The Department of National Minorities, an envisioned structure within the Lithuanian government, will give more decision-making powers to ethnic minorities, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says, adding that the government made a mistake when it dissolved the department which existed before 2010.
Algirdas Butkevičius
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"The time has showed that the dissolution of this department was a wrong decision. And it's restoration will give more powers to ethnic communities themselves to make certain decisions and include them when making proposals to the government on their program, and the government would make the commitment to implement them in cooperation with the department," the prime minister told the national radio LRT.

In his words, the government program stipulated the restoration of the department, and representatives of ethnic minorities have also expressed their wish to have the department restored and having "a more independent status."

On Monday, the Cabinet backed the restoration of the department as of July, with the final decision is still due. Under the plan, 15 people will work at the department.

The Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad was dissolved in 2010, making the Ministry of Culture responsible for ethnic community policy.

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