Civil Service in Lithuania

An independent and professional civil service is the main safeguard that the public interest in the state will be protected.

In Lithuania, there are two legal acts regulating employment relations: Labour Code and Law on the Civil Service. In particular, more than 97% of Lithuanian employees refer to Labour Code while the rest 3% are regulated by Law on the Civil Service. These are civil servants.

Legally Lithuanian civil service means the professional activities of the persons holding posts in state and municipal institutions and agencies when discharging public administration functions or ensuring the functioning of diplomatic service institutions or assisting the persons exercising state or local authority in discharging the functions assigned to them, with the exception of the functions of economic and/or technical nature.

The population of Lithuania is aproximatelly 2.7 million people. About 1.3 million people (around 44 % of the population) are employed. 370 thousand people of which are public sector employers (almost 30 % of all employees), more than 50 thousand of them are civil servants.

In a broad sense civil service in Lithuania  is a career civil servant, a statutory civil servant, civil servants of political (personal) confidence and a head of an agency. They shall work in the Offices of the Seimas, the President, the Government, ministries and its subordinate agencies, municipalities, courts and prosecutor‘s offices (politicians, judges and prosecutors are not civil servants, civil servants shall assist them in performing their functions), statutory services (police, customs, prison institutions, fire and rescue authorities, diplomatic service), etc.

In a narrow sense civil service refers to career civil servants. They shall be recruited to a post for an indefinite period or for a term of office specified by law and having career advancement opportunities in the civil service in accordance with the procedure laid down in Law on the Civil Service. Selection of career civil servants, as well as selection of heads of some institutions and agencies, shall be organised centrally by Civil Service Department under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. At the present time, there are just over 24 thousand career civil servants in Lithuania.

All civil service positions shall be divided into 10 groups specified in the Law on Civil Service. Career civil servants shall be recruited through competition and without competition, while civil servants of political (personal) confidence shall be recruited without competition based on choice of a state politician or a collegial state institution. Heads of agencies shall be recruited for a term of five years through competition or, in the cases specified by law, without competition. A person may not hold the post of the head of the same state or municipal institution or agency for more than two consecutive terms, unless other laws provide otherwise. In the cases specified by law, heads of agencies shall be recruited on the basis of political (personal) confidence.

For a vacancy in civil service there shall be a set selection procedure to follow. The person recruited to the civil service must meet all the requirements for the post: hold citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, have a command of the Lithuanian language, be not less than 18 years of age and not more than 65 years of age. The requirement of being not more than 65 years of age shall not apply to civil servants of political (personal) confidence and acting civil servants, hold a university or college degree. On the contrary, the following persons may not be recruited to the civil service: the persons dismissed from the civil service for serious official misconduct or recognised as having committed the official misconduct for which they are to be imposed the disciplinary penalty of dismissal; the persons who does not meet the requirements of good repute; people who have been deprived by the court of the entitlement to hold a civil service post; the persons with the spouse, the partner, the cohabiting partner, where he or she is indicated in the civil servant’s declaration of private interest (hereinafter: ‘the cohabiting partner’), a close relative or a person who is related to him by marriage holding a civil service post in a state or municipal institution or agency, where they would be related by direct subordination according to the posts held by them.

Last updated: 22-11-2023