Withdrawal of the proposed changes to the Greek Citizenship Code

On Friday, February 21, 2020, the draft bill ‘’Strategic Development Perspectives of Local Authorities, Regulation of Issues of Ministry of Interior and Other Provisions”, was submitted to the Parliament, which brings about procedural and substantive changes to the acquisition of Greek citizenship.

This bill had been put up for public consultation on 18 November 2019, without however, including the fourth chapter regarding provisions on citizenship.

Generation 2.0 RED with the Hellenic Association for Human Rights and the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities published a Joint Press Release referring to the problematic parts of the bill. In particular, we addressed Article 41 of the bill, which suspends the naturalization process for a six-month period in accordance with Article 32 of Law 4604/2019. Comments were also directed at Article 42 of the bill, which abolishes the positive measures introduced by Law 4604/2019 regarding the acquisition of citizenship by children with disabilities and stateless Roma. 

During yesterday’s meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Theodoros Lebanios, after pressure from other parties and stakeholders, expressed the intention to withdraw the provision on minors with a disability of over 80% and will also discuss  the withdrawal of the provision for Roma people.  

This is a positive development, following the concentrated efforts of Civil Society organizations, which, in recognizing the issue at stake, moved collectively and exerted the necessary pressure towards its resolve.