Government watch. On draft amendments to the Interim Law on the Acquisition of Agricultural Land in Lithuania

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute has analyzed draft amendments to Interim Law No. XI-1314 on the acquisition of agricultural land in Lithuania and submitted its conclusions and recommendations to decision-making institutions.

LFMI concludes that the goals and essence of the proposed amendments contradict fundamental constitutional provisions. The Lithuanian Constitution states that the Lithuanian economy is based on private property rights and individual economic freedom and initiative. The Constitution indicates items which belong to the state by the right of ownership and cannot belong to private persons. Agricultural land is not listed among those items, therefore it can be concluded that the management and use of agricultural land is based on the principles of private ownership and individual economic freedom and initiative.

The bill states that agricultural land is a national asset. This is a misleading concept. In addition, the bill stipulates discriminatory criteria for social groups who can purchase agricultural land.

LFMI urges decision makers to review the bill and eliminate provisions which contradict the Constitution and restrict fundamental freedoms and rights.