2012–2018 Rīga, 2011 Content

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3.1.3. Citizenship Issue
Latvian citizenship is the basis for creating a lasting legal connection with the State of Latvia. Citizenship policy cannot ignore the increasing mobility of people in the 21st century. Therefore, in order to maintain and consolidate people’s feeling of belonging to the State, Latvia’s citizenship policy has to simultaneously be both principled, as well as flexible. Changes are required to the Citizenship Law, providing dual citizenship possibilities with the EU, EEA and NATO Member States. Dual citizenship would allow maintenance of the connection with citizens who have left Latvia at different times, would encourage them to return to Latvia or make their contribution to the development of Latvia when living abroad.

A significant problem continues to be the comparatively large number of non-citizens, which was 14% of the population of Latvia in 2011. However the proportion of non-citizens has reduced considerably since the 1990’s 18. Interest in naturalization has been expressed mainly by young people, who see opportunities in the Latvian citizenship, but the older generation has the lowest motivation to naturalize. In addition, the opportunities for participation which are broadened by Latvian citizenship do not seem sufficiently important for many non-citizens in order to naturalize. Reduction in the number of non-citizens will be an important task for integration policy in the future as well.

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