President Sauli Niinistö has asked Christian Democrat Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, an anti-gay an anti-immigration politician, to look into the possibility of tightening Finland’s dual citizenship laws or ending the practice altogether, according to YLE in English. Prime Minister Alexander Stubb was, however, quoted as saying on YLE in English that plans to end dual citizenship are not in the cards.
“We are not tightening any legislation we are simply reviewing the overall situation,” said Stubb.
Let’s hope this is the case but tell this to the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and if they were in government mainstream parties like the National Coalition Party and Center Party. How many “innocent-looking information-gathering exercises” have led to changes in laws? Many.
Taking into account the standoff between the Ukraine and Russia, the rise of anti-immigration sentiment in Finland and elsewhere in Europe, the so-called “information-gathering exercise” by President Niinistö is something that should worry us a lot, especially those of us who are dual citizens.
Even if the tightening of dual citizenship laws for Russians is one reason why this matter is being brought up in Finland in the first place, the whole idea suggests that this country could be ready to turn their backs on holders of dual citizenship. The message would be a clear one: owning two or more passports is bad and should be discouraged.
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If Finland tightens and does away with dual citizenship, it will not only be a blow to our ever-growing culturally diverse society, but to Finnish expats living abroad. One of the reasons behind our present dual citizenship law was to strengthen our country’s bonds with expats, their children and grandchildren living abroad.
The message by the authorities and Finland will be clear if laws are tightened: Dual citizenship is bad. Hide it in the closet.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.