The controversial Lithuanian Law on Protection of Minors – Lithuanian Parliament v. European Parliament

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Pranešk apie klaidą

MP Mantas AdomenasThe Lithuanian Parliament on 10 November adopted a resolution signed by 55 MPs and initiated by the Conservative MP Mantas Adomenas calling to overrule the European Parliaments resolution calling upon Lithuania to for revise the Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information legislation.  The Adomenas’ resolution was passed by 52 MPs voting in favour, nine against an six abstained.

The resolution is calling on the cabinet by 17 November to file a suit the Court of Justice of the European Communities over legitimacy of the European Parliament’s resolution and demand it should be invalidated. The Adomenas’ “counter-resolution” dismisses the European Parliament resolution as an “unlawful action caused by lack of competences” and “may serve as a dangerous precedent” if not invalidated.

According to the draft resolution, the Lithuanian parliament “regrets and expresses deep concern over the European Parliament’s attempt to question legitimacy of a law that was adopted by majority vote of a democratically-elected members of parliament, although, the issue may not be within the competences of the European Parliament.”

Member of Parliament of the Labour Party Mecislovas Zasciurinskas said during discussions at the Parliament: “What do you think – is this a one-time-only attempt to interfere with the affairs of a sovereign state with regards to the particular group we are addressing here, or is this the beginning of an absolute dictate? Yes, some 20 years back we coined this effect Moscow’s grip – the tendency to mettle with everybody’s business and always under the veil of Moscow’s unanimous stance”.

Conservative Ceslovas Stankevicius said “We should certainly amend that law, fix the mistakes that underlie the ensuing interpretations. However this is in the competence of the Seimas, and the EP has no place getting mixed up in this, because Lithuania violated no act of law. The bill isn’t in force yet, and is being interpreted because of the ambiguous nature of some of the concepts it involves. So this interpretation, in my opinion, is unreasonable, because Lithuania is a country that respects the supremacy of the law and if the law is faulty, it has to mend whatever needs mending on its own”.

The Social Democrat Ausrine Marija Pavilionene, an MP who did not support the resolution said  “The initiator of this resolution is consciously misguiding MPs and the Lithuanian public by urging the government to address the European Court of Justice, when in fact there are no legal grounds for doing so, as an EP resolution is not a legally binding act of law for Lithuania. It is also not mandatory for Lithuania to adhere to the opinion of the European Union (EU) Agency for Fundamental Rights” Social Democrat Ausrine Marija Pavilionene said.

Her party colleague MP Julius Sabatauskas called the resolution useless “There is no doubt that the Court of Justice wouldn’t even so much as agree to consider the suit, as the resolution is not a legal document that somehow binds an EU member state. If we want to state our opinion on the EP resolution, then we must dress it in a political fashion instead of obliging the government to address the European Court of Justice”.

Human rights watch organizations in Lithuanian and abroad severely criticizes requirements of the law on negative developmental effects of ‘publicly accessible information that propagates homosexual relations’ and ‘undermine family values.’

After adoption of the law, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite set up a task force to improve the legislation. The parliament has approved for discussion a set of amendments that envisage clearing the law of provisions that ban minors’ access to information that “propagates” for homosexual relations.

MP Mantas Adomenas was absent; he is currently on a trip to Georgia

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