Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Slovak-Hungarian citizenship troubles

February 18th, 2012

A pro-government commentator criticizes Slovakia for stripping ethnic Hungarians who apply for Hungarian passports of their Slovak citizenship. A liberal columnist, who also finds the Slovak policies unacceptable, adds that both sides follow the same nationalist logic.

Péter Tarics in Magyar Nemzet comments on the Slovak regulations, according to which Slovak citizens who become citizens of another country will be deprived of their Slovak citizenship (see BudaPost December 6, 2011). According to recent statistics, since May 2010 this has happened to more than 200 individuals. There are 23 Hungarians among them, who received Hungarian citizenship after the Orbán government abolished residency requirements for ethnic Hungarians living abroad. Tarics believes that the Slovak regulations amount to the “collective punishment of Hungarians in Slovakia.”

In Népszabadság, Sándor Révész also condemns the Slovak policy, but contends that  Hungarian citizenship laws are no less nationalistic, for they grant citizenship on the basis of ethnic identity. Although neither the Hungarian, nor the Slovak regulations violate international norms, the leading left-liberal columnist claims that those who find the Slovak ban on dual citizenship unacceptable should also denounce Hungary’s non-resident citizenship policies. According to Révész, legislation in both Slovakia and Hungary decouple formal citizenship from effective ties with the territorial state, and therefore imply a nationalist understanding of citizenship.

Tags: , ,