- February 12, 2014
PM asks if there is a need for National Minorities Act
Algirdas Butkevičius, Lithuanian Prime Minister plans to raise the issue of a separate National Minorities Act during the meeting with representatives of national minorities.
‘We would like to invite representatives of all national minorities and during the meeting the Prime Minister would like to find out if whether there is a need for a separate act on national minorities at this point. We are a country that belongs to the European Union. Is it really necessary? Aren’t other legislation acts ensuring respect for the rights, responsibilities and freedom of national minorities?’ – said the Cabinet’s Vice-Chancellor Remigijus Motuzas.
The government had pledged in its programme to solve all disputed issues concerning national minorities. A draft of the new law was prepared by a special working group led by the Deputy Minister of Culture Edward Trusewicz. The project provides, among other things, bilingual names of streets and cities.
‘E. Trusewicz, I believe, understands himself that this project runs counter to the Constitution and several decisions of the Constitutional Court and the State Language Law. Most of the contradictions concern the use of supporting language in the government and local government institutions, as well as bilingual signs,’ Motuzas said.
An adviser to Lithuanian President, Virginija Būdienė has said earlier that the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Convention on Human Rights are integrated into Lithuanian law and there is no need for a separate act on national minorities.
Tłumaczenie by Anna Leśkiewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Anna Leśkiewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.