Most EU countries’ citizenship laws include provisions requiring naturalisation applicants to prove that they possess certain knowledge (language ability, knowledge of the constitution and the country), possess evidence of appropriate behaviour (criminal and employment records), or display certain dispositions and commitments (willingness to integrate, loyalty). This is largely a recent development indicating a more general reversal of an integration paradigm, in which citizenship is no longer a prerequisite of integration but the coronation of a completed integration process. Standardised tests to assess applicants’ knowledge about the country, its legal and constitutional system, as well as more general attitudes and views on key cultural issues are used in half of the EU Member States (see Figure 4). However, the knowledge assessment procedure may differ in certain countries, depending on the applicant’s circumstances.
Figure 4 – Citizenship tests in EU-28
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