Fifteen Dutch choose Belgian nationality
11 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — Fifteen Dutch people were among the 5,258 foreigners who became Belgian citizens in 2004.
Their applications were approved by a Belgian parliamentary commission, Flemish broadcaster VRT said on Thursday.
It was unclear from the report why the Dutch applicants wanted a Belgian passport as both countries are in the European Union.
EU citizens are supposed to have largely the same rights as locals when living in another state in the union.
Most of the naturalisation applications in Belgium filed by EU citizens are made by Polish people. The largest group granted Belgian passports in 2004 comprised of Moroccans (886 people). A second surprisingly large group was made up of Serbs (452 people).
The Belgian Parliament receives about 12,000 naturalisation applications annually. The number of approvals was higher in 2004 than the previous year because the adjudication committee met more often.
Skater Bart Veldkamp is the best-known Dutch person to be become a naturalised Belgian in recent years. When he could not get a place on the Dutch team, Veldkamp changed his nationality and took part in skating championships on behalf of Belgium.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news; Belgian news