1.4 Fundamental principles of the political and the administrative system

The Constitution states that ("The State of Lithuania shall be an independent democratic republic" (Article 1). "In Lithuania, State power shall be executed by the Seimas, the President of the Republic and the Government, and the Judiciary" (Article 5). The aforementioned institutions have the sovereign national powers. According to Lithuanian lawyers the aforesaid statement of the Constitution may be interpreted in the following way: referring to the principle based on subdivision of the authorities, State power is exercised by several equal institutions and each whereof has its own fundamental power: to legislate laws (the process of legislation is implemented by the Seimas), to execute them and carry out administration (the function fulfilled by the Government), as well as to administer justice (the function performed by court). It shall be forbidden to transfer, disclaim or take over the aforesaid powers to other institutions. The Constitution states that justice shall be administered only by the courts in the Republic of Lithuania.

It may create the impression that in Lithuania the authorities are concentrated mainly at the supreme national level; however, it is not absolutely true. The Constitution speaks about the local self-government, as well. It says that the right to self-government shall be guaranteed to administrative units of the territory of the State, which are provided for by law (Article 119 of the Constitution). The position of municipalities in terms of government authorities is determined by the statement of the Constitution: "The State shall support municipalities"(Article 120 of the Constitution). Thereby, municipalities are not considered as the institutions of state administration in Lithuania; however, the State is set positively with regard to municipalities - it (the State) renders support to them (municipalities). While considering the concept of the State and municipalities as well as their relationship between each other, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania maintains that it has established the principle of co-ordinating the interests of the State and municipalities.

Such a principle provision in respect of municipalities determines the further legal specification of their position. The Constitution partly mentions the functions of municipalities (Article121). The legal basis of concretising them (functions) is commissioned by the Constitution to lower institutions (Article 121).
To regulate the activities of municipalities the Law on Local Self-government has been passed. It states that municipalities implement the functions of local authorities, public administration and public service provision. The Seimas shall establish administrative division of the Republic and territorial division into municipalities, as well (Article 67 of the Constitution). The Seimas virtually establish the number and value of municipalities. The Constitution states that municipal councils shall implement the decisions of the Government (Article119). In cases prescribed by the sub-laws which regulate the activities of municipalities, the Constitution shall allow the Seimas to introduce direct governance in the territory of municipalities (124 Article). On the other hand, central and territorial state administration entities, when considering issues related to the interests of a particular municipality or all municipalities, inform the mayor of the appropriate municipality or the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania about this. Proposals submitted in writing by the municipal council or executive organs of the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania shall be considered (evaluated) by state administration entities and answers shall be provided.

The Law on Local Self-government also states that drafts of decisions related to the change of administrative units of the state territory and its units shall be considered with municipalities in the manner prescribed by legal acts.

The institutions of the Executive implement its decisions by setting regulatory acts: laws which are legislated by the Seimas and post-law statutory legal acts legislated by the Government, the ministries and other executive institutions, regional and local municipal councils, their board and the mayor.