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Project title

The importance of national constitutional guarantees for the protection of entrepreneurial freedom using the example of Lithuania and Germany 

Time of implementation

01.03. - 30.11.2018 

Involved countries and institutions

1. Lithuania: Department of Public Law of the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University

2. Germany: Chairs of Public Law (specialising in administrative law) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Regensburg 

Aim(s) of the project

2. The current development of Lithuanian law in relation to the constitutional and administrative protection of freedom of economic activity and related legitimately acquired rights is marked by disputed legislation, enforceability and practice of administrative courts, as well as by gaps in legal doctrine, especially concerning the following matters:

– the prohibition entering in force from 1 January 2018 with respect to adult persons below the age of 20 on consuming alcoholic beverages, including the prohibition on consuming bear and other alcoholic beverages in public places, except restaurants and outdoor cafes;

– at the end of 2016 public legal and political considerations were voiced and the related legislative initiatives were undertaken for establishing public or state-owned pharmacies in public hospitals as a measure to cope with high prices in private pharmacies;

– the jurisprudence formulated by administrative courts in 2015, specifically the justification of the retroactively effective annulment of the broad scope promotional measure of 2011–2013 aimed to ensure the fixed purchase price of solar energy produced by private undertakings, or the state-fixed guarantee for its purchase (i.e. failure to fulfill the obligation undertaken by the state to ensure that the purchase price fixed on the day of obtaining a producer license will not be reduced in the future, i.e. that the purchase price will not change over the period of the validity of the license);

– the continued validity and amendments inconsistent with European law in relation to the limitation imposed on the purchase of an area of agricultural land;

– by its decision of 2 October 2017, the European Commission imposed a fine of over 28 million euro on Lithuanian Railways (Lietuvos geležinkeliai) for dismantling the rail track of Mažeikiai-Rengė (connecting Lithuania and Latvia) in 2008, i.e. for the act found to be contrary to European law and hindering competition;

– following the legal action pursued by the European Commission by its decision of 15 February 2017, Lithuania faced a risk of being obliged to refund millions for the infringing use of EU aid funds by municipal water supply undertakings for modernising public waste water systems in the towns of more than 2 000 inhabitants, without imposing the obligation on the inhabitants of houses to connect (their sewage pipes) to public sewerage networks.

In principle, similar issues have been of concern in Germany: the protection of acquired rights and legitimate expectations in energy legislation, the protection of consumers and public health (smoking ban, prohibition on the circulation of particular products, prohibition on advertising), issues concerning state aid in public local transport and energy legislation, the choice of profession and freedom to carry out business in health legislation, especially in legislation applicable to pharmacies and hospitals.

2. This scientific comparative law project entitled “The significance of national constitutional guarantees on the freedom of economic activity covering Lithuania and Germany” is planned to culminate in a conference, which is expected to include the presentation of reports by eight reporters, and the publication of conference material with the proposals for Lithuanian legislators.

Presenters will be all the named participants from Lithuania, as well as Professor Gerrit Manssen and Professor Robert Uerpmann-Wittzak and Dr. Andrea Edenharter (from the University of Regensburg) and Professor Stefan Korioth (from the University of Munich). 

Target group

The direct target group:

public law scientists, law students, the students of the Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University, other prospective participants (20 to 30) of the conference and other persons who will use the published conference materials as an additional tool in legal practice. 

The indirect target group: judges of administrative and constitutional courts, parliament members with interest in this topic, other interested participants in the legislative process and representatives of entities engaged in public administration (ca. 150 Persons). 

Main activities of the project and venue(s) where the project activities will be carried out:

1. The first meeting of both working groups and the exchange of views will take place during a 2-day visit of the Lithuanian working group in Regensburg, i.e. preparation for and participation in a seminar (discussion of legal development from the perspective of comparative law) at the University of Regensburg.

2. The second meeting of both working groups will take place during a 3-day visit of the working group from Regensburg in Vilnius, i.e. preparation for and participation in the conference and the publication of conference material at Vilnius University. 

Public events in the frame of the project

1) April 12, 9.00 - 13.00

University of Regensburg, Room RWS 101, Universitätsstraße 31, Regensburg, Germany

"German-Lithuanian Symposium on Selected Issues of Professional and Corporate Freedom" in the frame of the project "The importance of national constitutional guarantees for the protection of entrepreneurial freedom using the example of Lithuania and Germany"


2) The conference in Vilnius is planned to be held on 21 September 2018.

Program (German/Lithuainian)

3) The presentation of the conference publication to the Lithuanian public is anticipated to take place on 7 December 2018.