Tag Archives: University of Latvia

“There is no political interest to sort the situation”

In August Latvia will celebrate the 20th anniversary since it regained its independence. In October, it will be twenty years since the citizenship law was updated  by the newly elected government.

Back then, more than 700,000 people acquired a new status; non-citizens of Latvia. Nowadays, 14.6% of the Baltic country’s population (325,000) still holds a non-citizen passport.

Nils Muiznieks, director of the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute of the University of Latvia and
former Minister for Social Integration, does not hesitate to say that the current situation is “a contradictory picture.

“In the early 90s when the international community got involved here, Bosnia was the reference. Everyone was afraid of violence and mass expulsions. It did not happen and that was a success.

“But the law on citizenship was a controversial issue that almost prevented Latvia joining the Council for Europe, was monitored by international bodies and was highly contested by Russia.”

Due to the international pressure, the Latvian government acted. Lots have been done ever since and some important steps were taken in the previous years to join the EU.

Some 133,000 people have naturalised during this time, but a large number of non-citizens have not “overcome this psychological barrier” and seemed to have got accustomed to their status.

Nils added; “I think non-citizenship in Latvia is still an issue and it will be soon prove by some political parties. However, once we joined the clubs – EU and NATO – international pressure to sort the problem disappeared and therefore there is no political interest within the country.”

More about Nils Muižnieks and the interview in the final documentary!! Don’t miss it out!

Current Law on Citizenship

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The Latvian diaspora; a tough challenge for the future

Riga, Latvia

A total of 6,563 people emigrated from Latvia during the first five months of the year. In other words, 43 persons left the country every day in Jan-May.

The data, which is available in the Central Statistic Bureau’s website, is likely to increase, for the number of emigrants during the month of June is yet to be published.

The figures may help to explain the ‘unexpected’ shrinkage of population in the small Baltic country, which will be confirmed as soon as the Government releases the results of the population census carried out from March to May. Continue reading

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Non-citizens label

Nowadays there are some 325,000 people who hold a non-citizen / alien passport in Latvija. There used to be between 700 and 800 thousand when the USSR collapsed.

When talking about the subject, we tend to generalise and put all them under the same umbrella, but after 20 years they have become a very heterogeneous group, according to professor and labour market researcher Mihails Hazans – I could say a lot about him, but I’d rather let you have a look at the link.

Naturalisation, migration movements,… I am not going to upload much videos until the whole piece is done, but I had such an interesting and profitable chat with him that I wanted to share the joy with you all.

Stay tuned to find out more about this interview!

PS. The interview was recorded in an area called Pumpuri, which belongs to the city of Jūrmala. I would strongly recommend to spend some time there to anyone who seeks quiet spaces and open spaces where to go for long walks.

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