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About Public Consultations

What is public consultation?

Public consultation is the action taken by public sector organisations, in a variety of ways and methods, to gather the views, of the public or its groups, proposals for legislation, or other types of solutions that are being drafted, implemented, or evaluated.

IMPORTANT! Publication of a draft legislative act in the TAIS system is not considered public consultation.

State and municipal institutions and bodies, the Government, the Seimas, and the European Commission can and must consult the public when making decisions.

When and how does consultation take place?

Consultation takes place at all stages of the legislative cycle, which are as follows:

  • Launching of a legislative initiative;
  • Drafting of legal acts;
  • Adoption of legal acts;
  • Implementation of legal acts;
  • Review of legal acts.

Involving citizens at the earliest possible stage of the legislative process is essential to ensure that decisions are based on the needs of society, and that the involved members of society can participate constructively with a better understanding of the context.

Consultation is important in all cases where changes are being considered at national and institutional level, such as reforms, new or amended laws, by-laws, internal administrative regulations, and decisions taken by institutions that affect society or individual groups.

It is recommended that all the ongoing consultation be made public on the Public Consultation (in Lithuanian) section of the E-Citizen website.

Forms of public participation

Public consultation is just one form of cooperation with the public. The main forms are information, consultation, and participation.

  • Information: includes communication and provision of information to the public about the decisions made and decision-making processes. It usually takes place by providing information to the public unidirectionally and cannot therefore be considered consultation. This is an initial step in successfully involving the public in joint decision-making, as stakeholders and the general public can prepare for future consultations.
  • Consultation: more active involvement, where information is reciprocally shared between the government and the public. The aim is to hear the views and suggestions of stakeholders or the general public. This can be a one-off process or an ongoing dialogue.
  • Participation: active involvement of stakeholders in legislative or other decision-making processes, where legislation or other documents are being developed together with a state body. The processes taking place in this way give the public a sense of ownership, which can improve compliance, facilitate reaching consensus, and create political trust.

 

Last updated: 06-01-2022