Govt to keep coordination body for Lithuanians living abroad

Lithuanian Community in Sweden

The Lithuanian government has heard the voice of the communities living abroad and has reversed its decision to scrap the Commission for Coordination of Affairs of Lithuanians Living Abroad.

"Although there was a stance to scrap the commissions, we are making an exception for this commission to avoid unnecessary tensions with the Lithuanian World Community," Deividas Matulionis, adviser to Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, told BNS.

In Matulionis' words, the commission's nearest meeting will probably take place this fall.

"We would like to discuss all issues relevant to the diaspora, including the ways of improvement the conditions for Lithuanians returning back home. There are indeed many topics, and we decided that the commission carries symbolic importance for the World Lithuanian Community, let it stay, we will organize a meeting after September," the adviser said.

In response to the prime minister's decree, the Foreign Ministry had drafted a resolution that proposed eliminating the commission. According to the draft, the commission was to be eliminated to reduce the administrative burden, as the government "closely cooperates with the Lithuanian World Community and holds meetings when needed."

Dalia Henke, chairperson of the Lithuanian World Community, has applauded the government's move as logical and rational.

"This is a wise and rational decision. We are glad that the prime minister, the advisers and the government decided to continue the operations of the Commission for Coordination of Affairs of Lithuanians Living Abroad, as it is a link, an official framework that can bring about political decisions on topics of Lithuanians living abroad and their return," Henke told BNS.

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