National Security Commission to coordinate institutional activity in national security

Arnoldas Pikžirnis

A government National Security Commission is being created, it will be responsible for the coordination of institutional activity in terms of national security, as well as reacting to potential crises. There are plans for this commission to replace the Crisis Management Committee in the future.

The current Crisis Management Committee gathers only during a crisis situation. It does not cover the entire spectrum of national security questions, threat prevention and its composition does not include representatives for the president or intelligence agencies.

“Currently we have the Crisis Committee, which gather in extreme circumstances, it has not occurred during this term in office. With the commission we expand its functions, including questions of resilience and preparedness. This means that we would have periodical meetings, not just gathering to resolve a specific issues. In essence its primary function is to meet and resolve the problems which perhaps do not draw adequate attention in daily activities and at the same time it could make decisions that need quick reaction during crisis. It is a discussion between institutions on topics that could have an impact, from healthcare to the very acute questions of national security. There would also be meetings on other topics such as education and culture,” said Arnoldas Pikžirnis, the Prime Minister’s advisor.

The commission would be formed from representatives from the ministries of economy, national security, foreign affairs and interior affairs, as well as a representative for the president, the head of the Security Department, the director of the Second Intelligence Service Department of the Ministry of National Defence and the government chancellor. The commission would be chaired by the Prime Minister.

“We have had crises in the past where ministries and various institutions clashed in public, who is responsible for what and present differing versions. This is not an adequate example of crisis management. Speaking of relations with the National Defence Council, it is very clear. It is the tool for implementing the decisions of the National Defence Council in everyday activities. In essence the National Defence Council is formed from the highest officials of state, this is a work model where everyday problems are dealt with. Often national security questions arise sectors that seemingly have nothing to do with it, be it agriculture or the environment, this commission is to raise those questions, monitor preparedness and seek solutions,” Pikžirnis stated.

The commission will also incorporate the heads of both the countries intelligence services. The Minister of National Defence explains that this decision was made to allow the commission to spot potential crises ahead of time and manage them better.

“It is a commission which would constantly evaluate the security situation based on relevant sources and would aim to combat and resolve not just the consequences, but also the causes, taking preventative action. The commission would decide, make rapid decisions under crisis situations. Faster activation of certain forces, for example if professional firemen are not enough during fires, the military could be called upon, things like that,” stated Raimundas Karoblis.

It is planned for the National Security Commission to gather for its first meetings in August.

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