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Europe

Belgium aims to tighten citizenship laws

media Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme has been pushing for a tougher law … Reuters

The Belgian government on Friday endorsed a proposed law that would make it harder to obtain citizenship. The law states that people who want to obtain Belgian nationality would have to demonstrate their “willingness to integrate” into society.

If the law is adopted by parliament, applicants for nationality would have to hold a card of unlimited residence and have lived in the country for at least five years. This is two years longer than the current requirement.

They would also be required to demonstrate an ability to speak one of the national languages.

The proposal also outlines terrorism and human rights offences that would prevent a candidate obtaining citizenship.

The move comes in the week when the parliament’s home affairs committee voted unanimously to endorse a ban on clothes or veils that do not allow the wearer to be fully identified, such as the burka or nikab.

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