From the Legal Bureau to the European Law Department
- Lithuania lodged an official application for membership in the European Union on 8 December 1995.
- The Ministry of European Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania was established in December 1996 while implementing the provisions of the Europe Agreement.
- By Resolution No. 156 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania established the Legal Bureau under the Ministry of European Affairs. The most important goal laid down in the constituent document of the Legal Bureau is the harmonisation of national draft legislation with acquis communautaire.
- The Minister of European Affairs Mrs. Laima Andrikienė appointed Professor Vilenas Vadapalas as director of the Legal Bureau.
- The Government of the Republic of Lithuania established the Governmental Commission of European Integration on 3 March 1997.
- By Resolution No. 435 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania amended the Rules of Procedure, setting down the requirement that a draft law must be appraised by the Legal Bureau before its submission to the Government for approval on 8 May 1997.
- The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania establishes the Committee of the European Affairs on 1 July 1997.
- Article 141 pf the Statute of the Seimas, which provided that a draft law should be accompanied by a legal opinion of the Legal Bureau concerning the compatibility of the draft law with the EU law, entered into force on 1 August 1997.
- With the adoption of the decision to dissolve the Ministry of European Affairs and to establish the European Committee under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, aspiring to secure Lithuanian’s quicker integration into the EU, reorganised the office under the Ministry of European Affairs on 5 June 1998. The Legal Bureau became the Governmental institution – the European Law Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
- Together with other five acceding states Lithuania was officially invited to start negotiations with the EU during the European Council meeting on 10-11 December 1999.
- The Government of the Republic of Lithuania formed a delegation to negotiate for the membership in the EU on 23 December 1999.
- Director General of the European Law Department under the Government was appointed to the coordination group of the delegation for negotiations.
- Order No. 19 issued by Director General of the European Law Department laid down “The Methodology for Harmonisation of National Legal Acts with EU law” on 24 December 1999.
- By Resolution No. 1319 of 2 November 2000 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania endorsed the statute of the European Law Department. Functions of the institution were extended: the Department was delegated with a task of evaluating the enacted legal acts adopted by the Ministers, Governmental institutions and other public institutions as well as decisions taken by the Board of the Bank of Lithuania’s EU Accession Programme (National Programme for the Adoption of ACQUIS) and drafts matching with the EU law provisions.
- By Resolution No. 1417 on 10 September 2002 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania over again extended the functions of the European Law Department by amending its statute. From now on, the Department was additionally assigned analysis of EU law, its use and practice interpretation within EU institutions; notification of Lithuanian public institutions about inadequacy of legal acts in force with EU law use and practice interpretation; and provision of comments and proposals to official inquires of EU institutions made by Lithuanian public institutions regarding the correspondence of Lithuanian law acts with EU law requirements.
- By Order No. 106K issued by Director General of the European Law Department on 13 December 2002 “Recommendations for Introducing EU Legal Act References to the National Law and Other Legal Acts” were adopted.
- By Order No. 1180 issued by Director General of the European Law Department on 18 September 2003 “Methodology for Revision of Lithuanian Law Acts in Order to Abolish Provision Duplicating Provisions of EC Regulations and Ensure Direct Applicability of EC Regulations” was adopted.
- The Government of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the Resolution concerning the coordination of EU matters on 9 January 2004, envisaging thereof a new role of the European Law Department in a new model of coordination of EU matters.
- Lithuania became the EU Member State in 1 May 2004. Since this is related to the new opportunities provided by the membership within the EU, the Government of Lithuania assigned the European Law Department the preparation of positions and representation of the Republic of Lithuania in the following cases: when the European Commission evaluates compliance of Lithuanian legal acts with requirements of EU law, in cases pending before the Court of Justice of the European Communities and other EU institutions, providing proposals for execution of adopted decisions, assisting in preparing Lithuanian positions for EU draft laws, and rendering conclusions for involved institutions of Lithuania regarding the legal basis of such projects.
- When performing the reorganisation of EU matters coordination system, the Government by Resolution No. 739 of 14 June 2004 reorganised the European Law Department under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania into the European Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.
- By Resolution No. 798 on 25 June 2004 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania confirmed the statute of the European Law Department under the Ministry of Justice.
- The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Constitution Act concerning Lithuania’s membership with the European Union on 13 July 2004. Representatives of the European Law Department actively participated in its drafting.
- EU documents are registered and processed, the work of preparation and coordination of the positions of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the work of transposition and implementation of EU law and pre-trial procedures of the EU law infringement are performed using the information system designed for mentioned procedures (Information system for Lithuania’s membership in the EU - LINESIS).
- By Resolution No. 1388 on 3 November 2004 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for the first time decided to submit observations to the Court of Justice in the Case C-273/04, Republic of Poland v Council of the European Union. The European Law Department submitted written observations to the Court of Justice on 16 May 2005.
- The Government of the Republic of Lithuania enacted the new edition of Resolution No. 21 On Coordination of European Union Matters on 29 April 2005. According to the Resolution, The European Law Department participates in the coordination of Lithuanian positions to the proposal to enact EU legal act, also, participates in the process concerning Lithuanian position with regard to infringement proceedings, which was coordinated by the Chancellery of the Government.
- Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania No. 1064 on 9 September 2009 amended the rules on the Coordination of European Union Affairs. The coordination of the transposition of EU law (the acquis communautaire) into national law and the implementation thereof as well as coordination of the pre-trial procedure of the EU law infringement from the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania were delegated to the European Law Department.