Dual nationality question stirs debate in Sweden

Dual nationality question stirs debate in Sweden
The nationalist party's stance on dual nationality has caused a stir in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Want to become a Swedish citizen? You may first have to give up your other nationality (depending on what it is), if the Sweden Democrats have their way.

Sweden has allowed dual nationality since 2001. But comments by the nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) that the rule should be scrapped have sparked debate after a report by Helsingin Sanomat.

More than 100,000 people with Finnish passports live in Sweden, according to the Finland-based newspaper. Finland was part of Sweden for several centuries and the countries still enjoy close ties.

Voitto Visuri, chairman of the National Association of Finns in Sweden, moved to Sweden in the 60s at the age of 18. His organization is non-partisan, but he criticized SD's stance on the issue.

“Many people want to keep their Finnish citizenship because you want an emotional link to the country where you are born,” he told Aftonbladet following the report in the Finnish newspaper.

However, after first appearing to defend the policy in interviews with Swedish media, SD later confirmed that citizens of Nordic countries (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland) would be allowed dual nationality. The exception is not mentioned in the party manifesto on migration, which states:

“Citizenship should as a rule only be held in one single state. Someone who acquires Swedish nationality shall therefore, if possible, renounce their former citizenship and they who become a citizen of another state shall renounce their Swedish (citizenship).”

“As a basic principle we are of the opinion that you are the citizen of a state where you have your loyalty and your national identity. Your home country, quite simply. That's our guiding principle as a nationalist party with faith in the national state,” Paula Bieler, SD spokesperson on migration, told Aftonbladet.

Such a policy would affect large groups in Sweden, including many of The Local's readers. For example, in 2017 as many as 132,067 Syrian nationals were based in Sweden, 53,991 Polish nationals, 29,022 Germans, 9,413 people with US passports, and 19,960 from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, according to official figures by national number crunchers Statistics Sweden.

“This is a huge bombshell that has not really been talked about in Sweden. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of people and many different groups. There's the Sweden-Finnish group, the Iranian of around 100,000, where it is not even possible to renounce your original citizenship,” Ardalan Shekarabi, the Social Democrat Minister for Public Administration, told Aftonbladet.

Norway is currently the only Nordic country which does not permit dual citizenship, and one of only three countries in Europe, together with Austria and The Netherlands, who do not allow dual citizenship.

Are you a dual national in Sweden? Comment below or e-mail [email protected] if you want to share your story.

Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

  1. “SD later confirmed that citizens of Nordic countries (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland) would be allowed dual nationality.” – Just shows that they are not nationalist, but racist. Why don’t they just say the countries that are still almost all white? Would be easier…

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.