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.
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 …
… 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.
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!