Migration studies center helps set diaspora policy

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The Foreign Ministry and University of Latvia (LU) sealed an agreement Monday to jointly support the LU Diaspora and Migration Studies Center in its research on Latvian citizens living elsewhere around the world and the state’s interaction with this dispersed part of the national population.

The ministry’s special envoy for diaspora affairs Pēteris Kārlis Elferts said the center was a “valuable instrument in the study of the diaspora, that moreover came of the diaspora’s own initiative.” He added that the research produced by the center would help improve the quality of the ministry’s diaspora policy, such as already was the case with its first study released in January about the parliamentary dimension of political involvement in the EU and Latvia among diaspora Latvians.

The center is currently pursuing its research on diaspora community tourism to Latvia. Travel and vacation habits for diaspora Latvians are setting new patterns for visitors back home, as well as new needs and challenges for children and youth, students, teachers and parents.

Among the Center’s pending releases are a study on media platforms for strengthening communication with countryfolk abroad, as well as publications on the diaspora’s role in the nation’s history and literature in the run-up to the country’s centennial celebrations in 2018.

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