Record number of foreigners acquired Romanian citizenship in 2017; close to 25,000 Romanians naturalised in other EU countries

Sorin Melenciuc 06/03/2019 | 14:54

Around 6,800 foreigners received Romanian citizenship in 2017, an all-time high number, while almost 25,000 Romanians acquired citizenship of other member states of the European Union, Eurostat data show.

Romania granted citizenship to 6,804 persons in 2017, up 50 percent compared with 2016. There are no available data for 2017 regarding the origin of the foreigners who acquired Romanian citizenship.

Moreover, Romania has the second-highest naturalization rate in the EU.

“The naturalisation rate is the ratio of the number of persons who acquired the citizenship of a country during a year over the stock of foreign residents in the same country at the beginning of the year. In 2017, the highest naturalisation rates were registered in Sweden (8.2 citizenships granted per 100 resident foreigners), Romania (5.9) and Finland (5.0), followed by Portugal (4.5), Greece (4.2) and Cyprus (3.9),” Eurostat said.

In 2016, Romania granted citizenship to 4,527 persons, up 73 percent compared with 2015. Ukrainians acquired 89.1 percent (around 4,000) of the Romanian citizenships granted in 2016, followed by Turks (3.1 percent) and Syrians (1.5 percent).

Ukrainians acquired 89.1 percent (around 4,000) of the Romanian citizenships granted in 2016, followed by Turks (3.1 percent) and Syrians (1.5 percent).

Eurostat data don’t include Romanian citizenships granted to citizens of the Republic of Moldova, which are officially considered former Romanian citizens reclaiming their citizenship, being subjects of special legislation. According to unofficial data, more than 500,000 Moldavians received Romanian citizenship during the last decades.

But Romania is also the 5th country of origin of the recipients of an EU citizenship, 25,000 Romanians being naturalised in other EU member states in 2017 (down from 29,700 in 2016), after the citizens of Morocco (67,900), Albania (58,900), India (31,600), and Turkey (29,900).

“Romanians (25,000 persons), Poles (22,000) and Britons (15,000) were the three largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship of another EU Member State,” Eurostat indicates.

Romanians acquired foreign citizenship in 2017 mainly in Italy (32.2 percent of the total number of EU citizenships granted to Romanians), Germany (17,1 percent) and the United Kingdom (12.1 percent).

Around 825,000 persons acquired citizenship of a EU member state in 2017, down from 995,000 in 2016, according to Eurostat.

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