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NUMERO 7 - 03/04/2019

 Knowledge of national language and citizenship: Is there still space to build a multicultural citizenship in Europe?

Many European countries enacted laws that bind citizenship to a satisfactory level of knowledge of the national language and culture in relation to other conditions and limitations. There are important social, political and economic changes behind it: if one wants to find two causes, on the one hand, this has to do with globalisation; on the other hand, it depends on the new dimension of Europe; in short, there are ever stronger and larger movements to Europe and within Europe. The old nation states feel threatened and the uncertainty increases with the economic crisis. In this context, the mental reservation, the arrière pensée of this linguistic regulation is that better and safer integration would be only possible if the foreigner knows the local language and culture (it is the so-called ius culturae). In recent times, already at the beginning of this century, national laws have introduced or made more difficult linguistic conditions for the acquisition of citizenship due to security needs arising from massive immigration (cf., among others, Belgium 2012, France 2012, Germany 2007, Estonian 2012, Greece 2010, Great Britain 2005, Ireland 2005, Italy 2018, Latvia 2002, Netherlands 2006, Austria 2017, Poland 2009, Portugal 2006, Sweden 2011, Spain 2002, Hungary 2011).

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