When dual citizenship became official on September 1st, it marked the culmination of years of lobbying from both Danes living abroad and foreigners living in Denmark. Representatives from both groups marked the day with a celebration in Copenhagen.
“The law has up until today resulted in many restrictions for regular Danes who because of their career or love have moved abroad. There have also been problems for our foreign friends who have moved to Denmark. Until today, you have had to say goodbye to your original citizenship, and thus an important part of your identity, if you wanted to become a Danish citizen. Now you can truly be global Danes,” Danes Worldwide general secretary Anne Marie Dalgaard told the crowd.
Danes Worldwide, an organization connecting Danish expats around the world, co-hosted the event along with Politiken newspaper.
The group estimates that at least 10,000 Danes who have previously given up their citizenship will apply to get it back now that the law has been changed.
Culture Minister Bertel Haarder also addressed the audience and assured them that the newly-adopted dual citizenship law will not be changed, a concern aired by many after Haarder’s Venstre government announced last month that it is eyeing changes to citizenship requirements.
“This is a law that has come to stay and there are many of us who will insist on that and I don’t think there is anyone who will challenge it,” he said to applause.
Haarder also rejected the notion that allowing foreigners to maintain their original citizenship will make them less loyal Danish citizens.
“One does not become less loyal to a country when that country chooses to treat you more fairly,” he said.
With dual citizenship now approved, Dalgaard said that Danes Worldwide would focus its efforts on allowing Danish citizens to vote in parliamentary elections from abroad.