The Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday allowed EU citizens who permanently reside in Lithuania to become members of political parties. However, non-Lithuanian citizens will not be allowed to found political parties.
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The amendments to the Law on Political Parties were backed by 70 Lithuanian lawmakers, 12 voted against and 20 abstained. If signed by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, the amendments will come into force as of next year.

The amendments were drafted by the Ministry of Justice after Lithuania received an official warning from the European Commission that the ban for EU citizens to join political parties was in violation of EU law.

The Commission said that non-Lithuanian citizens who want to run as candidates in local and European Parliament elections are disadvantaged.

A permanent resident in Lithuania is an EU citizen if he/she has the right to live in Lithuania and has permanently lived in the country for at least five years.

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