Be naturalized or become citizen (Be Naturalized)

Project leader

Funding source

EU Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security

Project Details

Start date: 15/09/2007
End date: 14/02/2009
Funding: 400039 EUR


The project seeks to establish the extent to which naturalization tests in EU countries serve integration and the determination of identity as a citizen in the host country. The terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, and the foiling of the attacks in Dortmund and Koblenz are evidence of the European dimension of terrorism and have brought a deep sense of insecurity to European societies. One result of these occurrences is that people now feel a stronger urge for protection, freedom, security and safety; elements which have also found their way onto national political agendas. Naturalization tests as a possible instrument for satisfying this urge is currently the subject of public debate throughout Europe. Comparing the number states of the European Union we find different national developments of naturalization tests. In March 2006 Austria drastically toughened its naturalization process by testing migrants' knowledge of both language and country. Great Britain and Denmark had already introduced tests in 2005 about the society, politics and culture of the host country, as well as testing knowledge of language. Where the Netherlands are concerned, knowledge of the country and the Dutch language are tested in the prospective immigrants' homeland before they are even allowed to enter the host country. After entering, they are tested once again, and even more thoroughly. In other EU countries as France, Spain, Germany, and Italy, this matter is either still under discussion, or national variants are being developed. The focus of these tests is particularly on Muslims wishing to be naturalized, whose acknowledgement of European norms and values is to be tested with different instruments. The discussion about naturalization tests in the whole of Europe supports the realization of the project's intentions by means of a transnational exchange of ideas, but the aim of naturalization should be defined on a European and not exclusively national level. Therefore, together with national stakeholders and migrant representatives, this project will examine existing naturalization tests with regard to intercultural and participative aspects, and make suggestions for a European solution.

External Partners

Last updated on 2018-11-09 at 15:50