Modern laws of Lithuania (excerpts)

Law on Equal Treatment

Article 2. Definitions

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9. Direct discrimination means any situation where one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion, except for the following cases:

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2) requirement to know the state language as established by laws;

3) prohibition of participation in political activities in the cases specified by laws;

4) different rights applied on the basis of citizenship as established by laws;

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Law on the provision of information to the public

Article 34. Language in which Public Information is Produced and Disseminated

1. Public information shall be produced and disseminated in the state language or any other language pursuant to this Law and the Law on the State Language as well as the resolutions of the State Commission on the Lithuanian Language, except for the cases specified in this Law. Producers and disseminators of public information, in cooperation with the competent state and municipal institutions and agencies, shall, where possible, ensure that the disseminated public information is accessible to the disabled. 

2. Radio and/or television programmes broadcast in a language other than Lithuanian must be translated into Lithuanian or shown with Lithuanian subtitles, except for educational, occasional, special, music and re-broadcast foreign radio and/or television programmes or parts of programmes as well as programmes produced by broadcasters of radio and/or television programmes intended for the ethnic minorities of Lithuania. The Commission, taking into account the needs of ethnic minorities residing in the coverage zone of broadcast radio and/or television programmes, where necessary, when specifying the terms and conditions of the licence may determine the share of broadcast and/or re-broadcast radio and/or television programmes or parts thereof which must be comprised of radio and/or television programmes or parts of programmes in the languages of the ethnic minorities.

3. Broadcasters of television programmes shall be prohibited from showing audiovisual works which have been translated from an official EU language into a non EU language.

4. When re-broadcasting television programmes, re-broadcasters and/or other persons providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania must give priority to the official EU languages. Television programmes in the official languages of the European Union as well as the non-official languages of the European Union and originating in another Member State must comprise at least 90 per cent of the programmes when providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania and/or at least 90 per cent of re-broadcast television programmes in each basic television programme package presented for their users. This requirement shall not apply to television programme packages disseminated for an additional pay. Where there is a possibility to choose between the official EU language or any other language to re-broadcast and/or disseminate via the Internet the same television programme, the re-broadcasters and/or other persons providing services of dissemination of television programmes or individual programmes via the Internet for users of the Republic of Lithuania must provide all the conditions for the television programme or an individual programme to be re-broadcast or disseminated via the Internet in the official language of the European Union.

5. A television programme which is re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in a non-official language of the European Union, where such a television programme is translated into an official language of the European Union or shown with the subtitles in an official language of the European Union, shall be is equated with a programme re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in an official language of the European Union.

6. When a television programme is broadcast, re-broadcast and/or disseminated via the Internet in several languages, including the official EU languages, such a programme shall be regarded as a programme transmitted and/or disseminated in an official EU language only where, if technical possibilities allow, this programme is transmitted and/or disseminated to users with the default setting in an official EU language and the additional language selection is only possible at the user‘s discretion.


Document data for the Law on Equal Treatment. Up-to-date Lithuanian text https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/TAR.0CC6CB2A9E42/asr Somewhat outdated English text (there, the same provisions were in paragraph 7 of Article 2) https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/TAIS.389500?jfwid=-oo3xjf4tu Notably, in the other cases mentioned in the same paragraph, some substantive justification is needed for different treatment to be legal – in cases of language and citizenship requirements, however, arbitrariness of the legislative gets accepted.

Document data for the Law on the provision of information to the public: https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalAct/lt/TAD/c4a1511305c611e8802fc9918087744d

Other laws related to the use of languages can be found in English at http://www.vlkk.lt/en/ For the provisions on liability for violating legislation on the use of languages, see Articles 497-503 of the Code of Administrative Offences (no English version was found) https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/legalActEditions/lt/TAD/b8d908c0215b11e58a4198cd62929b7a

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