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PDF Preview. Table of Contents. Related Content. The research on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania has pointed out some controversial social and political developments since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In reflecting on the legacies of the Soviet past, the book addresses the role non-titular populations have played in the process of democratisation and the relation between the states, societies and minorities in the post-Soviet Baltic states.

Table of contents

The argument proceeds along three lines. Firstly, the book examines the institutional dimension of democratisation in the region, thereby addressing the processes of state- and nation-building as reflected in various policy-developments. Secondly, it compares the impact of ethno-cultural diversity on the development of the respective Baltic nation-states.

The discussion makes clear that the framework of Baltic political communities was designed to suit the interests of the titular groups and thus resulted in the marginalisation of the minority communities. Thirdly, the book assesses the participation of minority communities in the development, criticism and improvement of state institutions and policies since independence. The analysis points out that, two decades after independence, the post-Soviet Baltic states and societies are seen by many members of the majority groups as primarily serving the interests of their ethnic community.

Estonia Identity and Independence.

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Editor: Jean-Jacques Subrenat. In the span of only seventy years, Estonia first proclaimed its independence, was occupied and deprived of its sovereignty, saw many of its citizens deported, and yet managed to recover its independence. How did this small nation keep its language and traditions alive during half a century of occupation, and how did it maintain such a vivid sense of identity?

For the first time in English, this book gives a comprehensive view of the events which shaped the destiny of contemporary Estonia. The Editor, Jean-Jacques Subrenat, has called upon an unusually broad spectrum of the best experts in history, archeology, political science, genetics, literature , but also on some of the leaders who took part in the rebuilding of Estonia, to offer more than a history, rather a unique testimony on a nation reborn.

Bibliographic Information

But the moment was also propitious for projects of national consolidation based on exclusion and ethnic engineering. Citizenship policies have been used to ensure the unity of the nation within and across state borders …. However, in recent times, the citizenship policies have been reviewed in the Baltic countries under pressure from the EU.

Normative pressure and conditionality policy external incentives have been the two methods used by the European organizations to influence the minority policies in the way they have evolved these last years in the Baltic States. Conditionality has been used more by the CoE and especially the EU.

[2001] UKIAT 5

On the contrary, normative pressure has been used to the greatest extent by the OSCE. The Citizenship Policies in the Baltic States Recently, Latvia and Estonia have reviewed their naturalization procedures, especially facili- tating young people born after independence, to whom citizenship is now granted without passing the citizenship exams. In Estonia, since children of persons with undetermined citizenship began to automatically receive Estonian citizenship from the moment of birth.

In Latvia, citizenship is granted automatically to children of stateless persons and non-citizens but not without the consent of both parents or one of them. More than 25 years after the proclamation of the independence of the Baltic Republics, the number of non-citizens in Latvia, as at January , was about By the far largest ethnic group of all non-citizens were Russians, who made up The number of non-citizens in Estonia, as at January , was about It is assumed that in the Baltic States the non-citizens number will decline in the next years for various reasons, including measures to facilitate citizenship for children, naturalization, migration, acquisition of citizenship of another state usually the Russian Federation by non-citizens and because non-citizens are also an aging group overall, so some of the decrease will occur for natural reasons.

Lithuania In Lithuania, the citizenship law, passed by the Seimas Lithuanian parliament on December 5, , replaced that of November 3, By the citizenship law of , citizen- ship was recognized only to all those who owned it prior to June 15, day in which the country was occupied by the Red Army to be then incorporated into the USSR.

The law did not grant automatic citizenship to all permanent residents. Only to those who were citizens of Lithuania before were granted citizenship without naturalization Popovski, , p. For the Lithuanian government this meant less problems with its minorities. We must bear in mind that Lithuania has always been more ethnically homogeneous than the other two Baltic States.


  • National Minorities and Citizenship Rights in Lithuania, 1988-93.
  • Kleckovski v. Lithuania, Comm. /, U.N. Doc. A/62/40, Vol. II, at (HRC ).
  • National Minorities and Citizenship Rights in Lithuania, –93 | V. Popovski | Palgrave Macmillan.

Citizenship law has changed over time According to the new wording, the number of individuals authorized to acquire Lithuanian citizenship had been increased significantly art. Before independence was lost in , and again in —, large numbers of residents emigrated from Lithuania. Enormous losses were sustained between and when , Lithuanian citizens were exiled to Siberia on social, political, or religious grounds.

Dual citizenship was granted to these categories of persons. In this context, it is impor- tant to mention such people, because the political directives on dual citizenship aimed at solving — in addition to the desire to restore historical justice — an increasingly worrying economic and social situation for the Baltic State: the low birth rate and the negative net migration were stressing the need of importing foreign workers. However, it must be said that dual citizenship was granted and is still being granted at really very restrictive conditions. Since the ratification of the Convention by Lithuania, stateless persons may acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania if they have been legally permanently residing in Lithuania for the last five years, rather than ten years as previously provided the law on citizenship The art.

Basing on it, Lithuanian courts and the Migration Department refused to restore citizenship also to people who left Lithuania in the interwar period from to In the other two Baltic States, the situation is more complex than in Lithuania. Therefore, according to these Resolutions, Latvians were registered as citizens provided they or their ancestors had been Latvian citizens before Latvia lost its independence. Immediately after the adoption of this Resolution, the decree was considered null and void with regard to Republic of Latvia citizens.

An important exception was ex-Soviet military and security personnel and their families stationed in the country. Their 16 years of residency requirement did not begin until after independence. Of those registered, 1,, were classified as Latvian citizens, while additional , persons were classified as non-citizens Payerhin, , p. The naturalization procedure in force was included in the new citizenship law adopted on July 21, primarily based on the jus sanguinis.

The rights of Latvian non-citizens outside of Latvia are now governed strictly by treaty, according to which, non-citizens can travel visa-free in the EU under Schengen, just as Latvian citizens do, and have access to Latvian consular services abroad. They also are entitled to education, health care and social security.

The protection provided to non-citizens in Latvia extends beyond that which is required by the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. They have rights akin to citizens e.

09/12/17 MNPS Board Meeting

The request for citizenship had to be presented by both parents, in case the person concerned had not reached 15 years of age; however, it could be advanced by the interested party, if aged between 15 and 18, if he had proved to live permanently in the country and to know the Latvian language. Therefore, the majority of the political elite decided speeding up naturalization by way of amendments to the citizenship law from the desire to join the EU.

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Positive effects were soon evident. Pension rights are limited, and non-citizens cannot hold certain positions in local and national government, the civil service, and other governmental entities.


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At last, non-citizens are exempt from military service, which was compulsory for male Latvian citizens until The naturalization process has played an important role in furthering social integration in Latvia as confirmed by the latest figures available. On May 9, the Latvian Saeima Parliament adopted changes effective since October 1, to the laws to allow dual citizenship.

Draudze, Of course, these citizenship policies for such categories of people are not confined to CEE countries, even if they tend to be more far-reaching and more contested in CEECs than in other regions Dumbrava, , p. Estonia Also in Estonia, according to the Act of Citizenship, promulgated on February 26, and that reapplied the Citizenship Act, following here too the doctrine of legal continuity and the principle of restoration to the original condition of prior sovereignty , all individuals who had acquired citizenship before June 16, day in which the country was occupied by the Red Army to be then incorporated into the USSR were automatically considered to be Estonian citizens including their descendants.

Thus, roughly two-thirds of the 1. European Commission, The entry of aliens26 into Estonia, their temporary stay in the country as well as their residence and employment were instead regulated by the Aliens Act of 8 July and subsequent amendments UNHCR, In conjunction with this, the law on aliens passed on July 8, which applies to both aliens and stateless persons residing in Estonia should be considered. On January 19, the Riigikogu unicameral parliament passed another Citizenship Act, which took effect on April 1, Those who had committed serious crimes or were foreign military personnel on active duty were ineligible to seek naturalization as an Estonian citizen.

These included in addition to the disabled persons that were exempted to the language test people born in the country after the re-conquest of independence. From to July 2, , children had acquired citizenship on the basis of this amendment Press and Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This seems to be the main reason why in , the number of people who acquired Estonian citizenship through naturalization was almost double that of the previous year [ 3. In more recent times, Estonian commitment to solving statelessness led to the amendment of the Citizenship Act passed on January 21, entered into force on January 1, It is also significant to note that this rule can also be applied retroactively to qualifying children who are under the age of Unlike Latvia, in Estonia native-born children of non-citizens automatically acquired citizenship without the consent of parents.

Furthermore, according to the new amendment, the citizens older than 65 years who applied for Estonian citizenship were exempt from the written exam, and an applicant, who had passed the Estonian language test and the exam on knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act, had his or her language training expenses reimbursed.