Monday

20th Nov 2017

UK and Spain granted most EU citizenships

  • Just under 1 million EU citizenships were granted in 2013 (Photo: Christopher Elison)

Spain and the UK issued almost half of all new EU citizenships in 2013.

The figures, released on Wednesday (1 July) by the EU statistical office, Eurostat, show Spain accounted for around 23 percent (225,800) of all citizenships granted in the EU, while the UK accounted for 21 percent (207,500).

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In relative terms compared to population size, Ireland and Sweden come out top.

Meanwhile, the statistics show a spike in the number of people obtaining EU citizenship when compared to previous years. In 2013, the total was just under 1 million, a 20 percent jump from 2012.

Poles and Romanians accounted for the most EU citizenships obtained in another EU member state. Most Poles ended up either in the UK or in Germany, while Romanians generally ended up in Hungary or in Italy.

For non-Europeans, Moroccans rank top, with over 86,000 new citizenships. Most were issued in Spain, Italy, or France.

India comes in at a distant second with over 48,000 new citizenships, mostly in the UK. Turkey places third with over 46,000, mostly in Germany.

Unlike other top receiving nationalities, the trend for Turkey peaked in 2012 and then dropped sharply in 2013.

Nationals from Colombia, Albania, and Ecuador also accounted for relatively large numbers of new EU citizenships.

The figures also reveal naturalisation rates.

The naturalisation rate is the ratio of people who acquired citizenship during a year against the stock of foreign residents in the same country at the start of the year.

Sweden ranks at the top, but its immediate neighbour Denmark, is next to last at the bottom after Slovakia.

Denmark takes tougher stand on asylum

Denmark, for its part, has tightened immigration laws over the years.

The anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party is backing the new Liberal government on the proposal.

Earlier this week, the government announced it would step up border checks against smugglers and irregular migrants.

On Wednesday, it said it would slash monthly allowances to asylum seekers.

An asylum seeker who is single and without children will now receive around €800 instead of the usual €1,450 per month.

Couples will children can expect around €2,200 instead of €3,800.

Those who pass a Danish language test will receive another €200 on top.

The cuts are expected to pass in parliament on Friday and become law in September.

"We must tighten up so we can get to grips with the asylum stream to Denmark", said immigration minister Inger Stoejberg, reports the Copenhagen Post.

Denmark tightens border controls

Denmark is attempting to appease domestic anti-immigrant sentiment by imposing stricter border control checks to stop irregular migrants from entering the country.

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