Moacir P. de Sá Pereira on November 4th, 2010

My plate’s pretty full, so I’ll only give the highlights here. By a vote of 88–8 with 25 abstensions, the Seimas passed the new dual citizenship law today. They hope that a verdict on its constitutionality will be given by the Constitutional Court before the law goes into effect.

The law, languishing in negotiation for two years, makes the following new allowances for dual citizenship:

  • to those who left Lithuania after 11 March 1990 and have citizenship in either an EU or NATO nation
  • to those who automatically earned another state’s citizenship through marriage or birth
  • to those for whom Lithuanian citizenship would help promote in the future the name of Lithuania in the fields of science, economics, culture, art, or sport.

The final point differs from the current rules, which allow dual citizenship to be given for worthy deeds already accomplished. Now, however, Lithuania can give Katherine Copely Lithuanian citizenship so that she could possibly win Lithuania a medal in a future Olympics.

In the meantime, President Dalia Grybauskaitė soberly restated her wish to have this question solved via referendum and not legislation. She refused to commit to signing the legislation into law before “thoroughly analyzing” the bill.

After a fashion, for Lithchat readers, there’s not much new here. The real news will come when the Court decides what to do.

I’ll pass along the link of the actual text of the law once I hunt it down.

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One Response to “Seimas passes controversial dual citizenship law”

  1. Thank you for your post.

    Do you know what the law does for people whose families left after 1919 but before 1940?

    Are their grandchildren also entitled to dual citizenship?