Juggling dual citizenship - the next opening

Juggling dual citizenship – the next opening

Posted on December 15, 2015
The citizens of Lithuania are already accustomed to the fact that one of their country’s crucial laws, which regulates Lithuanian citizenship, instead of being a guarantee of stability, is the subject of continuous alterations. Adopted in 1991, the citizenship law was altered 10 times prior to its expiration in 2003. The next law, adopted in 2003 and effective until 2011, underwent 6 alterations. The latest law, effective from 2011, has already been altered 3 times. The Constitutional Court of the RL has already commented on the topic of dual citizenship three times. These constant...
Ongoing Human Rights Battle – “x” and “w” have the right to exist

Ongoing Human Rights Battle – “x” and “w” have the right to exist

Posted on October 22, 2015
The European Foundation of Human Rights brought another action before the Vilnius City Administrative Court concerning the right to privacy protection and respect for family life. The famous poet Adam Mickiewicz’s great-great-grandson, Roman Gorecki-Mickiewicz, asked EFHR for legal assistance in order to protect the rights of his daughter. The client’s daughter was born in Lithuania and issued a birth certificate, along with French and Lithuanian passports. In each of those documents her name was written in its original form – i.e. with “x” and “w” letters. The Lithuanian...
Parental responsibility for the actions of underage children in cyberspace

Parental responsibility for the actions of underage children in cyberspace

Posted on March 24, 2015
These days, the internet is not only a source of information. It is also a space for work or making friends and keeping in touch with friends, family and contacts. However, besides all of these benefits, the dangers the Internet brings should also be mentioned. Using the Internet one may feel anonymous, which very often leads to lack of control over one’s emotions and sometimes the outpouring of one’s anger at other people. As practice shows, this leads to slander, offending other people and incitement to hatred. Despite the fact that by monitoring cyberspace it is possible to find and...
Election Tourism in Lithuania

Election Tourism in Lithuania

Posted on March 04, 2015
In all countries, the days leading up to elections are filled with exceptional tension and stress, as all of the candidates who have made it to the last leg are determined to make it to the final hurdle and win the race. In the second part of February the Lithuanian media reported information, following the controversial changes to the constituency boundaries, concerning the upcoming municipal elections. Journalists became interested in news about mass changes to registration in different areas of the country, which according to the State Election Commission and the head of state may...
Nationality in passport entry – step by step

Nationality in passport entry – step by step

Posted on February 13, 2015
In accordance with the changes in Lithuanian passport law on January 1st 2015 there is a possibility to record one’s nationality in a passport. We have already written about this issue before – here and here. The media have recently been reporting on difficulties related to the procedure of entry itself. Therefore we have decided to clarify the proceedings. EFHR illustrates step-by-step instructions: Every person interested in adding an entry referring to nationality in a passport must, first of all, check, whether they have an entry about their nationality in the database of The...
The future of constituency boundaries in Lithuania - will international standards be taken into consideration?

The future of constituency boundaries in Lithuania – will international standards be taken into consideration?

Posted on February 06, 2015
© DELFI (A.Solomino nuotr.) When celebrating Global Elections Day on the 5th of February, the Committee On State Administration And Local Authorities (Seimo Valstybės valdymo ir savivaldybių komitetas) and the Central Electoral Commission (CEC, Vyriausioji rinkimų komisija) organized a conference entitled “Electoral geography: from the analysis of voting behaviour to planning the next elections.” During the conference, the participants could share their scientific observations in the field of electoral history, use of modern technology in voting, announcing results and the...
EFHR encourages law enforcement bodies to change their attitude towards cyber-crimes

EFHR encourages law enforcement bodies to change their attitude towards cyber-crimes

Posted on January 30, 2015
On January 29, EFHR was searching the internet and found a page, “People’s Republic of Vilnius – Виленская Народная Республика”, created on a social networking site, Facebook. Its description contained the phrase: “We demand to bring in Polish “green people” to Vilnius and carry out a referendum among the indigenous people there.” EFHR believes that such a website is against Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania which states that state territory is homogenous and indivisible into state entities....
Citizenship Act – there are many ideas concerning the change,  but isn't there something important missing?

Citizenship Act – there are many ideas concerning the change, but isn’t there something important missing?

Posted on November 26, 2014
The Citizenship Act has recently been discussed publicly at great length, especially  due to amendments on its content which were introduced by the President of Lithuania. However, from the point of view of many experts, the currently proposed amendments might be inconsistent with provisions of  the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and with the doctrine of the Constitutional Court. This is because it could be argued that the changes would favour individuals with special merits for country,  at the same time discriminating against ordinary citizens. Further, the European...
Establishment of Department of National Minorities is a chance for a better future

Establishment of Department of National Minorities is a chance for a better future

Posted on November 11, 2014
On 10th November the Strategic Planning Committee of the Government of Lithuania discussed the idea of creating a Department of National Minorities. They have decided that this government department will begin working from July 2015. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) supports this idea, especially as it is compatible with what the Council of Europe has already suggested. The Council criticized Lithuania for dissolving its Department of National Minorities in 2009 and handing over its responsibilities to ministers. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and...

The matter of the bilingual street signs almost solved

Posted on October 03, 2014
On 3rd September the District Court of the Šalčininkai Region Council (Šalčininkų rajono apylinkės teismas) imposed a penalty on the Administration Director of the Šalčininkai Region Council for failing to enforce a ruling concerning the removal of bilingual street signs from private houses. A penalty of 1880 litas was imposed on the Administration Director, J. Rybak, who came into office on 2nd June 2014. The imposed penalty at the rate of 20 litas per day has been already paid. However, all the bilingual street signs should be removed in order to enforce the ruling. The...
Facilitated traineeship possibilities in Lithuania - join in and become our trainee!

Facilitated traineeship possibilities in Lithuania – join in and become our trainee!

Posted on August 28, 2014
On the 21st July 2014, the amendments for changes to the Law regarding employment support, social and health insurance premiums, aimed at encouraging young people between the age of 16 and 29 to find jobs in their home country, were signed. The main aim of these changes is to provide help to find a traineeship offer, since until today only the students of universities with which various enterprises and organizations signed a three-sided agreement have been able to participate in  traineeships, gain professional experience and sometimes – find a job. Following these changes, every...
Original spelling of names and surnames is a problem for all Lithuanian citizens

Original spelling of names and surnames is a problem for all Lithuanian citizens

Posted on August 05, 2014
The Right to the original spelling of name and surname constitutes one of the core rights of every citizen. The possibility of proper usage of the law and respecting it should be unconditionally provided by each and every country. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) would like to remind all that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has emphasized that regulating the spelling of names and surnames poses a liability for every member country and, moreover, it is closely connected with culture, linguistic history and a sense of identity. According to the ECtHR, if similar...
President Dalia Grybauskaitė wants to protect Lithuanian culture and language, ignoring Lithuania's international obligations

President Dalia Grybauskaitė wants to protect Lithuanian culture and language, ignoring Lithuania’s international obligations

Posted on July 23, 2014
The recent events that occurred in Lithuania prove how much the country is afraid of its national minorities. The issue of spelling names and surnames in passports of citizens of the European Union still has not been solved, similarly to the issue of bilingual signs, which was removed from the draft Law on National Minorities on July 17, 2014. What is more, the draft itself was removed from the Seimas’ agenda multiple times. Further, the President of Lithuania seems intent on adding fuel to the fire. At her meeting with ambassadors of Lithuania, the President expressed her opinion on...
Disadvantageous changes to the Constitutional draft law on the State Language

Disadvantageous changes to the Constitutional draft law on the State Language

Posted on July 20, 2014
Currently, in Lithuania, the law on the State Language (Valstybinės kalbos įstatymas), adopted January 31, 1995, according to signs in the Republic of Lithuania, must be written in the state language. Inscriptions in other languages can only be displayed for tourism purposes, but in other languages their size cannot be larger than the same sign in Lithuanian. This is regulated more specifically by the resolution of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language (Valstybinė lietuvių Kalbos komisija) from the 8th November 2012, which concerns presenting public information in a non-state...
Starting from 2015 a passport will become a document that confirms national identity

Starting from 2015 a passport will become a document that confirms national identity

Posted on July 18, 2014
„Who are you?” – The answer for this question will soon be displayed on the front page of newly issued passports of citizens of The Republic of Lithuania. On 10th July of this year the Parliament accepted the amendment to the Passport Regulation (Lietuvos Respublikos paso įstatymas), which introduces the possibility to include a citizen’s nationality in their passport, following a citizen submitting a written request. Some 56 members of the parliament voted for the amendment, 11 were against, and 24 refrained from voting. The amendment does not concern Identity...
Amendments for the Bill of National Minorities accepted

Amendments for the Bill of National Minorities accepted

Posted on July 17, 2014
There is no act on national minorities in Lithuania since 2010. Discussion of the bill’s premise was listed for deliberations and cancelled at the last moment numerous times. On 17th July 2014 important decisions were taken on that matter, however, the decisions differed from the previous arrangements.  In the last sitting in the spring session, the Lithuanian Parliament [Seimas] accepted the Bill of National Minorities and crossed out the previous premise concerning establishing bilingual street signs in towns and cities where a great number of people belong to minority groups.  82...
Foreign personal names will be able to be adjusted to the original spelling

Foreign personal names will be able to be adjusted to the original spelling

Posted on July 15, 2014
On the 15th July 2014, in the 1st reading at the Seimas, two projects related to the Law on the Spelling of Surnames in the  Identity Documents of the Lithuanian Citizens were accepted. It is hoped that these will be beneficial not only for the members of national minorities urging to be able to regain the original spelling of their surnames, but also for the spouses and children of foreigners incessantly struggling with the difficulties connected with proving either their identity or a civic relationship with the other person. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) reminds all...
Bilingual street signs in the regions of Vilnius and Soleczniki - removed, in Kaunas - present for centuries

Bilingual street signs in the regions of Vilnius and Soleczniki – removed, in Kaunas – present for centuries

Posted on July 11, 2014
www.lrytas.lt According to Lithuanian law, bilingual street signs hung in the streets are unlawful, which is against international constraints accepted by Lithuania while ratifying the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The Law on the State Language (Valstybinės kalbos įstatymas), in the 17th Art., unequivocally states that, in the Republic of Lithuania, public signs shall be in the state language. Therefore, any people hanging such signs on their houses are to be financially punished, as was the case of the Šalčininkų Region Local Government Administrative...
Suggested amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public

Suggested amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public

Posted on July 03, 2014
A crucial part of the European Foundation of Human Rights’ (EFHR) activities is the monitoring of the rule of law and  legal changes in the Republic of  Lithuania. Recently, EFHR observes with concern the amendments to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public ct (lt. Visuomenės informavimo įstatymas), which suggests obligating TV broadcasters to screen the works of Lithuanian authors for the majority of the time. The introduction of such a rule would undeniably support national art and positively influence the development of Lithuanian art. However, it also entails a...
Cyber crimes give rise to criminal liability

Cyber crimes give rise to criminal liability

Posted on June 01, 2014
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), with great pleasure, encounters an increasingly serious approach towards cyber-crime by the institutions and courts of the Republic of Lithuania. This positively complements the EFHR campaign that began a few years ago and is aimed at reducing the sense of impunity on the part of those violating the dignity of others via the Internet. The punishment of a 20-year-old, who in August 2010 hacked a web page of Wladyslaw Syrokomli Secondary School in Vilnius, could serve as an example. The Hacker, a resident of Kaunas, was convicted on the basis...
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