The first-ever written exam for those pursuing Greek citizenship is now scheduled for May 16, 2021, according to an announcement from the Interior Ministry released on Tuesday.
The test, one part of the process that foreign-born nationals must complete in order to acquire Greek citizenship, will be held nationwide on that day.
Once they pass the exam, foreigners will be granted the “Certificate of Adequate Knowledge for Naturalization” from the Interior Ministry.
Interview by three-member committee
The next step in the naturalization process is to be interviewed by a three-member committee, which will determine the level of each person’s potential integration into Greek society, one of the cornerstones of citizenship.
This last step is regulated by both the Interior Ministry and the National Transparency Authority of Greece.
The online platform to apply for the exam will open soon, but a description of the general subjects in the test has already been posted online at the website of the General Secretariat of Citizenship of the Interior Ministry.
The Interior Ministry states on its website that “Every benevolent state must ensure equality and parity for its citizens in addressing their needs and demands. This must also apply to residents of countries that are not its citizens, but actively and fruitfully participate in its social life.”
“Objectivity, transparency and universality”
“The return of Greek citizenship through the naturalization process should be based on principles that will ensure objectivity, transparency and universality in the examination of requests submitted for it,” the Ministry notes.
The Greek Citizenship Code, which sets the formal and essential conditions for the naturalization of aliens, was reformed recently with the passing of law #4735/2020.
That law instituted what the Ministry called “a substantial and crucial reform in the process of naturalization of allogeneic aliens.”
Knowledge of Greece, its culture, institutions and history
“The Certificate of Adequacy of Knowledge for Naturalization (PEGP) that will be obtained by those interested in naturalization will certify that they know the language and that they have the knowledge about our country, our culture, our institutions and our history to a degree which will allow them to exercise their rights and meet the obligations of the Greek citizen,” the Interior Ministry stated.
The PEGP will only be earned “after a competitive process based on the standard of the Panhellenic Examinations, in order to ensure the objectivity, universality and integrity of the process,” according to the Ministry.
The announcement explained to the public that the above measures will be taken as a way to replace the work of the former “Naturalization Committees,” which would had to determine through a half-hour long interview not only one’s knowledge of Greek language, institutions, culture and history but whether or not the other essential conditions for naturalization were met.
“Element of subjectivity” lessened
“In the operation of these Committees we understand that there was not only an element of subjectivity, but also the lack of homogeneous treatment of cases,” the Ministry’s statement acknowledged.
“At the same time, there were long delays and so the examination of requests was time consuming,” it added.
“With Law 4735/2020, the applicant, after obtaining the PEGP, will be in the final stage a short interview by a three-member committee of rapporteurs of the Citizenship Directorates to determine his or her social and economic integration.
“The rules for conducting these interviews will follow a standard handbook prepared by a joint team of Interior Ministry officials with the National Transparency Authority,” the statement explained.
“At the same time, every appropriate means will be taken to ensure the provisions of the Code for the benefit of the applicant.
“We hope that with Law 4735/2020 and the other initiatives of the General Secretariat of Citizenship, the status of return of Greek citizenship to those who wish it and meet the conditions, will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Greek Constitution and the principles of the rule of law.”