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Integration of Non-Citizens

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Chapter Summary

The Latvian study is specific compared to other EU Member States. Questions related to integration appeared on the Latvian agenda soon after regaining independence. Language proficiency was seen as a cornerstone of integration. The language requirement became the most important requirement for naturalization. According to the Language Law individuals are required to prove their knowledge of the Latvian language to practise certain professions. In order to meet the political recommendations of different international actors Latvia embarked on a number of measures that are comprised in the National “Integration of Society in Latvia” programme adopted in 2001. The Programme stressed that integration does not jeopardize Latvian identity. At present the naturalization process has almost stopped. The Social Cohesion Committee of the Saeima has initiated a debate on the need to promote naturalization. The Latvian case shows that State policies, nondiscrimination and the role of education are crucial to facilitating integration.

Keywords:integration; Language Law; Latvian language; naturalization; non-citizens; Saeima



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