ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research

01/23/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/23/2024 07:28

Easing the Path to Citizenship Secures Prosperity // ZEW Economist Martin Lange on the Reform of Citizenship Law

ZEW Economist Martin Lange on the Reform of Citizenship Law

Dr. Martin Lange, head of the IMES junior research group, welcomes the reform of the citizenship law, as it was overdue from a labor market policy perspective.

People living in Germany will soon be able to acquire citizenship more quickly. Additionally, those who obtain German citizenship can retain their original nationality, according to a decision made by the Bundestag on 19 January 2024. Dr. Martin Lange, head of the Junior Research Group "Integration of Migrants and Attitudes Towards the Welfare State (IMES)" at ZEW Mannheim, has commented on this matter:

"The recently adopted reform sends a positive signal to all immigrants - and also brings significant benefits for the German economy and public finances. There is ample empirical evidence that speeding up the naturalisation process enhances the professional and social integration of immigrants.

Similar reforms in other European countries show that earlier acquisition of citizenship improves employment prospects, leads to higher incomes and results in longer stays in the destination country. This is advantageous for immigrants and businesses, and increases tax revenues and social security contributions. Especially the fast track for well-integrated immigrants provides the right incentives and opens up new prospects.

From a labour market policy perspective, this reform was urgently needed. Demographic change will have an increasing impact in the coming years, placing a considerable strain on the social security system and the labour market. Already today, there is a shortage of (skilled) workers in many regions and professions. The reform serves as a crucial piece in the puzzle, making Germany more attractive as a destination for immigrants. It is clear that, to maintain our prosperity, we need more, not less, immigration in the future."