EU member states granted 672,399 citizenships in 2018, a slight decrease of 4% compared to 2017.
Rabat – Moroccans maintained their post as the largest group of foreign nationals to acquire citizenship from EU member states in 2018.
According to data from Eurostat published on March 31, 67,200 Moroccans became citizens of EU countries in 2018, representing 10% of all foreign nationals who acquired EU citizenship that year.
A total of 672,339 foreign nationals acquired citizenship in EU countries in 2018, representing a slight decrease of 4% compared to the previous year.
The majority of Moroccans acquired citizenship in Spain (38%), Italy (23%), and France (23%), according to official data.
Eurostat explained that 84% of those acquiring citizenship from one of 27 EU member states had previously been citizens of non-EU countries.
“Of these, citizens of Morocco made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of Albania, Turkey and Brazil,” the source explained.
The statistics show that one-quarter of new EU citizens were of Moroccan, Albanian, Turkish, and Brazilian origin.
Most of the nationalized Albanians received Greek citizenship (51%) and Italian citizenship (46%). More than half of the Turks received German citizenship (59%), while nearly half of the Brazilians received Italian citizenship (46%).
Grants of citizenship remained stable for Turks and for Moroccans, the statistics show.
In 2017, 67,900 Moroccans received citizenship in an EU state.
The Moroccan government estimates the total number of Moroccans residing abroad, also known as MREs, at approximately five million, with the majority motivated by a need for employment.
Morocco’s Minister of Education Said Amzazi highlighted in 2019 that more than 600 engineers leave Morocco every year.
A survey by Moroccan marketing agency Sungeria found that four out of 10 Moroccans would leave Morocco if they were offered the opportunity.
The survey, which sampled 1,000 people, also found that women were more inclined toward emigration than men.