ÖVP Lower Austria published a “zero tolerance initiative” on Tuesday. The party is demanding stricter rules for obtaining citizenship and stricter sanctions for violations of mandatory school attendance. A mandatory naturalization curriculum should focus specifically on core values, integration, democracy, and recognition of the State of Israel.
State Governor and VPNO State Party Leader Johanna mikal-Leitner emphasizes: “Whoever wants to become a member of our society must also share Austria’s historical responsibility as a citizen.” The fight against anti-Semitism and recognition of the right to exist of the State of Israel “are reasons for the state – and are therefore a basic requirement for the granting of Austrian citizenship.” Counter-societies should not be tolerated: “We have to impose more restrictions on them to protect our values,” says Mikl-Leitner.
In the future, there will be no privileged naturalization after six years; Granting citizenship – with the exception of EEA citizens – will only be possible after ten years. Even those who are currently “exempt” because they go to school in Austria or have studied there will have to take the test in the future. As part of this citizenship testing course, visiting a concentration camp memorial should be mandatory. If found guilty of National Socialist reactivation, there should be no right to naturalization; If found guilty of incitement or under the Prohibition Act, dual citizens must have their Austrian citizenship revoked.
According to the paper, parents’ obligations to participate in their children’s schooling should be expanded. “In cases of gross misconduct, bullying or violence as well as lack of desire to integrate,” teacher-parent discussions should be mandatory. The “conscious refusal to use German as a language of instruction” was cited as an example. There is also a need to implement measures agreed in teacher-parent discussions, such as anti-violence training or school psychological counseling. The penalty threshold for continued breach or neglect of parental obligations to cooperate is to be raised in the future from the current maximum of 440 euros to a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 2,500 euros.
mikal-Leitner explains: Anyone who “does not want to voluntarily accept the offer made to integrate into our community should be punished heavily financially”. For parents of families wishing to integrate, the penalty is a “clear message that we do not accept the development of counter-societies in our country”.