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The effects of integration policies for the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia

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The effects of integration policies for the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia

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Samenvatting

This final paper examines the effects of Latvian integration policies for the Russian-speaking minority. It contains four chapters which analyze the integration policies and their influence on the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia. The first chapter describes the status of the Russian-speaking minority and the history of their arrival to Latvia. The Soviet occupation of Latvia was the reason for the mass migration of minorities in Latvia. After Latvia gained its independence, the status of the Russian-speaking minority changed and they experience a reintegration in to Latvian society.

The second chapter summarizes the developments of Latvian integration policies which affected the Russian-speaking minority. After Latvia gained its independence, new policies for integrating Russian-speakers were established. On an international level, Latvia was accused of violating minority rights by implementing preliminary integration policies. These policies excluded the Russian-speaking minority from obtaining a Latvian citizenship and instead, this minority group gained a non-citizen status. This report also elaborates on the role of the European Union and other institutions during the EU accession, which assisted Latvia in developing its integration policies. Latvia's EU accession helped to simplify naturalization but could not influence the non-citizens status because the Union Law does not apply to them. Currently, the Latvians have established constructive developments and guidelines that are set to further integrate the Latvian society. The third chapter is an overview of the current integration policies in education, language, citizenship and the naturalization process of these policies.
The last chapter of this research reveals examples of Latvian integration policies affecting the Russian-speaking minority. The consequences of integration policies for the Russian-speaking minority are requiring language proficiency in employment, deficit in quality of education and violation of privacy. In addition, the citizenship law excludes the minority group from political participation. The conclusion summarizes results from the four chapters to provide an answer to the research question: What are the effects of integration policies for the Russian-speaking minority in Latvia? Consequently, there is a set of recommendations for the Latvian government which could help improve the situation of the Russian-speaking minority. These recommendations are based on citizenship and naturalization, political participation, education and language policies.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2012
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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