“Winning a referendum in accordance to the law is very difficult and risky,” the minister said at a meeting of the commission of the Lithuanian parliament and the Lithuanian World Community on Monday.
Under the current laws, the provision on dual citizenship can only be changed by way of referendum, if it is approved by at least half of eligible voters.
Linkevičius was among the 114 parliamentarians who signed the draft amendments to the Law on Citizenship, which would allow people who left the country after March 11, 1990 and acquired citizenship of any other EU or NATO member state to preserve their Lithuanian citizenship . Nevertheless, he acknowledged the law can be found to be running counter to the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that dual citizenship is only possible in individual cases and that broadening dual citizenship requires amending the Constitution through a referendum.
The latest bill was inspired by Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Currently, about 200,000 Lithuanians live in Great Britain, and the local community says that one in four could keep their British passports after Brexit to keep their current rights.