There was an increase of 32% in UK nationals being granted citizenship in Malta in 2017 than in 2016, meaning 1,973 people compared with 2016’s 1,495. On an EU-wide level meanwhile, 825,000 people acquired Member State citizenship in 2017, notably less than the previous two years.
This was revealed by statistics released by Eurostat on the ‘Acquisition of citizenship in the EU’. It was also pointed out that the main recipients of EU citizenship in 2017 were Moroccans, Albanians and Indians, with the statement also saying that 17% of the total number were former citizens of another EU Member State.
Turning to the top three countries, 67,900 people from Morocco were granted citizenship with 83% of the people acquiring it in Italy, Spain or France. Albania saw 58,900 people with 97% in Greece or Italy; while 53% of 31,600 Indians were granted British citizenship. Other countries mentioned were Turkey (29,000 – 50% in Germany), Romania (25,000 – 32% in Italy), Pakistan (23,100 – 45% in the UK), Poland (22,000 – 63% in UK or Germany), and Brazil (21,600 – 74% in Italy or Portugal).
Romanians (25,000), Poles (22,000) and British (15,000) people meanwhile were the three largest groups of EU citizens acquiring citizenship within other European countries. It was said of the latter group that UK nationals acquiring citizenships doubled in 2017. The largest relative increases in British relocation were in Romania (6,804; +50%), Luxembourg (4,980; +50%), Slovakia (645; +33%), Malta (1,973; +32%), and Finland (12,219; +30%).