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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 20.06.2018, 14:25

President's bill that would end registration of newborns as non-citizens submitted to Saeima

BC, Riga, 13.09.2017.Print version
President Raimonds Vejonis has submitted his legislative initiative that would end the registration of newborns in Latvia as non-citizens to Saeima for adoption, LETA was told at the president's office.

The author of the proposal argues in the annotation to the bill that its adoption would help develop the Latvian nation as a consolidated society, based on common values.


"Latvia is a democratic and modern European state, and it is necessary to make every effort to keep developing and strengthening the Latvian state. Latvia's education system can prepare and bring up decent, honest and responsible people who are Latvia's patriots and have a strong sense of belonging to Latvia," President Vejonis believes.


If the bill passes in the parliament, the new legislation would apply to some 50-80 newborns a year. In 2016, a total of 52 newborn children were registered as non-citizens.


According to a public opinion poll conducted in May 2017 by SKDS research center, 76 percent of Latvia's residents believe that children of Latvia's non-citizens should be granted Latvian citizenship at birth unless their parents choose a different citizenship for their offspring.


As reported, the government coalition will not back President Vejonis’ proposal to stop registering children born in Latvia as non-citizens because the initiative has met resistance from the National Alliance.


At the National Alliance’s initiative, the issue was today discussed at a meeting of the coalition cooperation council. “We reminded that the coalition agreement defines the issues on which a consensus has to be reached before we can move forward. Expansion of the body of citizens is one such issues,” the National Alliance’s co-chairman Raivis Dzintars told journalists after the coalition council's meeting.


The politician argued that the president’s initiative cannot be supported because Latvia still lacks a uniform education system. After the National Alliance today informed its partners that it will exercise its veto rights, coalition partners confirmed they will not endorse the president’s legislative initiative.


Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said that the issue is nonnegotiable given the National Alliance’s stance. The premier declined to further comment on the president’s initiative. “The government is stable and I would not like to start a discussion that could affect this stability,” he said.


As reported, President Vejonis has proposed to allow children of Latvia’s non-citizens to become Latvian citizens at birth, unless their parents choose to give them the citizenship of some other country. In Vejonis’ opinion, the time has come in Latvia to cease assigning non-citizen status to non-citizens’ offspring.


Arvils Aseradens, chairman of the Unity party, also believes there is no point in starting a discussion on the president's proposal as long as one of the coalition partners blocks the adoption of the bill.

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