History

The Department Of National Minorities To The Government Of The Republic Of Lithuania, re-established on the 1st of July 2015, has a long history.

When Lithuania regained its independence national minorities organised themselves to uphold their rights and thus joined the non-governmental organisations. A first institution – the Department of Nationalities was established in 1989. It was headed by Mrs Halina Kobeckaitė. In a years to run the Department of Nationalities was renamed to the Department of Regional Issues and was mostly engaged in the subject matter of national minorities, Lithuanians living in the countries of post-Soviet Union, and South East Lithuania. 

Due to increasing emigration more and more Lithuanians lived in the countries of Western Europe. In order to maintain the link between Lithuanians abroad and the homeland, and to ensure an appropriate representation of their interests the Department of Regional Issues was reorganized into the Department of National Minorities and Emigrants in 1997. Among the duties related to national minorities, cooperation with Lithuanian emigrants was in the list of the Department.

The Department of National Minorities and Emigrants was closed in 2010. Its functions were divided and transferred to the ministries of Culture, Education and Science, and Foreign Affairs.

The representatives of national minorities repeatedly pointed out the lack of attention to their issues and therefore expressed the hope that the Government will take the measures to restore the institution responsible for the politics of national minorities in the country.

Following Decree No. 1300 of the 24th of November 2014, the Department Of National Minorities To The Government Of The Republic Of Lithuania was re-established on the 1st of July 2015.

 

Last updated: 05-02-2018