Vējonis to submit repeat proposal on citizenship for non-citizens’ children

A bill to grant citizenship to non-citizens’ children at birth will be submitted to Saeima in March, President Raimonds Vējonis said March 6 after his weekly meeting with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity).

The president indicated that his legislative proposal would be similar to that he already put before the previous Saeima and that it would be up to the current Saeima to decide on its adoption.

Vējonis had said earlier that he was planning the submit his initiative repeatedly in hopes that the new parliament would have a different position on this issue, which has to be resolved at last.

“It is not right to keep this non-citizen institution in our country and it has to be ended at some point. The children that are born in Latvia must become Latvian citizens. If their parents still want to renounce Latvian citizenship, they can write an application and choose the citizenship of a country of their preference,” said Vējonis.

The question has long been on the president's mind. However, the Saeima last September rejected Vējonis’ proposal to end assigning non-citizenship status to non-citizens’ children born in Latvia after June 1, 2018. The Latvian president argued that this would help develop the Latvian nation as a consolidated society, based on common values.

While Vējonis does remain a popular president, this move was met with uproar at some quarters, particularly the conservative wing of the previous coalition. 

Vējonis' current presidential term runs out in summer, and he is unlikely to be put up for re-election. 

Read more about Latvia's "non-citizens" and how their special legal status – they can't vote – came to be HERE.

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