Paris plans to abolish birthright citizenship in Mayotte

The French Ministry of the Interior is planning to severely restrict citizenship rights for the overseas territory of Mayotte. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced a constitutional reform abolishing the principle of birthright citizenship - according to which children born and living in France automatically acquire French citizenship when they come of age - for Mayotte. Commentators are divided.

Open/close all quotes
Mediapart (FR) /

Dangerous and inefficient

Mediapart sees the plans as a fundamental break:

“To make up for the inability of the public sector to deal with the economic and social explosion of an area abandoned by metropolitan France, Emmanuel Macron is prepared to touch the very heart of our country and risk jeopardising two of our fundamental principles: the indivisibility of the Republic and the equality of all citizens. This contradicts our history and is dangerous and inefficient. ... Because these principles were not created for nothing. It's high time we denounced the xenophobic and racist undertones that result from calling them into question.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Abolish jus soli for all of France

Le Figaro points to the difficulties of amending the constitution and suggests going one step further:

“The procedure is known to be long and fraught with obstacles. The debate promises to be stormy, with a relative and divided majority. The left is already standing up against what it interprets as a violation of the principle of territorial equality. As for the right, it should logically demand that the abolition of the jus soli principle be extended to the entire country. In Mayotte, like anywhere else in France, why should the granting of citizenship be obligatory?”