MINELRES: PACE Standing Committee calls for better treatment of non-citizens in Latvia

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Sun Nov 19 16:53:45 2006


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http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/Press/StopPressView.asp?CPID=1842

17/11/2006 
PACE Standing Committee calls for better treatment of non-citizens in Latvia 

Strasbourg, 17.11.2006 – The Standing Committee of the Council of Europe 
Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) meeting today in San Marino, called for non-
citizens in Latvia to be granted at least the same rights as other EU 
nationals living in the country.

In a resolution, the parliamentarians called for automatic naturalisation 
of non-citizens who are elderly or born in the country, as well as those 
who have made "a worthwhile contribution to the establishment of the newly 
independent Latvian state". More flexible naturalisation procedures should 
be considered, and those applying should not be asked to express convictions 
that are "contrary to their reading of the history of their cultural 
community or nation".

Minorities should also be able to use their language in relations with 
administrative authorities "in areas where they live in substantial numbers" 
while all permanent residents should be able to vote in at least local 
elections, in line with Assembly recommendations.

In the long term, such measures could help the Russian minority in Latvia to 
serve as "a bridge" to the nearby culture and market of the Russian Federation, 
the parliamentarians said.

However, they also warned against various Latvian political players exploiting 
inter-community tensions for purely political purposes.

Around one-fifth of Latvia’s resident population still possesses neither 
Latvian nor any other nationality, according to the report, although many of 
them were living in Latvia – with Soviet nationality – when the country 
became independent.

The adopted text will be available on http://assembly.coe.int

Link to the report: 
http://assembly.coe.int/Mainf.asp?
link=/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc06/eDOC11094.htm
 


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