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The Council of State rules that Dutch citizenship can be re-assessed

Important ruling for former Dutch nationals: The Council of State rules that Dutch citizenship can be re-assessed and possibly reinstated after automatic loss.

14 februari 2020 The Council of State made an important ruling today regarding former Dutch nationals who have automatically lost their Dutch citizenship. Until now it was not possible for former Dutch nationals to regain their Dutch citizenship following automatic loss, even if the automatic loss was deemed disproportionate. Today the Council of State ruled that if the competent authority concludes that Dutch nationality has been lost automatically, it must determine whether the loss was possibly disproportionate. A successful appeal based on the principle of proportionality requires that the party concerned has experienced consequences in the context of Union law, such as the right to respect for family life and the freedom to carry out professional activities. It is also important that the situation is assessed as it was at the time of the loss of Dutch citizenship. Consequences that could not reasonably have been foreseen at the time of the loss are not part of the assessment. For more information about naturalisation, please click here.

Currently, a direct appeal can be made under Section 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for this application. The ruling means that a legislative proposal will soon be submitted to implement it in the Netherlands Nationality Act.  

If you have any questions regarding this ruling, please contact Inge Eggen - te Pas ( or Hans van Oort (

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