Presentation of the work programme of the spring session
Press release, 10 March 2017
Photos of the Office of the Seimas (author Olga Posaškova)
On 10 March 2017, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, and Saulius Skvernelis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, presented the work programme of the second (spring) session to the Parliament.
Introducing the key tasks, the Speaker of the Seimas welcomed the fact that the priorities of the Seimas’ spring session of the President and of the Government were identical. “We have all set ambitious plans. The spring session, therefore, will be strained and require focus and responsibility to implement reforms in the country. Declarations alone are not sufficient. There is a need for substantive personal contribution of each and every one. I therefore invite you to concentrate on work and meet the expectations of Lithuania’s people,” stressed Mr Pranckietis.
Among other important matters, the Speaker of the Seimas made mention of the draft law governing the duties, rights and guarantees of activities of a Member of the Seimas; constitutional amendments providing the population with the possibility to institute private proceedings at the Constitutional Court; and amendments related to the protection of the rights of the child. “We have to ensure the safety of children and make it possible for them to grow up in families. It is necessary to make sure that all institutions take necessary measures in a timely manner in order to facilitate a safe environment for children to grow,” the Speaker of the Seimas emphasised.
Mr Pranckietis was convinced that of equal importance were amendments to the Law on Civil Service implementing civil service reform, amendments to the Labour Code, improvements in funding of science and education, as well as matters related to reducing access to alcohol, providing efficient support of the state to social enterprises, reducing prices of medicinal products, and national defence issues, which were all envisaged in the work programme of the spring session.
Presenting draft legislation submitted by the Government, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis highlighted five areas to work towards attaining the set objectives: sustainable, responsible and healthy society; greater quality and efficiency of education, culture and science; greater efficiency and transparency of the public sector; sustainable and competitive economic growth, and security of the state.
Mr Skvernelis noted that the spring session would address problems related to provision of housing for low-income individuals and families, measures to reduce the prices of medicinal products, and major structural reforms in the area of education and science.
The Prime Minister also noted that efficiency and transparency of the public sector would receive particular attention. “We have already started a very ambitious reform of state-owned enterprises. Our objective is to ensure that state-owned enterprises are efficient and effective and that they generate a corresponding return to the state and its citizens. We are determined to review and evaluate the functions of all state-owned enterprises, to eliminate excessive or irrelevant functions, and, if need be, to consolidate those enterprises,” the Prime Minister said. Moreover, he observed that in order to increase the rate of return from the state-owned enterprises to society it was planned to submit to the Seimas a draft amendment to the Law on State-Owned and Municipal Enterprises thereby harmonising the legal rules related to capital income paid by state-owned and municipal enterprises and to dividends paid by state-owned enterprises. The Prime Minister highlighted that the ultimate goal behind the entire reform is accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2018. Achievement of this goal requires concerted efforts of all institutions.
The draft resolution was approved following the submission by 65 votes to 2, with 21 abstentions. The work programme of the spring session will be forwarded to Seimas committees and political groups for consideration.
The registered work programme of the spring session includes over 420 draft legislative acts (excluding accompanying draft legislation) out of which 137 were proposed by the Government, 10 by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, and approximately 200 by members/political groups of the Seimas. Moreover, the session will hear the annual State of the Nation Address by Dalia Grybauskaitė and the annual activity report by the Government.
For more information on the work programme of the spring session, please see here.
Rimas Rudaitis, Chief Specialist, Press Office, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6132, e-mail: [email protected]