Liechtenstein rejects dual citizenship with EEA/CH in a referendum

On 5 of March 2020, the Parliament of Liechtenstein voted in favor of amendments to the country’s citizenship law, which would permit citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to keep their nationality of origin upon naturalising in this country. However, the Members of Parliament also voted for changes to citizenship legislation to be approved by popular vote.

The referendum on dual citizenship took place on 30 August 2020, together with the popular vote on questions of gender parity in parliamentary representation, and the railway connection. Dual nationality was rejected by 61.5% of the voters, while 38.5% voted in favor of it. One of the frequent points that politicians objecting the vote raised was that legislative amendments would only benefit the Swiss citizens, since Austrians and Germans (as groups commonly naturalising in Liechtenstein) would lose it by force of law upon obtaining the citizenship of Liechtenstein. Ralph Wanger, the leader of the political group objecting dual nationality invited the country’s citizens to vote against dual citizenship as it would run against the “national pride” of the Liechtensteiners, and that giving up the citizenship of origin leads to better integration in Liechtenstein.

In an interview, Wilfried Marxer, a political scientist from the Liechtenstein Institute stated that there has been hardly any public debate about the question of dual citizenship, and that most of the debate preceding the referendum had focused on the railway enhancement. He further noted the generally conservative attitude of the Liechtenstein citizens may have contributed to the “no” vote on all three questions in the referendum.

For further information on the citizenship policy of Liechtenstein, check out our country profile pages.