I’m back, Juncker wins

I’ve returned.

Apologies for posting to this thing so irregularly. Hopefully I addressed the most recent comments, and please do not hesitate to email me any time. I might be slow to respond — I have a busy life full of politics, cats, bill-paying, Washingtonian humidity and other wonderful and not-so-great surprises.

First of all, it looks like the all-important Bierger Center has moved locations. Here’s the new address:

44, Place Guillaume II / 2, rue Notre-Dame, L-2090 Luxembourg

Shannon and Dan have already shared this in the comments section of one of the posts because, per usual, they’re better about checking this blog than I am (Everyone clap for them because they’re truly invaluable resources to the online community of soon-to-be Luxembourg dual-citizens!).

The architecture of the new building for the Bierger Center is pretty cool, especially compared to the old Bierger Center where I dropped off my application.

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Help, I need sunglasses!

While I was in Europe submitting my documents, the second largest democratic election on the planet — India ranks first — was happening. The European People’s Party won the most seats in the European Parliament …

eu

SO MANY LANGUAGES. It wasn’t open for tours because the election was going on, but that gave me more time to drink Belgian beers.

… and whom did the party choose as its candidate for President of the European Commission — the executive branch of the EU? None other than Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg who served for 19 years in the post before resigning last July amid a scandal over the Grand Duchy’s intelligence agency. He subsequently lost to Xavier Bettel, the current prime minister, in a snap election.

So, what’s this Juncker guy all about?

He likes cognac with his breakfast, is “famous for his sarcasm, heavy drinking, and chain smoking” according to the Telegraph, and he comes from a working-class background in which his father was a steel worker (Steel is a huge part of Luxembourg’s economy in addition to its well known banking sector). But most importantly, he believes in a stronger union among EU members, perhaps even a federal one, even though he recently denied this. After all, he hails from a country that produced Robert Schuman, the grand architect of European integration. The Grand Duchy has also for years relied on peace and cooperation from its neighbors to ensure its own stability. These factors explain why Juncker follows political ideologies that many label as being federalist.

Unfortunately, tabloids in the United Kingdom made many attempts to dredge up dirt with which to smear Juncker. They claimed his father was a member of the Nazi Party during World War II. The truth, however, is that his father, Joseph, was forced into conscription along with more than 10,000 other Luxembourgers.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron reacted to Juncker’s democratic nomination with ire that was, of course, politically motivated. His Conservative Party isn’t the most popular at the moment in the UK. A fringe conservative group called the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), led by Nigel Farage, who’s known more for his crazy speeches on the floor of the European Parliament than substantive policy initiatives, won an historic number of parliamentary seats this election. Cameron began a campaign to stop Juncker from becoming president of the commission to pander to conservative constituents and those voters upset about the UK’s place in the European Union. The European actually calling the shots in this and most episodes, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, could only remain her noncommittal self for so long.

Merkel is thinking: "These tea-drinking idiots really think a boat ride is going to make me change my mind about Juncker?"

Merkel is thinking: “These tea-drinking idiots really think a boat ride is going to make me change my mind about Juncker?”

She backed Juncker for the post, and the heads of government for the 28 EU member countries held a vote. Cameron was joined only by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in voting against Juncker, allowing a vote to proceed in the democratically elected parliament. Yesterday, Juncker received 422 votes out of a possible 729 — 376 is the minimum — from the European Parliament to become president-elect. He will officially become the 12th president of the European Commission in November, around the same time I will celebrate my 25th birthday and hopefully hear back from the Luxembourg government about my citizenship status.

Alas, my cat is pathetically meowing at me to fill her empty bowl with more food. I already have a bunch of posts queued, some of which elaborate upon my travels to Europe, so there won’t be a blackout after this goes up; I promise.

Before I go, however, I have one question for the general public that I’m guessing the dual-citizens already know and I might have already asked on here but I totally forgot:

If a relative in my family wants to apply for citizenship reclamation, is there a process they can follow using the information on my ancestral lineage that I have already filed with the Luxembourg government?

More people have been asking me this question. If no one has an obvious answer, then I’m going to start investigating. I’d like to be able to hand out citizenship to my sisters as a Christmas present.

Until next time! Gutt Nuecht!

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17 thoughts on “I’m back, Juncker wins

  1. I too ask that question for my sister. Below is his response –

    I inform you that your sister has the possibility to obtain the certificate at the same time than you. She has to send us the following documents:

    · a certified true photocopy of her birth certificate;
    · a copy of her passport.

    It will not cause any delay in the treatment of your file.

    With my best regards,

    Xavier DREBENSTEDT

    MINISTÈRE DE LA JUSTICE
    Service de l’Indigénat
    L-2934 Luxembourg

    • So it has to be at the same time? I already submitted my stuff, but I’m wondering if the government can bring up a record of my certificat de nationalité that my sisters can somehow use. I might contact Xavier in the next few days for clarification.

      • We had already set phase one packet when my sister asked me what she should do. I believe if they have the history already they can link the documents.

      • We have our certificates, We were in Luxembourg in February but work holds us back from going to Grand Duchy until early next year. I hope to go with one of my daughters and if I am lucky present the documents for the other daughter who is in grad school. Since you already were there you might need
        to bring your sisters paperwork once they get their certificates.

          • I called the information line long before we recieved the certificates inguiring if Amanda(grad school) had a time limit to present her second phase paperwork. I was told if the certificate was approved and recieved she would have a long time even 8 years(I won’t reccomend waiting that long- things change) But it was the clear that the certificate has a upcoming deadline. I dont recall the date -it’s on the document. In regards to the matricle number I am not sure. I spoke to my local consulate and she indicated if I returned with it I good get a passport from her. I have spoke to the DC consulate -Boris(?) and he is very helpful.

          • Yes, my friend Tom, a Luxembourger who interned at the D.C. consulate, has mentioned Boris a number of times. OK, this is starting to make more sense now. I’ll probably reach out to a few people for clarification, but thanks so much for the help!

  2. Yes anyone can link to someone else’s case they just have to state the first Luxembourgs name as how they are linking. We dropped off our Phase 1 papers in Luxembourg since we lived in Germany at the time and asked many questions. I’d just put a cover letter in there showing the clear connection between files. Easy!

  3. Hey Trevor!

    I just found your blog the other day after my amazing discovery of how awesome jus sanguinis is when one of your ancestors happens to be from Wahl, Lux! I put together a family tree a few years back and even went to Europe on holiday a few times but had no idea this law existed, how fortunate I am to figure this out while there is still time left.

    Looks like G-G-Grandpa Jean (seems like they started spelling his name ‘John’ here though) was born in Wahl, 1833 and died 1905 in Carver County, Minnesota. I put together my list of documents to obtain with all the important dates and locations and should be able to obtain most of them with ease. I’ve even found some microfilm with the original 1833 BC and emailed some people from the Wahl website, and hoping they can respond — otherwise Lux/Am society said they would do it for $25.

    G-G-Grandpa was in the Civil war and left lots of traces of his life in various enlistment documents, pension forms, censuses, etc. What’s strange though is that he is often listed as being German and one doc even says Holland, I’ve read this happens often with Luxembourgers so hopefully this will not matter (I don’t know what’s on the MC or DC yet.) Does anyone reading the blog have any personal experience with this type of issue? How about missing a document, like G-G-Grandma’s BC who was born in Hungary (I have source to microfilm baptismal record though, no idea how to get it certified)?

    Trevor, I also saw in the photo of your completed line of documents that it appeared you were going all the way back to G-G-G-Grandpa/ma, was this necessary or just extra docs to be safe? (I think I’ve found a few G-G-G docs of my own going back to 1775.)

    I;m going to hit up the vital records offices in my area, they said I could browse through the books. I should be able to have most local records by the end of next week! I’m going to try and set a speed record on this because I leave for Fiji/Australia the 2nd week in September. If everything comes back good while I’m gone I’ll just fly to Amsterdam, take the train to Lux and have my Dad Fedex my Certificat. My brother just had a child last July 4th, so I think I will have to be helping them do the process too, I’m sure she will be thankful when she grows up!

    Thanks for having this awesome blog to assist all the GG-Grandchildren make their way home!

    Anthony

    • It’s great to hear you’re enjoying this project! I traced back to my great-great-great-great-(I’m exhausting myself with all the “greats”)-grandparents because they were also before Jan. 1, 1900, and died after that date like my great-great-great-grandparents. So both my great-great-greats and my great-great-great-greats were eligible. Also, I never found official naturalization documents for my great-great-greats, so I wanted to include my great-great-great-greats just in case they became American citizens before the cut-off date.

      My relatives were listed as German on their immigration forms as well probably because Luxembourgish sounds similar to German. I think I even found on one document “Luxembourg” crossed out and replaced with “Germany.”

      I could not find every document, including some birth certificates for the older relatives. Sometimes wars or fire would disseminate town hall’s archives, so it’s understandable that things are missing. But if you can find a marriage certificate or death certificate with the birth information included, this should be acceptable.

      You found documents going back to 1775? That’s amazing!

      • I thought the powerpoint said that it didn’t matter if they naturalized or not, were you just concerned about having it written down and certifiable? Maybe you made a post about it that I missed.

        I’m,finding heaps of old records which have been scanned and put in databases online, plenty of censuses, some civil war records, ship manifests and the like. There are lots of birth, marriage and death certificates in the following collection, all viewable online:

        Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1662-1941
        https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1709358

        The documents you have for your ggggs and gggs look just like the images I found in the collection for my ggggs gggs and ggs, hell you might be even able to find your gggggs in there! I picked up 5 certified docs today, one being g-grandpa’s DC showing his father was born in Luxembourg. Looking to get up to 7 even more important docs tomorrow to nearly complete my citizenship sandwich.

        • Exactly, I was more concerned with having it written down and being certifiable. I wanted to make the application impervious to any sort of scrutiny. Also the Powerpoint left me with more questions than answers about the entire process, so I relied on Xavier, followers of the blog and experts I stumbled upon on the way. In addition, I became addicted to the genealogical aspect of the project, and I wanted to go back as far as possible. I think I found evidence of a death certificate dating back to 1814, but I didn’t request the document, I just found it in the http://www.luxroots.com/ database. I should probably return to that soon and see just how far I can get.

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