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Deputy Parliament Speaker Algirdas Sysas of the Social Democratic Party agrees with the idea that foreigners who permanently reside in Lithuania should be allowed to become members of political parties.
Seimas of Lithuania
Seimas of Lithuania
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"We live in the European community, in one family, we have common Parliament and together decide common issues," Sysas told the Žinių Radijas radio on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Seimas of Lithuania discussed amendments to the law which would enable citizens of the European Union who permanently reside in Lithuania to become members of registered political parties.

The Lithuanian parliament gave its initial backing to the proposed amendments to the Law on Political Parties. Thirty-eight lawmakers voted in favour, 9 voted against and 20 abstained. The amendments will now go to parliamentary committees for further consideration.

Put before the Seimas by the Cabinet, the amendments would allow EU citizens to become party members but not their founders.

Lithuania had been informed by the European Commission that legislation limiting the rights of EU citizens who permanently reside in Lithuania to participate in activities of political parties contradicts the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

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