Discussions on coordination of national minority policies have been continuing since the closure of the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad back in 2010. Its functions were distributed among ministries.
"I was asked the question when I was appointed vice-minister of culture. I then said and haven't changed my opinion – the issue is not whether we have a separate institution or it exists in a different structure. The main thing is whether the policies are implemented, efficient and yield results," Vidtmann told BNS.
He said he could understand the emotional character of the proposals of setting up a separate institution, emphasizing that optimization of operations was vital during the recession.
In his words, the Culture Ministry has been earmarking about 250,000 litas (EUR 72,000) to national minority organizations over the past years, with money also provided by municipalities and other institutions.
Organizations of national minorities also receive support from abroad.
About 500,000 non-Lithuanians live in Lithuania.