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No Belgian nationality for criminals
“Obtaining Belgian nationality is the culmination of a successfulprogramme and process.” MPs Theo Francken, Yoleen Van Camp and Darya Safai want Belgian citizenship not to be granted to those who have been sentenced to a custodial sentence of six months or more with or without deferment or probation delay, or for terrorist offences, crimes against public order or against national security.
The Belgian Nationality Code currently does not include the absence of criminal convictions as a condition for acquiring Belgian nationality through a simple declaration or naturalisation. The N-VA now wants to change this and by so doing is following the French example.
Theo Francken: “Belgian nationality is the culmination of successful civic integration”
Theo Francken emphasises that the acquisition of Belgian nationality is the culmination of a successful civic integration programme and process of the foreigner. “It requires a prior course of action that must show that the applicant has made a valuable contribution to this country in various areas. For example, by following a language or civic integration course, by having a job, and so on. One must also at least show the will to be part of our society and behave accordingly. We now want to add an extra dimension to the latter.”
Yoleen Van Camp: “Belgian nationality only for those who comply with the law”
By “behave accordingly”, the N-VA means that prospective Belgians must comply with Belgian legislation, Yoleen Van Camp explains. “But that is not yet registered in our Belgian Nationality Code. That is why we propose not to grant Belgian nationality to those who have been sentenced to a custodial sentence of six months or more with or without deferment or probation delay, or for terrorist offences, crimes against public order or against national security.”
Darya Safai: “In neighbouring countries, the absence of convictions is a prerequisite”
“Our neighbouring countries are also stricter when assessing these applications. There, the absence of criminal convictions is registered as a precondition for obtaining nationality,” Darya Safai adds.
The N-VA bill was considered by the House of Representatives last Thursday.