The nationality law in debate

On 23 July 2020, the Parliament has approved the amendments of the Portuguese Law of Nationality. The amendments should enable individuals with a Portuguese grand-parent to access nationality without having to prove their connection with the community; ease access for spouses of Portuguese citizens; and provide access to citizenship to newborns of foreign parents, if they have resided at least a year in Portugal.

Without blocking completely the process, the President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa opposed a “political veto” to the amendments, recommending that they do not favour only couples with Portuguese children.

For the advocate of this reform, socialist MP Constança Urbano de Sousa, Marcelo’s comments will be adapted, although she trusts that the main objective of the reform should be the introduction of Jus Solis for newborns of foreign parents.

On 2 October 2020, the Parliament finally approved the Law, including the proposals made by the President. It is now back to the presidential palace in Belem for approval. Is Portugal on the way to Jus Solis?

Black Lives Matter in Portugal?

In one of the first posts I published on this blog, I wondered about the taboo surrounding questions of racism in Portugal. The last months have been the occasion for Portuguese to reflect more on this topic.

@N. Mordechai. Graffiti in Calçada da Gloria, Lisbon

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis, USA, on 25 May 2020, protests errupted around the world, including in Portugal. 5000 people gathered in Lisbon and more than a thousand in Porto, united around the issue of Black Lives Matter. In Lisbon, apart from the protests, some also participated in attempting to bring down statues associated with colonialism and racism, including the controversial statue of Padre António Vieira (which I visited a few days later to find it already cleaned up, as if nothing had happened). I put an image of the statue here below. It seemed to have been vandalised by an informal collective called Desconolizando, but this act was then condemned by SOS Racismo for hate speech…

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