Poland, Lithuania can become ‘a star’ like they used to be: Lithuanian president

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite spoke in warm overtones on Thursday about the common past, presence and future of Poland and Lithuania embodied by the historical event that was the adoption of Europe’s first constitution, namely, Constitution of May 3, 1971, created by Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth noblemen.

“We must never forget and we must always know that what we were able to do many years ago, we can also do it today,” said president Grybauskaite when receiving Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal Chairman Julia Przyłębska, adding that “we can again become ‘a star’ just like we were 200 years ago,” referring to the constitution embraced by Polish and Lithuanian noblemen during the Four-Year Sejm (parliament of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) of May 3, 1791.

“I am very happy that you have come here, Miss, that you have picked up the discussion on such an important matter. I think it will bring results to Poland, Lithuania and all of Europe,” said Lithuania’s president.

The discussion in which the two stateswomen partook, along with Lithuania’s FM Linas Linkeviczius, inaugurated the several-days-long Lithuanian celebration of the Constitution of May 3, 1791 adoption anniversary. A discussion panel by politicians, political scientists and journalists is scheduled for Friday, May 3. Representatives of Poland’s Embassy in Vilnius and the Polish community will lay down flowers at the Rasos Cemetery in the Marshall Józef Piłsudski Mausoleum.

“Poland is proud that together with Lithuanian it has prepared such an important legal act that the Constitution of May 3 is,” said Ms Przyłębska, adding that Poland remains solidary with other nations that wish to function in the free contemporary world.

“Although we did not function in our statehood, thanks to the constitutional ideas that we worked out together, we functioned in line with the idea of a democratic state that respects its citizens, denominations and supports its interests,” said Ms Przyłębska, adding that the Constitution “showed the neighbouring states, countries which were stronger [than the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth] that the Commonwealth did not want other nations to intervene with its independence. “The same situation we do experience today,” stressed the head of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.

The Constitution of May 3, 1791, was adopted by the "Great Sejm" ("Four-Year Sejm", meeting in 1788–92) for the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a dual state comprising the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, ruled by a common monarch.