Government’s action plan calls for dual citizenship by year’s end

It will be up to the Ministry of Justice to work out details of the Latvian government’s proposed changes to the Citizenship Law, and to do so by the end of the year, according to a new action plan approved Feb. 15 by the Cabinet of Ministers.

The plan provides a roadmap to completing more than 950 goals of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’s coalition government. Among those goals is offering dual citizenship to Latvian citizens who have obtained citizenship in other European Union member states or countries that are partners in the NATO defense alliance.

The government also wants to allow wartime exiles and their descendants to once again be able to register as Latvian citizens without giving up citizenship in their adopted countries. Persons who left the country during the five decades of Soviet occupation also could be eligible for dual citizenship.

The ministry’s deadline, according to the action plan, is Dec. 31.

The Ministry of Justice also is to guarantee that it is represented during meetings of the Saeima’s Law Commission, which has under consideration amendments to the Citizenship Law proposed Jan. 24 by the National Association (Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!” – “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”).

The Unity (Vienotība) bloc, one of two parties in the coalition government, submitted its proposed amendments to the Citizenship Law on Feb. 17.

The Saeima also is considering changes pushed by President Valdis Zatlers.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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