Speaker of the Seimas: ‘When celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Constitution, we also celebrate the will of a free society expressed in a referendum.’
Press release, 25 October 2022
On behalf of the Seimas and on her own behalf, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, congratulates the people of Lithuania on the 30th anniversary of the Constitution. According to the Speaker, the Constitution is a particular piece of legislation and, at the same time, a unique document in the history of Lithuanian law not only because of its exceptional legal power and not only because it is the longest-lasting Constitution of the Lithuanian State, but also because of the procedure of its adoption.
‘This was the first and the only Constitution of Lithuania enacted by a referendum. It is the free choice of the Nation, as the sole bearer of sovereignty that gives our Constitution unconditional legitimacy. Rather than resulting from law, our current Constitution results from the political will of the Nation. Three decades ago, our people made this historic choice for the sake of their homeland, their children and families, for the sake of the present and the future. They gave us a lesson of reconciliation and solidarity,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen underscored.
Recalling the history, the Speaker of the Seimas said that 30 years ago, when adopting the Constitution, not only the experience of foreign countries, but also domestic legal, cultural and historical traditions were taken into consideration. Particular account was made of the first permanent Constitution of the State of Lithuania of 1922 that would mark its centenary on 1 August 2023. But for the Constitution of 1922, the Constitution of 1992 would not have been possible.
‘The Constitution of 1922 was too short-lived and there was not enough time for the constitutional values enshrined therein, such as the rule of law, democracy and human rights, to become part of social life. However, they became the foundation for building a new Lithuania that was reborn on the historic day of 11 March 1990. Lithuania today is a strong and democratic state that recognises the individuals, their rights and freedoms as the supreme constitutional value!’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen said while expressing her conviction.
Representatives of political parties, social movements and lawyers actively participated in drafting the current Constitution. Their positions have not always coincided. However, their will to find a compromise, their wisdom and responsibility for their country have won and their efforts translated into constitutional sustainability lasting for more than a generation.
‘The Constitution is the basis for the development of the Lithuanian law and the legal framework. Clear and direct instructions of the Constitution regulate the key affairs of the state and concurrently provide sufficient freedom for flexible policy-making and effective management decision-making. It is vital for all political forces, society and every citizen of Lithuania to feel and understand not only the letter but also the spirit of the Constitution and abide by them. We are well aware of our current challenges and difficulties. However, we will overcome them step by step on the basis of the fundamental principles and values enshrined in the Constitution. ‘Happy Constitution Day, Lithuania!’ Ms Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen said in her congratulatory address.
Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson for Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel.+ 370 5 239 6030, mob. + 370 698 42071, e-mail: [email protected], www.lrs.lt