Ideals of the May 3 Constitution still significant today

May 3 Constitution
Opening of a joint debate of Lithuania and Poland on the topic of the Constitution of May 3, 1791. @ Office of the Republic of Lithuania Robertas Dičkus

On May 2 the President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Dainius Žalimas, President of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, and Julia Przylebska, President of the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland and opened a joint debate of Lithuania and Poland on the topic of “The Constitution of May 3, 1791, its significance and lessons to Europe” press service of the Presidential palace informed.

The debate was held on the eve of the 228th anniversary of the Constitution of May 3. When addressing the participants of the debate, the President emphasized that the historic Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the first written Constitution in Europe was our source of pride.

According to the President, this document became a part of the Lithuanian and Polish constitutional tradition and laid down the principle of constitutional supremacy as well as fundamental democratic principles of the rule of law.

Despite the complex situation of the time, initial reforms were aimed at progress and modernization of the state, helping resist external impact and preserve independence. Looking back we can already see the beginning of our road towards the future revival of our statehood.

According to the President, such reforms even if they were suppressed did not go without a trace. The Constitution of May 3 gave the people of Lithuania and Poland as well as the whole of Europe a unique ideological experience and values without which no state or society can exist. Therefore ideals of this political document are still relevant today.

The President also highlighted that it is very important to remember this shared historic and value-based connection between Lithuania and Poland which was reflected in the cooperation agreement between Lithuania and Poland signed 25 years ago.

The debate was attended by members of the Parliaments of Lithuania and Poland, diplomats, lawyers, and members of academia.

The initiative to hold a joint event between Lithuania and Poland on the Constitution of May 3 at the highest level emerged from the joint declaration on this important document that unites the two countries adopted by the two presidents a year ago.

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