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Lithuanian Parliamentary Mirror. Newsletter. 2012 May No 4(4)

IN THE ISSUE

·  The Seimas will decide on the ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union

·  The Agreement between the Lithuanian Parliamentary Parties Regarding the Defence Policy for 2012–2016

·   The National Energy Independence Strategy presented to the Seimas

·   Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė: Europe Suffers not Only Financial but Also Value Crisis

·  Seimas Commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Sacrifice of Romas Kalanta and the Youth Resistance 

 

TOPICALITIES

WWW.PIRMININKAVIMAS.LRS.LT – A NEW SEIMAS WEBSITE OF THE LITHUANIAN PRESIDENCY OF THE EU COUNCIL

                                                                                                                             

The second half of 2013 with Lithuania holding the Presidency of the EU Council for the first time is drawing closer each day. Although many significant events of international importance have been held after the re-establishment of Independence, the country has not yet witnessed such a scale of work which will involve all the Lithuanian authorities and a lot of people that will be engaged in many tasks requiring special skills. This will provide an opportunity for presenting Lithuania to European partners as well as other countries. The Lithuanian Presidency will also provide great opportunities for its business, artists and cultural activists.


Preparations involving increasingly specific and visible activities are now under way. As early as autumn 2011, the Office of the Seimas, taking into account political-level decisions, set up a coordination working group and approved the Guidelines of the Preparation of the Office of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania for Involvement in the Process of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council on 1 July – 31 December 2013. It also draws on the valuable experience of former Presidencies.


A special Seimas website – the first joint project by several structural divisions of the Seimas – was symbolically launched on Europe Day, 9 May. The website provides information on the Presidency of the EU Council and the significance the parliamentary dimension gained following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009. It will also publish all the documents related to the Seimas activities and the Lithuanian Presidency, current affairs, notices for producers of public information, and other information. English and French versions of the website will be launched in the near future. You are kindly invited to visit the website http://www.pirmininkavimas.lrs.lt/

 

Public Relations Unit (tel. +370 5 239 6508) 

 

 

PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS

 

 

 

 

Arvydas Sekmokas

 

 

THE NATIONAL ENERGY INDEPENDENCE STRATEGY PRESENTED TO THE SEIMAS

 

Mr Arvydas Sekmokas, Minister of Energy, presented the Draft Resolution on Approval of the National Energy Independence Strategy (No. XIP-3260 (2)) to the Seimas for consideration. The draft document seeks to sets out the main objectives and directions of the Lithuanian energy policy over the period until 2020 as well as provides guidelines for the development of the energy sector over the period until 2030 and 2050.

 

THE SEIMAS ADOPTED THE LAW ON PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY

 

The Seimas adopted the Law on Bankruptcy of Natural Persons, which enables individuals to declare personal bankruptcy. A total of 95 MPs voted in favour of the Law with 1 vote against and 3 abstentions. The aim behind the law is to enable the restoration of solvency of honest natural persons, farmers and other individuals engaged in individual activity, by ensuring the satisfaction of creditor claims under the procedures foreseen in the law in order to strike the right balance between the interests of the debtors and their creditors.

 

 

THE SEIMAS WILL DECIDE ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY ON STABILITY, COORDINATION AND GOVERNANCE IN THE ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION

Audronius Ažubalis

Mr Audronius Ažubalis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented to the Seimas the draft law on the ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. The Treaty was signed by the EU member states, with the exception of the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic, in Brussels on 2 March 2012. The President of the Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė signed the Treaty on behalf of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENTARY FORUM FOR DEMOCRACY ORGANISED AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AT THE SEIMAS

 

The 3rd of May is the Constitution Day in Lithuania and Poland, which marks the declaration on 3 May 1791 of the Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. On the occasion of this symbolic day, the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy organised an international conference devoted to the perspectives of democratisation in Eastern European countries. The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy adopted the Declaration The Role of Parliamentarians in Strengthening Democracies in Eastern Europe: on the Road to Democratic Societies.  

 

 

US SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN HOPES THAT LITHUANIAN PARTIES WILL REACH AN ACCORD ON ADEQUATE DEFENCE SPENDING

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 May 2012

 

Mrs Irena Degutienė, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Senator John McCain, Member of United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and former Republican presidential candidate, on his visit to Vilnius. The focus of the meeting was on bilateral Lithuanian–US relations, regional security, and an initiative to sign an accord among the Lithuanian parliamentary political parties on adequate defence spending. 

 

 

 

SEIMAS PRESENTS THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES REGARDING THE DEFENCE POLICY FOR 2012–2016

 

 

Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs Emanuelis Zingeris presents the Agreement to the media and the diplomatic corps of NATO member states

 

On 9 May 2012, Mr Emanuelis Zingeris, Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs, presented the Agreement between the Lithuanian Parliamentary Parties Regarding the Defence Policy for 2012–2016 signed by the leaders of the parties, to the media and the diplomatic corps of NATO member states, accredited in Vilnius.

When reporting on the Agreement, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs highlighted that in the Agreement brought about by the joint initiative of the Lithuanian parliamentary parties representing both the ruling majority and the opposition, the country’s political forces agreed on the most important Lithuanian defence policies, participation in multinational operations, and allocation of necessary financial resources for the national defence system. Acknowledging that the implementation of long-term plans for the development of the national defence system, successful transformation of the armed forces, and increased funding for the national defence system are only possible provided there is agreement between the parliamentary parties that rests on public support, the parliamentary parties committed themselves to gradually increase annual allocations for the national defence system and pursue a long-term goal of 2% of GDP to be allocated to national defence.

 

 

Gjorge Ivanov and Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius (on the right)

 

George Abela

PRESIDENTS OF FYR MACEDONIA AND MALTA VISIT LITHUANIA

On 30 April – 1 May 2012, Mr Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and his delegation visited Lithuania. The President met with Mr Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, on 30 April 2012.

 

 

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On 30 May 2012, the Deputy Speakers of the Seimas Mr Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius and Mrs Virginija Baltraitienė met with the President of the Republic of Malta, Mr George Abela

EU COMMISSIONER FOR MARITIME AFFAIRS AND FISHERIES, MS MARIA DAMANAKI: THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY REFORM AIMS AT SUSTAINABILITY, SUSTAINABLE FISHING AND SAFE FOOD TO CONSUMERS

A meeting with the EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ms Maria Damanaki, was held at the Seimas on 9 May 2012. Having expressed her satisfaction with the achievements of Lithuanian economy (second largest growth in the European Union, with fastest decreasing unemployment rate), Ms. Damanaki noted that draft regulations regarding the Common Fisheries Policy reform worked out by the European Commission are being  currently discussed at the Council of the European Union. The goal of the draft regulations is sustainability, sustainable fishing and adequate supply of safe food.
Chairman of the Seimas Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Edmundas Pupinis, thanked the EU Commissioner for her attention to promoting sustainable fishing, however, he underlined that  implementation of sustainable fishery system should not be too hasty. The new proposal on the Common Fisheries Policy does not envisage any aid in case of a temporary interruption of fishing activities which may have negative social and economic consequences.

SPEAKER OF THE SEIMAS TOGETHER WITH SPEAKERS OF LATVIAN AND ESTONIAN PARLIAMENTS OPENED THE BALTIC ASSEMBLY PARLIAMENTARY SEMINAR

 

Speaker of the Seimas, Mrs Irena Degutienė, together with the Speaker of the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia, Ms Ene Ergma, and Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, Ms Solvita Aboltina, participated at the Parliamentary Seminar of the Baltic Assembly entitled “A Baltic voice in the European Union: strong enough?” held in Palanga on 11 May 2012. Speaker of the Seimas noted that the beginning of the European Union membership for our states meant the attained strategic goal and finalisation of one stage of development. However, quite a number of new challenges and questions emerged at that stage.

 

SPEAKER OF THE SEIMAS: EUROPE SUFFERS NOT ONLY FINANCIAL BUT ALSO VALUE CRISIS

During her official visit to Hungary on 21-22 May 2012, Mrs Irena Degutienė, Speaker of the Seimas, discussed with Mr László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly, the possibilities of smaller EU Member States to strengthen their role in EU institutions, the value-based foundations of European integration, and future prospects of EU development.

 

EVENTS

SEIMAS COMMEMORATED THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SACRIFICE OF ROMAS KALANTA AND THE YOUTH RESISTANCE

On 11–23 May 2012, commemorative events were organised in Lithuania to mark the 40th anniversary of the sacrifice of Romas Kalanta and the youth resistance. Romas Kalanta, the herald of freedom, sacrificed his life in the name of Lithuania's independence. He realised that the totalitarian regime was murderous and summoned the courage to shed his life thus contributing to Lithuania's liberation. Kalanta self-immolated on 14 May 1972 in Kaunas city garden, near the musical theatre. According to official data, he died at 4 a.m. on 15 May 1972.

 

THE BASIS FOR THE SURVIVAL AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR NATION IS THE UNITY OF LITHUANIANS LIVING HERE AND ABROAD

On the 15-18 May 2012, the Commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian World Community convened for its last meeting in the Seimas of 2008-2012. Having overviewed the tendencies of the past few years in Lithuania and the world, the Commission highlighted the importance of ties between Lithuania and its emigrants and encouraged all public institutions to create an efficient model of mobilising the potential of fellow-Lithuanians dispersed across the globe.

Public Relations Unit

Arūras Zeleniakas, Head (+370 5) 239 6666; [email protected]

Jolanta Anskaitienė, Editor, Chief Expert (+370 5) 239 6508; [email protected]

Neringa Motiejūnaitė, Designer (+370 5) 239 6204; [email protected]

Olga Posaškova, Photographer (+370 5) 239 6205; olga.posaskova@lrs.lt

 

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