Bulgaria Gives Citizenship mostly to Russians
In 2016, the European Union has given citizenship to almost one million people, most of them Moroccans, followed by Albanians, Indians, Pakistanis and Turks, according to Eurostat data released on Monday. This pan-European trend, however, does not apply to Bulgaria, where nearly a third of the granted citizenships are given to Russians, Ukrainians and Turks. The study also shows that Britons who have received other citizenship in EU countries have grown more than two times since Brexit.
According to the data, Bulgaria provided citizenship to 1626 people in 2016, which is 28% more than in 2015. Of these, 30% were Russians, 17.1% Ukrainians, and nearly 9% Turks.
Among the other EU countries where the share of Russians who have taken citizenship is large - Maltal - 33%, Lithuania - 32.4%, Cyprus - 24.8%, Finland - 21.6%, and Estonia - 13.7%.
A total of 994,800 foreigners received EU citizenship in 2016. From 100,000 Moroccans who received European citizenship, nearly 90 per cent have acquired this status in Spain, Italy and France. Nearly all Albanians (97 per cent) with European passports received their papers from Greece and Italy. Indians and Pakistanis have the largest share among the naturalized in the UK.
In Germany, the Turks remain the leading group that has received local citizenship - 14.4 percent, with the Poles being 5.9 percent and the Russians 4.4 percent.
Among the citizens of an EU country who received a passport from another country in the community, the Poles and Romanians are in the top. For 2016, nearly 60,000 Romanians are with new passports, nearly half received citizenship from Italy. Among the Poles who acquired new passports (19,800), there is no clear preference for citizenship from another EU country.
Of all citizens who have acquired citizenship in an EU country, a third (32.5 per cent) come from the community, 29.6 per cent come from a country in Africa, 20.9 from Asia, and 15.2 per cent from America, according to the data.
The number of Britons who have become citizens of another EU country has grown more than double in 2016 compared to the previous year or since Britain's decision to leave the EU, Eurostat data show.
Britain plans to leave the EU in March 2019. Both Brussels and London promise to protect the rights of foreign citizens, but Brexit has generated insecurity for around one million Britons living in other EU countries.
In 2016, 6555 Britons took citizenship from another EU country. There is an increase of 165 percent compared to 2015 when this figure was 2478 people.
EU citizens can retain their original passport if they apply for another citizenship within the 28-member Union.
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