Submitted by the Justice Ministry, the proposal to allow European Union (EU) citizens who are permanent residents of Lithuania to join local parties was objected by 36 of Lithuania's 141 parliamentarians, while 19 were in support and 20 abstained. The bill was sent back for improvement.
The bill was drafted in response to a warning from the EC about a possible violation contained in the provision allowing only Lithuanian citizens to establish and be members in political parties.
Brussels asked Lithuania whether the regulation was in line with the Community's standards that allow European Union citizens run for the European Parliament and municipal councils.
Meanwhile Lithuanian laws envisage that political parties in the country may only be founded by citizens of Lithuania over the age of 18 who can also be members of the parties.
Eligible candidates for Lithuanian members of the European Parliament include Lithuanian citizens or citizens of other EU member-states over the age of 21 on the day of the election, provided that they do not run for the EP in any other EU member-state.
Candidates for municipal councils can be permanent residents of the municipality over 20 years old. Eligible candidates may include citizens of other countries who are permanent residents of Lithuania.