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Seimas approved the calling of a referendum on regulation of the acquisition of citizenship

Press release, 23 May 2023


The Seimas approved a resolution proposing to call a mandatory referendum on regulation of the acquisition of citizenship.


The adopted document stipulates that the mandatory referendum will be held on 12 May 2024 and will propose to approve the amendment of Article 12 of the Constitution to setting the text of the Article to read as follows:

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth or on other grounds, and in accordance with the procedure, established by a constitutional law.

The constitutional law shall also establish the grounds and procedure for the loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.


Under the Resolution, the Government or an institution authorised by it is instructed to inform the public, with funds of the state budget, during the referendum campaign period about the importance of the issue to be decided by the referendum for the life of the State and the Nation.


According to one of the initiators of the draft, Dalia Asanavičiūtė, Member of the Seimas, there are only three EU, NATO and OECD countries that restrict the acquisition of citizenship as strictly as Lithuania, namely, Estonia, Austria and Japan.


‘The citizenship referendum is very important not only for our diaspora, which is made up of more than 1 million persons of Lithuanian origin residing abroad, but also for Lithuania itself. Our people, who by birth can retain citizenship of our country, are also a matter of national security. Why? This is because during the war in Ukraine, we saw that those who hold citizenship of both another state and our state were the strongest lobbyists, the strongest advocates and the strongest influencers in those states to increase support for Ukraine,’ said Dalia Asanavičiūtė.


‘Many Lithuanians scattered all over the world are waiting not only for the referendum on the possibility of retaining Lithuanian citizenship after acquiring citizenship of another country. A great many of them are waiting for a successful outcome. I urge my colleagues today to vote in favour of holding this referendum, to vote for the opportunity for our fellow citizens to become citizens of another country as well, to stand with both feet on the ground in that country and to feel that they are full citizens of that country. At the same time, we should give them the opportunity to return to Lithuania if they so wish, while retaining citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania. I invite you to vote unanimously and send a clear message to all Lithuanians in the world,’ Andrius Bagdonas, Member of the Seimas, invited to approve the draft.


The Resolution Calling a Mandatory Referendum on the Amendment of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted by 111 votes in favour, with no votes against and 5 abstentions.


Article 12 of the Constitution currently in force:

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired by birth or on other grounds established by law.

With the exception of individual cases provided for by law, no one may be a citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

The procedure for the acquisition and loss of citizenship shall be established by law.


Prepared by

Saulė Eglė Trembo, Chief Specialist, Press Office, Information and Communication Department,

Tel. +370 5 239 6203, e-mail: [email protected]


   Last updated on 05/24/2023 12:10
   Monika Kutkaitytė