Bratislava Zoo director resigns due to her foreign citizenship

After parliament adopts legislation enabling dual-citizenship in Slovakia, she might return.

Júlia Hanuliaková had big development plans with the Bratislava zoo.Júlia Hanuliaková had big development plans with the Bratislava zoo. (Source: SME - Marko Erd)

Júlia Hanuliaková, who became the new director of the Bratislava Zoo in November 2020, has resigned from her post due to the loss of her Slovak citizenship. The Bratislava City Council accepted her resignation on Thursday, June 24. At the same time, it entrusted deputy director Tomáš Hulík as the temporary director of the zoo.

Related articleRules for granting Slovak state citizenship receives green light from ministers Read more 

Hanuliaková has lost her Slovak citizenship as a result of the still valid dual citizenship legislation, as she acquired US citizenship during her stay in the United States, noted Bratislava spokeswoman Katarína Rajčanová for the TASR newswire.

“An amendment to this law, which is intended to eliminate the unfair deprivation of the citizens of the Slovak Republic of their citizenship, has been announced for a long time but has still not been passed,” said Rajčanová, adding that her foreign citizenship formally prevents her from holding her position.

When Hanuliaková took the post, the city was not aware of her change in citizenship. Hanuliaková herself took up her position in good faith that there would be no obstacles. Once the situation with her citizenship has been resolved, the city council will be able to return her to office.

Related article‘Unprecedented’ Bratislava zoo set for overhaul as new boss takes the reins Read more 

The cabinet greenlighted the change to the State Citizenship Act in late February while the amendment should have become effective as of July 1, 2021. But the parliament has not passed the amendment yet.

Hanuliaková won a competition to become the new director of the Bratislava Zoo last year. She replaced Miloslava Šavelová, the long-time head of the zoo.

Related articleJúlia Hanuliaková: From campaigner against animal captivity to zoo director Read more 

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