Belgium should introduce exam and formal ceremony to obtain nationality, says CD&V

Belgium should introduce exam and formal ceremony to obtain nationality, says CD&V
CD&V chair Sammy Mahdi. Credit: Belga

Belgium should introduce a compulsory exam for those wishing to acquire Belgian nationality, followed by a formal welcome ceremony, according to the leader of the Flemish Christian-democratic CD&V party Sammy Mahdi.

Currently, people can only obtain Belgian nationality after meeting certain conditions, such as a legal residence of at least five or ten years and proof of economic participation and social integration. For Mahdi, a compulsory nationality exam should be added to this as a final part of the integration process and of the route to becoming a Belgian citizen.

"People need attachment points, they need to be able to feel at home somewhere and identify with a community. On the other hand, that society may also expect people to do their bit," he said.

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"With a nationality exam at the end of a successful integration, you clearly indicate that we expect certain efforts and subsequently fully integrate newcomers into the community," Mahdi added.

The examination should gauge general knowledge of the country and society, and should be taken in one of Belgium's official languages (Dutch, French or German). The nationality should then be awarded in a formal way through a ceremony or ceremony, which should be seen as a positive moment of welcome.

"Becoming a Belgian should not be a simple administrative procedure that ends with a registered letter in the mailbox," Mahdi said.


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