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Moroccans most naturalized Foreigners in Europe: report

Source : | 25 November 2012 |  News | 391 views


By Larbi Arbaoui

Morocco World News

Taroudant, November 25, 2012

According to a Eurostat news release, Moroccans are the largest recipients of citizenship within the European Union, with 67,000 people naturalized in 2010.

67,000 Moroccans among a total of 810,500 foreigners were granted full citizenship in one of the 27 countries of the European Union.

The United Kingdom was at the top of the EU states that naturalized a total of 195,000 foreigners. France was second with 143,000 naturalized citizens in 2010, while Spain granted citizenship to 124,000 and Germany 105,000 citizens. The four countries represented 70% of all citizenships granted in the EU27.

Compared to 2009, the number of naturalized citizens during the year increased by 4% in the EU in 2010. This was due primarily to “an increase in the number of citizenships granted by Spain,” noted the Eurostat communiqué.

The main groups that acquired citizenship of EU member states were Moroccans with 67,000 people, Turks with 49,900, Ecuadorians with 45,200, Indians with 34,700 and Colombians with 27,500.

Moroccans made up the largest group that was granted naturalizations in France with 19% of the French total, followed by Algerians with 15%. They were also the first group to be naturalized in Belgium with 21.3 per cent, in the Netherlands with 22.1 per cent and in Italy with 17.2 per cent.  Conversely, Moroccans ranked third in Spain after Ecuadorians and Colombians.

In 2010, Africa remained the origin of 29% of the new EU citizens, with 23% from Asia, while European countries outside the EU represented 19%. North and South America represented 19% of the new EU citizens and 9% were from other Member States of the EU27. Only 1% came from Oceania.

Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission responsible for statistical information at the community level. Its role is to provide statistical information to the institutions of the European Union, mainly by collecting, harmonizing and aggregating the data published by the national statistical institutes of the Member States of the EU countries and candidate countries EFTA.

It is noteworthy that the Spanish Government recently started to grant residence permits to foreigners who buy a house that is no less than 160 thousand Euros with the possibility to naturalize permanent residents.

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