Linkevičius: The rule of law is an important part of democratic societies and our European identity
On 24 October, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius welcomed participants of the International Conference of Constitutional Courts in Vilnius. The conference, which is financed under the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is dedicated to the enhancing of the role of Constitutional Courts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in ensuring in ensuring the rule of law.
“The rule of law has always been among Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities, both during the periods of Lithuania’s OSCE chairmanship and non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, and in implementing Lithuania’s development cooperation policy. This principle is an important part of democratic societies and our European identity,” said Linkevičius.
According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Lithuania has already come a long way and gained valuable experience in the implementation of judicial reforms to improve the activities of courts. Lithuania aims to share its best practices with and to provide expert aid to countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood.
“I am glad that this year the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has also joined projects aimed at sharing Lithuania’s experience and I hope that this initiative will continue,” said Linkevičius.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted that the success of Lithuania’s European integration and the experience of mobilizing Lithuania’s society, consistently aiming to reach the goal of European integration, could help motivate the people of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to further pursue all the necessary reforms.
“Your country is continuing along the challenging path to European integration and reforms, despite of serious difficulties, which were caused to your countries by serious violations of international law: Ukraine has seen the annexation of Crimea and of part of its eastern territory, Georgia has experienced the occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and Moldova still has a foreign army in Transnistria against its will,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
According to Linkevičius, not only legal institutions, but also ordinary citizens cannot remain neutral, when they witness such violations of international law and dangerous ambitions to redraw the map of Europe.
This conference is part of the project “Assistance to the Constitutional Courts of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine in Ensuring the Implementation and Protection of the Principles of the Rule of Law”, which is financed under the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference was organized by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania. The conference brought together representatives of these countries, who discuss problems arising to constitutional justice institutions, Lithuania’s relevant experience is also presented.