On the October 29th of 2018 the international conference “Legal regulation for national minorities – theory and practice” took place at the Vilnius City Municipality. The conference started with the opening remarks from Remigijus Šimašius, the Mayor of Vilnius.
During the conference, 9 speakers delivered reports on these topics: Rights of national minorities in Lithuanian legal acts, Drafting of national legislation on minority rights, The UN Special Rapporteur on Minority issues, Rights of national minorities: the aspects of integration and identity protection, Original name spelling in the recent case-law of the international courts, Gerrymandering issues in Lithuanian perspective, Minority rights and the self-responsibilization of national minorities, etc. Reports were presented in Lithuanian and English languages and simultaneous interpretation was provided. All presentations, as well as translations in Lithuanian, Russian and Polish languages, will be published on EFHR website.
The reports was presented by the following speakers: Ewelina Dobrowolska, lawyer of the European Foundation of Human Rights; Dr Ljubica Djordjevic, European Centre for Minority Issues; dr. Fernand De Varennes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues; Dr. Vida Montvydaitė, the National Minorities Department; Anton Thomsen, Political Adviser of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities; Aleksander Radczenko, legal consultant, blogger, a Board member of the Polish Discussion Club; Dr Katarzyna Miksza, associate professor at the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius; Karolis Dambrauskas, PhD student and junior researcher at the Institute for Ethnic Studies of Lithuanian Social Research Centre and Dr Łukasz Wardyn, expert in minority rights.
After the presentations, a discussion took place during which the participants, along with the speakers, talked over the situation of national minority rights in Lithuania and shared their experience. Even though the question whether Lithuania needs the law on national minorities or amendments of other legal acts was not answer, reports that were presented during the conference allowed to reveal the guidelines of Lithuania’s international commitments in this field that should be used to improve national regulation.
EFHR is grateful for the time and effort participants took to share their experience and knowledge with everyone in the conference.