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Citizenship complaint reaches EP

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has on its table a petition by Hungarian citizens concerning what they deem a violation of their civil rights by the Slovak Republic. They are demanding an investigation into the matter by the relevant EU institutions, the SITA newswire wrote on February 4.

THE EUROPEAN Parliament has on its table a petition by Hungarian citizens concerning what they deem a violation of their civil rights by the Slovak Republic. They are demanding an investigation into the matter by the relevant EU institutions, the SITA newswire wrote on February 4.

Hungarian citizens Zoltán Lomnici, president of the Human Dignity Council, and László Gubi have launched a complaint over Slovakia’s Citizenship Act, which stipulates that a citizen who accepts the citizenship of another country forfeits their right to Slovak citizenship. Slovakia’s extra-parliamentary Party of the Hungarian Community (SMK) also expressed its support for the petition.

Slovak MEP Jaroslav Paška of the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) responded to the Hungarian petition by filing an official objection to the admissibility of hearing the petition in institutions of the EP. He maintains that EU ranks issues of citizenship as falling under the exclusive authority of member states, so that states are free to decide who and under what conditions someone can become a citizen of their country, and they have no reason to coordinate their policies with EU authorities.

Paška told the chairperson of the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, Erminia Mazzoni, and her secretariat that the EP is not authorised to discuss the petition and asked them to reject a discussion on the complaint in the committee.

The current wording of Slovakia’s law on citizenship, which allows the government to strip people of their Slovak citizenship, was adopted in 2010 by the government of Robert Fico in response to the Hungarian citizenship law, which allows people of Hungarian descent living in neighbouring countries to receive Hungarian citizenship if their ancestors lived in Hungary and they can speak some Hungarian.

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