VILNIUS – Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite is meeting with mayors on Wednesday to discuss the possible contribution of the country's municipalities to tackling emigration-related issues.
During the meeting, a survey by the International Migration Organization will be presented to portray the attitude towards emigration in different parts of Lithuania and the readiness of municipalities to bring back residents who are currently abroad.
The survey is the first of the type during the 27 years of independent Lithuania, the President's Office said. It reveals the major problems that the returnees are faced with, assesses the readiness of cities and towns to welcome returning emigrants and provides specific recommendations of how municipalities could encourage people to come back and facilitate their integration.
In the president's words, emigration issues cannot be settled without joint efforts of national and local administrations along with non-governmental organizations, therefore, the contribution of municipalities is crucial. Grybauskaite emphasized that only joint efforts could produce a result – return of the people who have left Lithuania.
Last year, the president initiated the campaign Choose Lithuania, which focuses on people returning from emigration.
Lithuania lost over 50,000 citizens to emigration in 2017.