Speaker of the Seimas Česlovas Juršėnas: “We can forget Polish autonomy in Lithuania”


3 July 2008


According to Speaker of the Seimas Česlovas Juršėnas, Polish autonomy in Lithuania is a history. “We can forget it,” said the Speaker of the Seimas while opening the international conference “The Epoch of Turning-points 1918–2008” in Warsaw together with Vice-marshal of the Polish Sejm Jarosław Kalinowski. In the opinion of Mr. Juršėnas, a new situation has formed: “we are members of the European Union and NATO”.


Česlovas Juršėnas highlighted that “we have come to this international conference to talk openly, thus we have to discuss all painful issues”. The Head of the Lithuanian Parliament reminded that in 1990 Moscow tried to influence the Poles belonging to the Vilnija organisation, thus seeking for autonomy was a political matter. “We therefore want you to understand that ill feeling which emerges from time to time when solving bilateral issues where your requests are sometimes well-grounded,” said Mr. Juršėnas. 


The discussions of the conference pointed out that, despite the fact that the state-regional interest is still often outbalanced by the national-cultural one, the number of cases of good, strategic cooperation is increasing, e.g. cooperation between “Solidarność” (Independent Self-governing Trade Union) and “Sąjūdis” (Reform Movement of Lithuania), common aims in the field of EU energy safety and EU enlargement, etc. “The more active we are in the European Union, the closer we find ourselves to Poland and the Poles. In Europe, Lithuania and Poland are encouraged to return to a wider common identity,” Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Žygimantas Pavilionis shared his experience in the conference.


According to Speaker of the Seimas Česlovas Juršėnas, “we have to reach a mutual understanding”. Heads of the Lithuanian and Polish parliaments unanimously agreed with the idea that national minorities were our wealth, they had to be spoken about and their problems had to be solved. The benefit of similar conferences is therefore obvious.


On 1–2 July, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Česlovas Juršėnas paid a working visit to Warsaw, where he attended the 18th session of the Lithuanian-Polish Parliamentary Assembly and the international conference “The Epoch of Turning-points 1918–2008”. Mr. Juršėnas opened the exhibition of Vilnius Cathedral Treasury in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, met with Marshal of the Polish Sejm Bronisław Komorowski, and talked to the representatives of the descendants of the Great Seimas.


Secretariat of the Speaker of the Seimas



 © Office of the Seimas, 2008