IN THE four years of its existence, Slovakia’s amended State Citizenship Act has deprived 830 citizens of their Slovak passports, the TASR newswire reported, citing the most recent data of the Interior Ministry.

The State Citizenship Act stipulates that a person who acquires the citizenship of another country automatically loses his or her Slovak citizenship. The law was adopted in 2010 by the first government of Robert Fico in response to Hungarian legislation that made it possible for ethnic Hungarians living in countries bordering Hungary to gain Hungarian citizenship under relatively relaxed conditions and take part in Hungarian elections.

According to the Interior Ministry’s statistics, most of the people affected by the law acquired Czech citizenship (320), followed by those who gained the citizenship of Germany (168), Austria (117), the United Kingdom (71), Hungary (53), the US (20), Norway (15), the Netherlands (14), Belgium (12), Italy (7), Ireland (6), Switzerland (5), France, Australia and Canada (4 each), Iceland, China and Sweden (2 each), and Ukraine, Russia, Denmark and New Zealand (1 each).

The Slovak Interior Ministry recently announced that it is preparing changes to the current legislation, so that if Slovak citizens with permanent residence in a foreign country acquire the citizenship of that country, they will not lose their Slovak citizenship. Currently, however, permanent residents of Slovakia who gain foreign citizenship still automatically lose their Slovak citizenship, TASR wrote.

The State Citizenship Act has been challenged at the Constitutional Court as unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court is scheduled to decide on the motion this September, the Sme daily reported last week.

Source: TASR, Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.