“In fact, the proposal to restore the department will be discussed as the Ethnic Minority and Emigration Department was reorganized in 2010,” the government’s deputy chancellor Remigijus Motuzas told BNS.
“Ethnic minority issues are an important part of internal policy and remain a sensitive issue in relations with neighbouring countries,” he said.
Following the reorganization of the Ethnic Minority and Emigration Department, minority representation responsibilities were handed over to the Ministry of Culture, Motuzas said. The government wants a new department to be established as ethnic minority issues cannot be solved separately by the Ministry of Education and Science or the Ministry of Culture, he added.
During the consideration of an ethnic minority bill in February, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said the government was considering strengthening the unit of the Ministry of Culture, responsible for ethnic minorities, transforming it into a department or a separate division.