Leo LT found unconstitutional

  • 2009-03-04
  • By Justinas Vainilavicius
VILNIUS - The Constitutional Court has decided that the formation of Lithuania's national energy company, Leo LT, was a breach of the Constitution. Leo LT was entrusted with billions of litas to carry out strategic projects aimed at helping secure energy resources. 

The court found, however, that it is not the nuclear power plant law that is anti-constitutional, as was widely discussed. Although it was the pretext to begin legal actions, the court found other acts illegal 's acts such as not stating in the law the way the country's representatives in Leo LT would be chosen.
The company is expected to continue its activities after making relevant amendments to its legislation.
"The provisions of the agreement establishing Leo LT will be amended as well," said Raimundas Sukys, the Seimas (Lithuanian parliament) member that represented the parliament in the case.

He also said Leo LT should not be dissolved, but that parliament should amend legislation.
There has been widespread debate over whether inviting NDX Energija to invest in Leo LT without announcing a competition was legal. NDX Energija is part of VP Market, the owner of Maxima LT retail chain and the largest company in the country.

The court did not find the invitation unconstitutional. It said the Leo LT project did not break Constitution Article 29.1, which states that "all persons shall be equal before the law, the court, and other State institutions and officials." The other article in question was Article 46.4, which states that "the law shall prohibit monopolization of production and the market and shall protect freedom of fair competition."
The court explained this as a strategic part of Lithuania's electricity energy policy. It said NDX Energija is a vital part of Lithuania's energy sector along with state owned energy companies Lietuvos Energija and RST.
"There is no legal background to state that, by choosing a national investment model and inscribing it in the nuclear power plant law, no sufficient means were taken to investigate if this national investor is capable of achieving aims of the law," the Constitutional Court said.

The government has not yet decided on further actions, but the way Leo LT observer's council works will have to change, said Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius' spokesperson Ridas Jasiulionis.
"The company's governing principles oppose the Constitution," said Jasiulionis. "Certain changes will be taken [in the council], so the state's and society's interests would be represented proportionally."
The state owns 61.7 percent of Leo LT, while NDX Energija holds 38.3 percent. The company's main purpose is to represent Lithuania in building the new nuclear power plant and to oversee the proposed electricity links to Sweden and Poland. Now all three projects are in danger. 

"Because of improper laws prepared by the government and passed by the Seimas, the main goals of the Leo LT project 's building a nuclear power plant and connecting Lithuania's energy system with European Union's energy system 's might not be achieved," said Sukys.