He believes the matter of naturalization should instead be viewed in the context of children and youngsters. It is also worth keeping in mind that not everyone wants to acquire Latvian citizenship.
Speaking of important political decision planned to be made during festivities of Latvia’s 100th anniversary, the ex-president notes that the initial point of the discussion was to assess the effectiveness of the naturalization policy in Latvia.
«There are no specific plans and ideas right now. An analysis is necessary. Even now we see a lot of speculation surrounding this matter,» – Zatlers said. He believes Latvia has established a successful naturalization process in the last 25 years.
«Why change a thing?» – he asks. «The person would feel more satisfaction from being able to choose on his own, rather than be presented with choices he does not understand,» – added Zatlers.
Daina Bara, secretary of ex-President Andris Berzins, notes that he has yet to form a strong opinion on this matter. Nevertheless, she says Berzins is convinced that discussions are necessary, but should not be hastily carried out.
As noted by Kristine Jaunzeme, advisor to Latvia’s current President Raimonds Vejonis, over the past hundred years, presidents have addressed the matter of the large number of non-citizens only on a surface level. «No specific initiatives are currently proposed or viewed at the moment,» – he added.
Liesma Ose, head of the President’s social cohesion policy experts group, is of the same opinion, saying that no discussions are currently taking place on certain topics.
She said that more active discussion of the aforementioned topics began after Berzins’ interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT, in which he mentioned that it is more important to resolve the situation with non-citizens instead of paying too much attention to the matter of a comparatively small number of refugees arriving in the country.
«We currently study surveys carried out in the past decade in regards to the promotion of citizenship among non-citizens,» – said Ose.
She mentioned the Integration ABC project organized by Riga Latvians Association several years ago to help people prepare for the naturalization process. «It is a great example we plan to review. One other plan is to review other people’s positive experience with naturalization. They can tell about their experience to other people wishing to become citizens,» – said Ose.
When asked about specific dates when studies may take place, Ose admitted there are none at this time.
As it is known, it is planned to make certain political decisions during festivities related to Latvia’s 100th birthday. Those decisions would service as a gesture of good will towards non-citizens, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.