Lithuanian Nationalday 16 Feb.

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Lithuanian National day in Stockholm, Sweden at Hasselbacken on Djurgården on 16 of February 2016. Ambassador Eitvydas Bajarunas invitation…

The Act of February 16 proclaimed the re-establishment (atstatyti) of the Lithuanian state, making it the successor to the Lithuanian historical state, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In this respect the Council deviated from the resolution adopted by the Vilnius Conference which called for establishment (sudaryti) of a Lithuanian state. However, it was made clear that the new state would be quite different from the old Duchy: it was to be organized only in ethnic Lithuanian lands (except for Vilinus region which was majority Polish) and was to be governed by democratic principles, as opposed to the multi-ethnic Duchy that had been ruled by aristocracy. The termination of the ties binding Lithuania to other states was addressed to Germany, Russia, and Poland, all of which had their own plans for the country. Even though not addressed directly, the Act renounced any attempt to resurrect the former Polish-Lithuanian union.

The Act of February 16, 1918, is the legal basis for the existence of present-day Lithuania, both during the interwar period and since 1990. The Act became one of the key elements during the restoration of Lithuania’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. A paragraph in the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, delivered on March 11, 1990, stated:

The Act of Independence of 16 February 1918 of the Council of Lithuania and the Constituent Assembly (Seimas) decree of 15 May 1920 on the re-established democratic State of Lithuania never lost their legal effect and comprise the constitutional foundation of the State of Lithuania.

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