The EAPL proposes, the President does not comment


The parliamentary representatives of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania have prepared a draft of the law on national minorities, making the wide use of the languages of national minorities legally valid. While asked what she thinks about it, the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said that right now she does not want to comment on this matter.


„Right now I do not want to comment on any laws (drafts – editorial note). We have three or four, and maybe even five projects. I love all the people living in Lithuania equally, we are all the citizens of Lithuania. I myself can communicate in the languages of all of the national minorities: in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian. In such a way I express my respect towards all of the citizens of Lithuania” – said Dalia Grybauskaitė when asked about the draft of the law on national minorities, prepared by the representatives of the EAPL.

The parliamentary representatives of the EAPL registered in the Seimas a new project of  amendments to the law on national minorities. Among other things they propose making the usage of the languages of national minorities in public places legally valid, introduction of bilingual nomenclature and establishment of the state’s duty to support the activity of the communities of national minorities.

In practice that means that the representatives of national minorities could publicly use their mother tongue in speech and in writing, and also publicly place writings and other information in their mother language. The representatives of the EAPL also want to introduce to the law a provision about the possibility of using one’s mother tongue in courts, while filing motions and complaints. On the local government’s territory, inhabited by at least 10 percent of representatives of national minorities, public information concerning health protection, public safety, preliminary legal aid, elections could be provided in the language of this minority. The project postulates the possibility of using bilingual names of streets, towns and institutions.

It is yet another draft of the law on national minorities put forward by the EAPL. During the spring session the Parliament discussed another project put forward by the parliamentary representative of the EAPL Jarosław Narkiewicz. During the voting of the particular articles the majority of parliamentary representatives favoured the amendments put forward by the conservatives. In the end the voting on the bill  was rescheduled for the session in autumn. Right now it is not known whether the law on national minorities will be on the Seimas’ agenda. The speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Loreta Graužinienė made it clear that it is not a priority.


Tłumaczenie by Alicja Dudzik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, Translated by Alicja Dudzik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights,

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