“Given that the Convention is directly applicable in the Lithuanian legal system and has priority of application over national law, the issue of Romuva could be considered repeatedly without having to wait for 10 years and without changing the existing regulatory framework,” the ministry said in comments.
According to the ministry’s officials, the community could reapply for state recognition after the coming into force of the Court’s judgment, i.e. following three months after its publication.
In 2019, the Seimas of Lithuania failed to grant Romuva state recognition after 40 lawmakers voted in favor, 31 were against and 15 abstained. That decision taken by the parliament meant that Romuva would have to wait for ten years before re-applying for state recognition.
However, the ECHR ruled on Tuesday that Lithuania had violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to impartially examine Romuva's request for state recognition.
If it had been recognized by the state, Romuva would have been given the right to a land tax credit, its priests would have been covered by the state social insurance, and marriages by such priests would have been recognized legally as having been registered at a civil registration office.