16 February – Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence 

The outcome of the First World War created the preconditions for Lithuania, still suffering from German occupation, to reach the
long-term goal of the nation: restore an independent state. In 1917, over 200 delegates convened for the Vilnius Conference and adopted a resolution first stating the objective to make Lithuania an independent state. The Council of Lithuania consisting of 20 elected members was charged to reach the objective. On 16 February 1918, the members of the Council signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania.


Excerpt from the Act of Independence of 16 February 1918:


 “The Council of Lithuania in its session of February 16, 1918 decided unanimously to address the governments of Russia, Germany, and other states with the following declaration:

The Council of Lithuania, as the sole representative of the Lithuanian nation, based on the recognized right to national self-determination, and on the Vilnius Conference’s resolution of September 18–23, 1917, proclaims the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital, and declares the termination of all state ties which formerly bound this State to other nations.

The Council of Lithuania also declares that the foundation of the Lithuanian State and its relations with other countries will be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly, to be convoked as soon as possible, elected democratically by all its inhabitants.”



Members of the State Council of Lithuania, signatories to the Act of Independence of Lithuania Vilnius, 1918 


The Lietuvos Aidas edition where the Act of Independence was first published on 19 February 1918

© Office of the Seimas