A conference devoted to citizenship issues in Latvia – Latvian Citizenship in the 21st Century – will be held in Riga on 2 March and will gather high-level local and foreign experts on citizenship issues, as well as members of academia.
The conference will be opened by Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, Indriķis Muižnieks, Vice-rector of the University of Latvia, and Gunārs Kūtris, President of the Constitutional Court.
Among the participants of the conference there will be Egils Levits, member of the European Court of Justice, Ineta Ziemele, judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and Kristīne Drēviņa, legal counsel at the European Central Bank.
Participants of the conference will be addressed by Dr. iur. Gerard-René de Groot, professor at the Maastricht University who specialises in citizenship issues; he will speak on the compliance of Latvia’s Citizenship Law with international legislation.
At the conference, the opinion of the Latvian diaspora will be expressed by representatives of the World Federation of Free Latvians, as well as by members of Latvian associations in Australia and New Zealand.
Members of parliamentary groups will also express their opinions on the Citizenship Law.
The conference will be streamed on the websites of the University of Latvia and the Saeima.
The Saeima has established a special subcommittee to deal with amendments to the Citizenship Law; it is currently reviewing the relevant draft law in the second reading.
“Issues related to citizenship in Latvia are still regulated by the Law that was last amended in 1998; thus the Law does not reflect the current situation and values of society. Amendments have to take into account the changes introduced by Latvia’s accession to the European Union and migration processes. The conference will help to determine the experts’ and society’s opinions on what Latvian citizenship should be in the 21st century,” emphasises Ingmārs Čaklais, Chairman of the Citizenship Law Amendments Subcommittee of the Legal Affairs Committee.
The most significant problems that will be solved by adopting amendments to the Citizenship Law pertain to dual citizenship for Latvians residing abroad and granting of citizenship to children of non-citizens born in Latvia.
The conference is organised by the Saeima in collaboration with the University of Latvia; it is supported by the World Federation of Free Latvians, the American Latvian Association, and the Latvian Association Daugavas vanagi in the United States. Publicity is provided by the magazine Jurista Vārds.
The conference Latvian Citizenship in the 21st Century will be held on 2 March at the Great Hall of the University of Latvia. It will begin at 10:00 a.m., and everyone interested in this issue is invited. Detailed information about the conference can be obtained by telephoning +371 67087151.
Saeima Press Service