easier access to gain Hungarian citizenship. The amended law will allow ethnic Hungarians to apply for Hungarian citizenship if they can show they are of Hungarian origin and speak the language. It does not mean, however, that they will automatically be granted voting rights. The amendment was passed with 344 votes in favour, three against and five abstentions, the Reuters newswires wrote.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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