“Lithuania’s Constitution has not been changed, the last interpretation by the Constitutional Court on the matter was, I think, in 2013, and it stated clearly that broader application of the institute of dual citizenship can only be achieved by way of referendum, not laws,” Grybauskaitė told Vilnius journalists on Friday.
“I can say already today that the law openly runs counter to the Constitutional doctrine,” the president said in comment of the initiative proposed to the parliament to expand the institute of dual citizenship.
The opposition political group of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (conservatives) has drafted an amendment to allow dual citizenship to the citizens of Lithuania who acquire citizenship of a country of the European Union (EU) or NATO.
The amendment to the Citizenship Law has already secured support from elders of all other political groups and Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has also pledged to sign the bill. Signatures of 110 parliamentarians was collected under the initiative on Thursday.
The Constitutional Court has earlier concluded that dual citizenship was only possible in rare cases, with broader application only possible after amending the country’s Organic Law. Furthermore, the chapter on citizenship can only be revised by way of referendum.
Currently, dual citizenship is only allowed for the citizens who left Lithuania before the country regained independence in 1990 and their descendants, however, is not granted to those who emigrated during the independence period. Dual citizenship is also allowed for children who were born abroad and acquired foreign citizenship by birth, as well as those who acquired foreign citizenship by way of marriage to a foreigner.