Annual activity report of the Member of the Seimas Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius for the year 2021
1. Partnership Bill
- On 25 May, 2021 Seimas did not approve the draft law on Partnership – 63 members of the Seimas voted in favor, 58 against and 7 abstained. Although the proposal to regulate the legal relations of unmarried couples was supported by more members of the Seimas than ever before, two votes were missing for the desired result.
- This particular draft law on gender-neutral partnership is rooted in the nature of a compromise. It does not detail or change the definition of the family, nor does it regulate the relationship of registered partners with common minor children. On the other hand, the Partnership bill seeks to regulate not only economic, but also emotional relations between partners. It is utterly important for the Partnership bill to be dignified – that the legal institution of partnership is proposed to grant civil status to the partners, i. y. to treat these people as relatives in law.
- Currently, the Partnership bill has been returned to the initiators for improvement. We are discussing the updated draft law with the Seimas’ factions, individual politicians and other interested parties. When the necessary political support has been secured, it will be submitted to the Seimas for consideration one more time.
- More information about the Partnership bill: https://bit.ly/3CTvUEI.
2. Activities of the Human Rights Committee
- Involvement in migration crisis management. The Human Rights Committee held 10 hearings on the management of the migration crisis, visited permanent settlement camps for migrants (in Pabradė, Rukla, Kybartai, Medininkai and Naujininkai), and made suggestions and recommendations to the ministries and different authorities. Even though the progress has been made in meeting the basic humanitarian needs of migrants in Lithuania, the situation at the border remains extremely difficult.
- Promotion of gender equality. The Human Rights Committee has been critical of attempts to abolish the National Program for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. On behalf of the Committee, all ministries were asked to identify specific measures that they were planning to take to promote gender equality in the progress programs overseen by the ministries. The information received revealed a lack of a systematic qualitative approach to gender equality and an understanding of the importance of horizontal gender integration. The Committee called on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Protection to update the National Program for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and to assess that horizontal gender integration in strategic equality in the field of gender equality is not in conflict with, but complementary to, it.
- Promotion of the inclusion of people with disabilities. The Human Rights Committee has addressed the issue of possible discrimination against Paralympic participants. As a result, for the Paralympic medalists who have already won medals in Tokyo, the prize has been doubled, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports has committed to reviewing and systematically evaluating the size of all state prizes for athletes, structuring them according to objective criteria.
- You can find more information about the activities of the Human Rights Committee here: https://bit.ly/3cPmorF.
- Amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens. In July, the Seimas adopted amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens, which extended the “border procedure” for illegal migrants to 6 months. In the initial version of the draft, the actual detention of migrants was not time-limited, but the Seimas supported my proposal to set such a time limit. As the 6-month deadline is coming to an end, the Ministry of the Interior is proposing additional amendments to the law that will assess the situation of each migrant on a case-by-case basis. A limited appeals procedure will also be re-established, which will ensure judicial review of administrative decisions.
- Draft resolution on the recognition of the Romuva religious community. On June 8 this year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, by not granting recognition to the ancient Baltic religious community Romuva, discriminated against this organization, thus violating freedom of thought, religion and conscience (Article 9 of the Convention) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13 of the Convention). In the implementation of the Strasbourg court ruling, we registered a draft resolution granting Romuva the status of a state-recognized religious community.
- Amendments to the Employment Law. Seimas approved the amendments to the Employment Law initiated by me, which abolish the discriminatory restriction on voluntary practice for persons over 29 years of age.
- You can find out about other legislative initiatives of mine here: https://bit.ly/3DUjpKl.
4. Other activities
- I have entered into a dialogue with the National Blood Center to lift the discriminatory ban on homosexual men becoming blood donors.
- I held meetings with the communities of Naujamiestis and Naujininkai to help address their concerns in the Parliament.
- We have proposed an additional € 2.2 million in the 2022 state budget for the treatment and reduction of addiction. This amount would be the largest budget allocation for the treatment and prevention of addictions in the history of our national independence.
- Interim reports for my activity for 100 days, 200 days, and 365 days can be found here, here and here.
- Total submitted draft laws – 35.
- Total times voted – 1,640.
- 87% of plenary sittings attended.
- More than 55 interviews.
- 75 meetings with interested parties.
- Participation in more than 72 events.