Seimas endorsed the Strategy for the Demographic, Migration, and Integration Policy for 2018–2030

The main objective of the Strategy is ensuring a positive population change and a balanced age structure. The document establishes three goals related to developing a family-friendly environment, managing migration flows, and integrating senior citizens into public life.

With a view to creating a family-friendly environment, plans are made to enable family members to balance career and family obligations; enhance the quality and availability of services for families and children; ensure equal rights, obligations, and opportunities for men and women in public and family life; develop financial incentives and offer housing choices for families with children; improve family health by raising awareness of family health and reducing health risks; and improve family members’ skills of handling psychological and social problems.

Enabling senior citizens to integrate into public life is among the major goals of the Strategy. It is to be achieved by ensuring engagement of the senior population in social and political life and the labour market; guaranteeing their financial security and life-long learning opportunities; improving the quality and availability of health care for senior citizens in order to reduce their morbidity and mortality from major non-infectious diseases or from external causes; strengthening relations between different generations; and developing voluntary activities among seniors.

In order to ensure proper management of migration flows according to Lithuania’s needs, the Strategy provides for encouraging return migration and a balanced arrival of foreign nationals to satisfy our national interests by pursuing attraction, admission, integration, and liaison policy. The Strategy also sets out to improve the economic welfare, social security, and psychological/emotional well-being of the Lithuanian population; strengthen their bond with the country and living environment; and pursue an effective diaspora policy.

The Strategy is aimed at systemically addressing demographic challenges, increasing the birth rate, reducing emigration, promoting return migration, and improving the quality of life of the senior population. According to the resolution, from 1992, when the population in Lithuania was at the peak of 3.706 million people, the number of people dropped by 23 % to 2.848 million on 1 January 2017. In 25 years’ time, Lithuania lost 859,000 inhabitants or the current population of Vilnius and Kaunas combined. Should the current trend remain unchanged, the population in Lithuania will only be 2.4 million in 2030, according to Eurostat, which represents another 15 % decline compared to 2017.

One more problem to be addressed is the unfavourable change in the age structure of the population, which means less children and more senior people. The resolution states that at the beginning of 2017, Lithuania had 550,200 people in the age group of 65 and above. The share of this age group in the total number of permanent residents grew from 15.8 % in 2005 to 19.3 % in early 2017. There were 130 seniors for 100 children in early 2017 (93 for 100 children in 2005). Based on the forecasts of Eurostat, it can be estimated that in 2030 there will be 45.865 people aged 65 and above for 100 people in the age group of 15–64.

The Seimas proposed that by 1 December 2018, the Government endorse an interinstitutional action plan for the implementation of the Strategy and adopt the respective legal acts necessary for the implementation.

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