“The CDU and CSU will reverse this unsuccessful reform,” Alexander Throm (CDU), spokesperson on domestic policy for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told DPA on Tuesday.

“Dual citizenship must remain the exception and be limited to countries that share our values.”

Throm also criticised the new citizenship law for reducing the amount of time foreigners need to live in the country before naturalising as Germans, describing the new residence requirements as “far too short”.

“After five or even three years, it is not yet possible to determine with certainty whether integration has been successful in the long term,” he stated.

“The recent caliphate demonstrations and the rampant Islamist extremism, often by people with German passports, must be a wake-up call for us all.”

READ ALSO: Which foreign residents are likely to become German after citizenship law change?

Despite vociferous opposition, the alliance between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party (CSU) was powerless to stop the traffic-light coalition’s citizenship reform passing in both the Bundestag and Bundesrat earlier this year. 

The reform, which permits the holding of multiple passports, lowers residence requirements and removes language hurdles for certain groups, is set to come into force on June 27th. 

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But with the CDU and CSU emerging as clear winners in the recent EU parliamentary elections and regularly landing on 30 percent or above in the polls, it’s possible that the party could be on course to re-enter government next year. 

In this situation, the centre-right parties have pledged to try and undo what senior CDU politicians have described as a “dangerous” reform.

“It is not unusual for successive governments to reverse decisions made by the previous government,” Andrea Lindholz, the head of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group said in a recent response to a question

“We will maintain our position on this and will continue to strive for a corresponding change.”

READ ALSO: What are citizenship offices around Germany doing to prepare for the new law?

Whether the CDU and CSU can secure enough votes at both state and federal elections to change the law in the future remains to be seen.

The parties may also have to compromise on their plans with any future coalition partner, such as the Greens, Social Democrats (SPD) or Free Democrats (FDP), all of whom support liberal immigration laws and the holding of multiple nationalities. 

‘Citizenship devaluation law’

The CDU and CSU parties, which form a centre-right alliance nicknamed the Union, have long been opposed to dual nationality in Germany.

During their years of governing in a so-called grand coalition with the centre-right Social Democrats (SPD), the parties had regularly made reforms of citizenship one of their red lines, citing the danger of hostile nations influencing Germany from within. 

In a recent parliamentary speech back in January, Throm had slammed the bill as a “citizenship devaluation law” and accused the government of trying to generate a new electorate to win votes.

CDU politician Alexander Throm speaks in a debate in the German Bundestag

CDU politician Alexander Throm speaks in a debate in the German Bundestag. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

In comments aimed primarily at Germany’s large Turkish diaspora, the CDU politician claimed that people who had lived in Germany for decades but not taken German citizenship had already chosen their old country over Germany.

The majority of Turks in Germany are also supporters of the authoritarian president Recep Erdogan, he argued.

Responding to the claims, FDP migration expert Ann-Veruschka Jurisch said the opposition was fuelling resentments against migrants by claiming the government was “squandering German citizenship”.

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In fact, she argued, the reform has tightened up requirements by ensuring that people who claim benefits and cannot support themselves are unable to become German citizens.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany’s citizenship law reform

In addition, the B1 language requirements have only been softened in a few exceptional cases, for example to honour the lifetime achievements of the guest worker generation who had few opportunities when they arrived, Jurisch said. 

If foreigners have committed crimes, the authorities will be able to investigate whether these involved racist or anti-Semitic motives before citizenship is granted, she added. 

With reporting by DPA

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