|Government type:||Parliamentary Democracy|
|Location:||Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia|
|Land boundaries:||Belarus 677 km, Latvia 588 km, Poland 104 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 255 km|
|Ethnic groups:||Lithuanian (83.5%), Polish (6.7%), Russian (6.3%), Belorussian (1.2%), other (2.3%)|
|Religions:||Roman Catholic Church (primarily). There are also Eastern Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Reformed Church, Eastern Orthodox, Judaism, Islam and other religions|
The first settlers of Lithuania arrived in approximately 12,000 B. C. In 3,000–2,500 B. C., the Indo-European Balts came to live here. In the Middle Ages, Lithuania had already had its state: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Magnus Ducatus Lithuaniae). In the 15th century The Grand Duchy of Lithuania reached the peak of its power, with its territory stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, thus emerging as an important political power in Eastern and Central Europe. It was as early as the 16th century that Lithuania became an integral part of the Western Europe. At the end of the 18th century Constitution of Lithuania was adopted. It was the first constitution in Europe and the second in the world. In 1945, the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania. Many Lithuanians joined partisan groups to fight for Lithuania’s independence. The period of partisan fights is one of the most dramatic and tragic events in Lithuania‘s history. On 11 March 1990 the independent State of Lithuania was re-established. However, people’s will was opposed by the Soviet Union authorities which on 13 January 1991 sent to Vilnius their well trained and heavily armed paratrooper units. Even under the threat of violence Lithuanians responded to the Soviet Union’s aggression peacefully – without arms, singing songs and with an endless faith in our victory. That is why these events are commonly referred to as the Singing Revolution. Following its EU and NATO membership in 2004, Lithuania again reunited with the European family.
Lithuania is an independent democratic republic with a multi-party parliament. State’s legislative power is vested in the Seimas (Parliament), the executive – in the Government. Lithuania’s foreign policy is carried out by the President and the Government. Our country is led by the seventh head of state after the Restoration of Independence and the first woman President – Dalia Grybauskaitė.
Administrative division: The territory of Lithuania is divided into 10 counties. Counties are subdivided into 60 municipalities. Municipalities consist of 546 elderships.
A strategic vision of Lithuania is to become a Northern Europe Services Hub, Centre of Excellence and Innovation for Traditional Industries by 2015 and Northern Europe Innovations Centre by 2020. The Lithuanian Government aims for the following three objectives: high value-added services, technological hubs, innovative and consolidated traditional industry.
Lithuania boasts of the recent arrival of world’s established multinationals, like Barclays Bank, Western Union, IBM, Computer Sciences Corporation, to name but a few, which provide services to the entire European market in English, German, Russian, Polish and Scandinavian languages. Lithuania has been selected for still not so much overloaded market of shared services and outsourcing business developments, as well as for strong talent pool of highly-skilled, well- educated and multilingual professionals, its world-class infrastructure.
Lithuania has the largest ICT industry in the Baltic States. 14 out of the 20 largest IT services companies in the Baltic States are based in Lithuania. Lithuania has got a talent pool of more than 45,000 employees in the ICT and services business. Lithuania has the most up-to-date technologies which is one of the major needs to offshore services. Lithuania has Europe’s fastest and world’s second fastest Internet upload and download speed. It is World’s No. 1 in the number of mobile telephone per 100 population. The country leads the world in mobile e-signature.
The Lithuanian biotechnology industry has been developing since the 1990s and is regarded as one of the most sophisticated in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the last five years, annual sales in the biotechnology industry have gone up by over 15 %.
Laser technology is another high-tech pillar of the Lithuanian economy with the annual growth of 20% and nearly threefold increase in sales over the past 5 years. Lithuania is the world leader capturing 50% of the world market for high-energy pico-second lasers and more than 80% of global production of ultra fast parametric light generators. 86% of Lithuanian laser production is exported to nearly 100 countries ensuring world recognition of quality and diversification of markets.
It is expected that by 2015 products of IT, laser technologies, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies and materials science will constitute 25 % of Lithuania‘s GDP and 80 % of national export.
First founded in 1918, the Lithuanian Police grew quickly over the coming decades. This year, it will commemorate its 95th anniversary. While a man would consider this lifetime, for an institution it is just the beginning. The Lithuanian Police are proud of their honest, educated, qualified and dedicated officers.
The Lithuanian Police are comprised of:
➢ Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior;
➢ Territorial Police Units;
➢ Specialised Police Units;
➢ Police Professional Training Institutions.
The Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior (further – the Police Department) is a police agency assisting to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania to develop the strategy for the police activity and control its implementation, as well as to organize the management of the territorial police units.
The Police Department ensures the implementation of the police functions ascribed to its competence, controls and coordinates the activity of subordinated police units, gives them recommendations and instructions, develops and implements common police activity and personnel policy of the subordinated police units, ensures the implementation of the state programmes in the police units, organizes the realization of the decisions of the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania as well as the control of their realization.
The Police Department is established by the Government.
The Territorial Police Units carry out the functions ascribed them by the legal acts in the established territory. The Territorial Police Units consist of 10 County Police Headquarters and their subunits – 49 Local Police Units:
The County Police Headquarters are established in the county centres and ensure the implementation of the police tasks in the whole county territory. Their functions are to co-ordinate and, in the manner prescribed by the establishment and other legal documents, control activities of lower level local police units within their territory; to submit to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania the draft budgets for all police units within their territory; to implement other tasks and functions provided for in the establishment and other legal documents, and report on their implementation to the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania.
The Local Police Units are established in the administrative centres of municipalities to serve within the territory of appropriate municipalities. The Local Police Units ensure the public safety and order; taking into account the needs of the local population and together with the local authorities, public organizations and residents, draw up and implement the programs for crime prevention; protection of lives, health and property of the population; as well as public order; prevent criminal deeds and other violations of law, detect and investigate criminal deeds and other violations of law; submit the draft budgets to the Heads of Police Headquarters; implement tasks and functions assigned to their competence, set by the establishment and other legal documents etc.
The Specialized Police Units are the police units established on non-territorial principle, which carry out the certain (special) police functions assigned to them by the legal acts:
The Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau – tasked to prevent and detect serious and major crimes, criminal activities which arouse public interest, activities related to the functioning of criminal organizations, organized groups and their members, as well as to co-ordinate investigations. The officers of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau conduct searches for missing people, and those hiding from the institutions of law enforcement and courts, in respect to which the pre-trial investigations were started within the subdivisions of the Bureau.
The Bureau consists of the several divisions, such as the Organized Crime Investigation Unit and the Crime Investigation Unit (identifies and represses crime), the Special Tasks Unit (collects, stores and analyses the information on committed or intended crimes and suspected people, executes the criminal intelligence support measures (e.g. surveillance, interception etc)); the Witness and Victims Protection Unit (ensures the integrated protection of witnesses and victims from the criminal pressure throughout the country and, on the basis of the international treaties, outside Lithuania); the International Liaison Office; the Information Analysis Board. The International Liaison Office of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau ensures and implements the practical police co-operation on the international level. This service consists of the Lithuanian National Interpol Unit, SIRENE National Unit and Europol National Unit.
The Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre – provides the integrated scientific and technical assistance to the officers of pre-trial institutions during the investigation of criminal activities and also their prevention. The professionals of the Centre examine the crime scenes, find, note, and take samples of the criminal activities and traces of crimes as well as other objects significant for the identification and investigation of the crimes; perform laboratory research of traces of crimes and other objects by using scientific research equipment and modern research methods; collect and manage central criminal card files and collections and use them for the investigation of criminal activities. Since year 2007 the Lithuanian Police Dog Training Centre, which organizes and coordinates the training of police dogs and their instructors, conducts investigations and scientific identification, has been incorporated into the Lithuanian Police Forensic Science Centre.
The Lithuanian Police Antiterrorist Operations Team „ARAS” – operates in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, conducts the special operations, which need the use of purposeful, armed, special techniques and use of force. The main tasks of the Team are to carry out the anti-terrorist operations, operations to release the hostages and the detention of dangerous criminals which require specially trained forces as well as the use of special techniques and equipment. The Team searches for and neutralises homemade and military explosives, which could be used for the terrorist purposes.
The Lithuanian Road Police Service – supervises the traffic on the roads of the Republic of Lithuania, escorts the heads of foreign states, governments and other official delegations as well as fulfils other special functions ascribed to by the legal acts on a country-wide scale and based on the non-territorial principle.
Police Professional Training Institutions – the police professional training divisions, established by the Police Commissioner General of Lithuania, which ensure the constant professional improvement of the police officers.
The Lithuanian Police School is an institution of police vocational training, implementing the initial as well as further training of the police personnel. The vocational training is one of the most significant stages of education providing the special professional knowledge and skills. The vision of the Lithuanian Police School is to develop into a modern vocational training institution that ensures the qualified initial training of the police officers as well as their professional improvement. The mission of the Lithuanian Police School is to offer the training and education to young people to perform the professional police officer’s duties, continually improve the police officers’ competencies by providing them the professional knowledge and developing the practical skills necessary for their future professional activities, to promote the irreproachable image of a police officer, as well as to serve to the public.
Mykolas Romeris University, Faculty of Public Security is organizing the university level studies in accordance to the Law and Police and Policing programs. These studies can be entered by the students, who match the police officers requirements. The students graduate with a Bachelor’s in Law or Bachelor’s in Public Security degree and are engaged into the post or mid-ranking police officers.