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Monegasque Nationality: New Bill doubles Marriage time to 20 years

A bill to amend the current legislation on nationality was unanimously signed by Monaco’s national councillors. The bill sets out to raise marriage time from 10 to 20 years in order to obtain nationality, with the objective of limiting the number of Monegasques.

In a public meeting by the National Council, President Stéphane Valeri made a brief presentation of draft law No. 244, dated 16 October, on the acquisition of nationality through marriage.

According to the bill, which is about 17 pages in length, “The concern of the Monegasques was to preserve the cultural identity of the national minority community in its own country.”

While there were about 3,000 Monegasques in 1950, the national community today comprises 9,326 Monegasques (as of 31 December 2018); a figure that has tripled in less than 70 years. If the law concerning Monegasque nationality is not modified, the Monegasque Institute of Statistics projects that, in 50 years, the Principality will have 14,700 nationals, an increase of 62%.

The Principality now covers about 2 km2.  According to the bill draft, “If this territory will soon extend a little more on the sea, it is clear that it will appear, in the future, more and more difficult to envisage the construction of new public housing for Monegasques in the Principality.”

There are four ways of acquiring Monegasque nationality: through family, reintegration, naturalization (whose decision belongs to HSH the Sovereign Prince) and finally marriage. Without it being possible to modify of the first three ways of obtaining nationality, the councillors decided to change the law concerning marriage.

The National Councillors who drafted this bill have estimated that 20 years of living together, roughly one generation, would allow both a better integration of Monegasque spouses into the national community and better ensure the sustainability of the Principality’s social model.

The bill also prioritizes children’s nationality, “The situation of children of Monegasque nationality born of a free union with a Monegasque must take precedence. This was one of the objects of the reform effected by Law No. 1.278 of 29 December 2003.…Thus, in the spirit of granting the same rights to all children of Monegasque nationality, whether they are legitimate, natural or adopted, and whether their parents have been married or not, it has seemed particularly important to allow these children to continue to live in their own country, in good conditions, without suffering the consequences of separation.”

The bill will soon be voted in public session of the National Council, which will occur some time in December.

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