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Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: from 2024 the ministry will provide information on the issues of repatriating to Lithuania

Created: 2023.12.19 / Updated: 2023.12.19 15:53

From January 2024, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, as part of coordinating Lithuania’s diaspora policy, will provide information on a dedicated website, by phone and by e-mail to any members of the Lithuanian diaspora planning to return, arriving, or contemplating a return to Lithuania. A “one-stop-shop” will be introduced to provide advice on the most important issues related to returning to Lithuania to live, study, work, or start a business, including information on available social support, health care and other relevant issues.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, noted that the 18th Government of Lithuania pays particular attention to the diaspora body and strengthening its connection with the country.

 

“We are one nation, wherever we live, and we must unite our efforts in the interests of Lithuania. Returning to Lithuania is an important initiative of our government and a strategic direction for our diaspora policy. Our aim is to broaden and strengthen the dialogue between the state and the diaspora, to further promote the fostering of Lithuanian identity abroad, and to provide conditions for more active participation of the diaspora in building the prosperity and security of Lithuania. It will also strengthen Lithuanian schools abroad and encourage the return of the diaspora to Lithuania,” Landsbergis explained.

 

Until now, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had organised the provision of information to those returning to Lithuania through the Migration Information Centre “I Choose Lithuania”. According to the centre, during the first three quarters of this year, representatives of the Lithuanian diaspora have, on average, contacted them more than 400 times a month on issues related to their repatriation. Starting from January next year, a one-stop-shop principle will be implemented by the Return to Lithuania Division of the Global Lithuania Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the transition period, a section of the foreign ministry’s website will be dedicated to the issues of a return to Lithuania, and the Migration Information Centre “I Choose Lithuania” will also continue to provide information until 1 March 2024.

 

The relevant answers to the questions from anyone planning to repatriate to Lithuania will be provided in cooperation with other Lithuanian institutions, bodies and municipalities, according to the area of their expertise. The involvement of municipalities and their greater participation and attention to those planning to return to Lithuania will be emphasised. International practices and models used in other countries when providing information to returnees in their countries of origin will also be drawn upon.

 

According to the State Data Agency of Lithuania, the number of citizens repatriating to the Republic of Lithuania has been higher than those departing for three consecutive years. In 2022, 20,689 citizens returned to Lithuania and 13,049 emigrated. The largest numbers of returning Lithuanian citizens were from the United Kingdom, Norway and Germany.

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