New foreign minister moves to restrict political appointments to Lithuania’s diplomatic service

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has proposed amendments, which, according to him, will limit political appointments to the diplomatic service.

Landsbergis has proposed to delete a provision governing the minister’s right to appoint chargés d’affaires, consuls and minister-counsellors, unless the individuals already have a diplomatic service contract.

The minister has also proposed to give up a provision governing the conclusion of a diplomatic service contract with vice-ministers.

According to Landsbergis, the existing arrangements allowed foreign ministers to make political appointments to the diplomatic service, ignoring seniority requirements for statutory diplomats.

In his view, such appointments breached legitimate career expectations of statutory diplomats, led to discriminatory regulation and affected the transparency and prestige of the diplomatic service.

Landsbergis does not amend the procedure for appointing ambassadors, however. Last week, he told BNS that this procedure could not be revised, given that it was defined in the Constitution.

He also said that he would consider opening up the diplomat attestation commission by, for instance, inviting representatives from universities to sit on the panel.


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