LITHUANIA: A potentially positive step forward for NGO funding

(CIVICUS Monitor) Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has shown his support for the creation of a new fund for NGOs. Interim director of the Lithuanian NGO – Human Rights Monitoring Institute – Tomas Kubiliustold the CIVICUS Monitor that while the goal to establish a dedicated fund to support NGOs had been in the pipeline for more than a decade, no real progress had been made. Now, however, a new initiative is on the table which foresees amending current NGO legislation to allow for the new fund.

Kubilius told the CIVICUS Monitor that many details of this NGO funding scheme are still under discussion but that the initiative is promising and that the government is unlikely to use this funding scheme as an instrument to impose restrictions on the sector, support pro-government voices, or to try to influence public opinion through civil society. However, he noted that:

“as the initiative is still at the embryonic stage of development, NGOs remain cautious and try to establish monitoring & control mechanisms to keep everything transparent and resistant to future political turbulence”.