The inviolability of acquisition exams of the Certificate of Adequacy of Knowledge for Naturalization (PEGP) confirms the Ombudsman, who also proposes favorable changes for participants in the process.
On November 7, the day of the written test for foreigners wishing to obtain Greek citizenship, a specialist scientist of the Independent Authority conducted an autopsy at the Ministry of Education, while the subjects were being prepared and transmitted to the 60 examination centers set up in 12 cities. The process was also overseen by a representative of the National Transparency Authority. Two days later, he also visited the regional scoring center of the exams at the premises of the National Center for Public Administration and Local Government.
The on-site investigation of the specific structures revealed that “there is no question of the reliability of the whole procedure”, as “the strictness of the safeguards applied in the nationwide examinations is faithfully followed”. The autopsy report also “On the one hand, failures of the previous examination identified by the Authority and included in its then autopsy report were avoided, on the other hand, most of the suggestions for improvement of the whole process were not implemented”.
In particular, there were no major delays in the submission of issues, nor was there a discrepancy between question and answer notebooks, as happened last May in the maiden tender process under the new naturalization system introduced by the Home Office.
In both written tests, however, there were several cases of intense anxiety and panic among the candidates, which – according to the Ombudsman – are burdened by the long process and the often difficult instructions.
It is noted that through the examinations, which are conducted twice a year, it is ascertained whether the applicants (who meet the conditions of economic and social integration) know sufficiently the Greek language and have knowledge about the country, its history, institutions and culture. The questions, which are on the Internet Themes Bank along with the answers, are selected by the special scientific committee of the exams.
During the test, there was a frequent flow of information received by the members of the committee at the Ministry of Education that the examinees could not meet the level of the subjects and asked to leave the competition process.
The Authority finds difficult questions, lengthy questions, quite different types of questions and complex clarifications in its report, which is obviously “confirmed” by the exam report: Out of the total of 5,637 participants, 2,659 (47.17%) succeeded and the 2,978 (52.83%).
Voridis: “We have once again implemented an inviolable and complete system of naturalization”
The Minister of Interior, Makis Voridis, in a statement to the Athenian / Macedonian News Agency, emphasizes that the examinations for the acquisition of PEGP “are now admittedly a complete and inviolable process which modernized and streamlined the naturalization framework in our country, replacing a system implemented during the SYRIZA government “. According to him, “the fact that the recent investigation process was conducted under the supervision of the National Transparency Authority and the Ombudsman, as well as the finding of two independent bodies of a completely exemplary procedure proves in the most emphatic way that we applied for a once again an inviolable and whole system of naturalization “.
In order to further improve the process, the Ombudsman proposes for the next examinations, which will be held in May 2022, to focus the efforts of those in charge on the reassessment of the level of difficulty of the examined material, with parallel simplification of the language, as well as standardization of questions and answers. , e.g. emphasizing closed-ended answers and multiple choice questions.
The autopsy report was forwarded to Mr. Voridis, who notified it to the special scientific committee of the examinations.
“The new system leaves no room for political or other interventions, something for which the opposition is silent,” Athanasios Balerbas, the secretary general of Citizenship, told APE / MPE, noting that the old never exceeded 4,000 per year while this year a total of 8,000 people were examined with successes of just under 60%.
Provisions, moreover, included in the recently passed bill of the Ministry of Interior for Civil Society and volunteering, simplify the naturalization process.
In particular, among other things, the verification of the foreigner’s ability to participate actively and effectively in the political life of the country is abolished from the essential conditions of naturalization, since this condition is verified through the written test submitted by the foreigner in the context of verification of the stated condition. in the mode of operation of the regime and its institutions.
The obligation of the oral interview, in which the successful candidates of the written examinations were submitted, is also abolished and remains only for cases of doubt as to whether or not the applicant’s financial and social integration has contributed.