The country’s government is currently considering the idea of discarding interim integration of refugees, with a pilot project to be tested soon of moving refugees straight to municipalities.
“One of the proposals that the ministry will bring is conducting a pilot project to move people straight to municipalities rather than via Rukla. The idea is to move a few families and see how the integration works, if the 2-3 months of institutional living is bypassed. We will examine and see whether it should be continued,” Kukuraitis told BNS.
Currently, people relocated to Lithuania have to pass two integration barriers, namely, one at the refugee centre and the second in the municipality of designation. Municipalities for the experiment should be chosen shortly.
According to data provided by the Interior Ministry, 254 refugees were relocated to Lithuania under the European Union (EU) program over more than a year: 229 from Greece and 25 from Turkey, however, merely a third stayed in Lithuania, as 142 refugees left Lithuania for another countries of the European Union. Under the EU agreement, Lithuania has agreed to hosting 1,105 refugees by September of this year.
During a visit in Greece last week, Interior Minister Eimutis Misūnas was thanked by his colleagues for Lithuania’s contribution to the relocation of refugees. In the minister’s words, Lithuania remains third in terms of progress in the EU refugee quota.