Lithuania’s Presidential Election Is Boring — And That’s Fine

Lithuania's outgoing president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, speaks at an event celebrating the country's fifteen years in the EU, May 1
Lithuania’s outgoing president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, speaks at an event celebrating the country’s fifteen years in the EU, May 1 (Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania/Robertas Dačkus)

Former finance minister Ingrida Šimonytė and economist Gitanas Nausėda have advanced to the second round of Lithuania’s presidential election. Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis placed third and has announced he will step down in July.

The remaining candidates are both center-right, so the outcome of the runoff on May 26 should not affect Lithuania’s politics in a major way. Even so, the result is largely a happy one. Read more “Lithuania’s Presidential Election Is Boring — And That’s Fine”

Czechs, Poles Huff and Puff as British Propose Benefits Reform

British prime minister David Cameron welcomes his Irish counterpart, Enda Kenny, to 10 Downing Street in London, England, November 9
British prime minister David Cameron welcomes his Irish counterpart, Enda Kenny, to 10 Downing Street in London, England, November 9 (The Prime Minister’s Office/Georgina Coupe)

Central European governments responded angrily on Wednesday to British prime minister David Cameron’s proposal to restrict their nationals’ access to welfare benefits in the West.

“If Cameron wants to divide people according to their nationality then that is against the free movement of labor and the treaty,” Witold Waszczykowski, the new Polish foreign minister, told The Daily Telegraph.

His Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevičius, similarly cautioned against “discrimination or restrictions.” In Prague, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said, “Any interference in free movement poses a serious problem for the Czech Republic.” Read more “Czechs, Poles Huff and Puff as British Propose Benefits Reform”

Lithuania, Poland to Revive Military Brigade with Ukraine

Polish Leopard tank
A Polish Leopard 2 tank takes part in a military exercise, September 27, 2006 (Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej)

In response to Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea, Lithuania and Poland agreed on Thursday to revive a joint military brigade with the country and deepen defense cooperation.

The three former Soviet satellite states agreed as early as 2007 to erect a multinational unit but efforts stalled in recent years. Russia’s invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, which headquarters its Black Sea Fleet and has a majority ethnic Russian population, prompted the countries into action. Read more “Lithuania, Poland to Revive Military Brigade with Ukraine”