New law could open up way for European political parties to operate in Lithuania

DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Lithuania’s parliament is considering a new bill, which would allow European political parties and foundations to operate in Lithuania.

Under the European political parties‘ and European political foundations‘ bill prepared by the Ministry of Justice and with amendments to the Law on political parties, such entities would be allowed to operate in Lithuania and receive funding from the EU general budget.

The Justice Minister’s adviser on Public Affairs Sergei Tichomirov said, with Seimas approval of the Ministry‘s proposals, European parties would be allowed to establish their headquarters in Lithuania. However, the political parties would not be able to participate in the national and European Parliament elections in Lithuania.

“Political culture in Europe is much higher than in Lithuania. Our party system, to put it mildly, is very crooked – undeveloped. Majority of political scientists agree to that. So a lot will depend on how will the European political parties, the funds in Lithuania will look like in practice,” said political scientist Bernaras Ivanovas.

Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis said that current Lithuanian laws do not regulate such legal forms as European political party or European political foundation, although they are not new to the country’s political life.

Currently, there are 13 registered European political parties, all of them registered in Belgium or the Netherlands.

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