Lithuania mulls allowing dual citizenship with EU, NATO countries, Russia banned

  • 2023-03-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – A group of Lithuanian lawmakers are providing their wordings regarding the legalization of dual citizenship and suggest holding a mandatory referendum along the presidential election next year.

The referendum would be held to vote on an amendment to the Constitution to remove the ban on dual citizenship. The conditions to gain dual citizenship and prohibitions would be laid down in a constitutional law.

Under the proposal, such a law would state that a Lithuanian citizen would not lose their dual citizenship, if they acquired citizenship of countries belonging to the European Union, the European Economic Area, NATO and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"We are proposing a constitutional law that will provide for cases in which a Lithuanian citizen can also be a citizen of another country," Dalia Asanaviciute, who chairs the working group, told a press conference on Thursday.

The constitutional law would also ban dual citizenship in those cases if the other countries did not meet European and Euro-Atlantic integration criteria. Such countries would include members of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and members of other political, economic and other unions or commonwealths of states created by the former USSR.

A Lithuanian citizen could also be a citizen of any other state, if they meet at least one of the following conditions: having been exiled from occupied Lithuania before March 11, 1990, having left before that date, having married a citizen of another state.

Children who have acquired dual citizenship, if the second citizenship of a state on the prohibited list, would be required to choose their preferred citizenship within three years after reaching the age of 24.

Lithuanian held a dual citizenship referendum along the 2019 presidential elections but it failed to receive enough votes to change the Constitution.

People who emigrated from Lithuania after it restored independence on March 11, 1990 are currently not eligible for dual citizenship, with some exceptions.

Lithuania's Constitutional Court has earlier clarified that only a referendum to amend the Constitution can open up the way to have dual citizenship for Lithuanian citizens who have acquired citizenship of other countries after independence.