„Who are you?” – The answer for this question will soon be displayed on the front page of newly issued passports of citizens of The Republic of Lithuania. On 10th July of this year the Parliament accepted the amendment to the Passport Regulation (Lietuvos Respublikos paso įstatymas), which introduces the possibility to include a citizen’s nationality in their passport, following a citizen submitting a written request. Some 56 members of the parliament voted for the amendment, 11 were against, and 24 refrained from voting. The amendment does not concern Identity Documents, and that is because in December 2013, the Government did not accept the proposal to put Identity Documents into the above-mentioned regulation because of a lack of technical possibilities.
Despite postponing the meeting concerning the Act of National Minorities, giving the impression of an avoidance for finding any sensible solution to ongoing and problematic issues concerning national minorities, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is glad about this decision, and considers it a step in the right direction to work out a compromise with the community of national minority groups. As the previous Passport Regulation says, it is only the document that confirms identity and citizenship. However, EFHR, and certainly other supporters of the amendment, thinks that nationality is a part of identity that is worth distinguishing. As we mentioned before in one of our articles, citizens of Latvia have the possibility to put information about their identity in their passport – although this is not to be confused with citizenship – for a year already. Nevertheless, this possibility should also involve Identity Documents of Lithuanian citizens.