rss_2.0Baltic Journal of Law & Politics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Baltic Journal of Law & Politics Journal of Law & Politics Feed Integration of Kosovo: Analysis of the Kosova Constitutional Provisions that Require Harmonization with EU Law<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper investigates the constitutional adjustments Kosovo should make in the EU accession process. Because European integration may necessitate fundamental changes in the constitutional principles, the paper will address them by offering concrete solutions to issues such as the primacy of EU law and the transfer of sovereignty. Issues related to human rights, such as the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections and the right to freedom of movement. The path followed by other countries in the process of adapting their constitutions to EU law represents a very rich constitutional experience; therefore, this article clarifies concrete issues presented by the Kosovo Constitution.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Rhetoric to Reality: Lithuania’s Total Defence Response to Russian Threats<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research delves into Lithuania’s response to the perceived threat from Russia and the practical implementation of its total defence approach. Key political figures, including the President, Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence, and Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee, are scrutinized using securitization theory. The study explores how these actors frame total defence as an urgent response to an existential threat and analyses both their discourse and tangible actions from 2020 onwards. Distinct approaches among political figures emerge, with the President prioritizing communication, the Minister of Defence emphasizing tangible improvements, and the Chairman of the NSDC acting as a driving force. Despite increased military spending, the involvement of society in national defence—integral to the total defence strategy—remains limited. Factors contributing to this limitation include unclear leadership, insincere rhetoric, bureaucratic obstacles, and the initial unpreparedness of the Armed Forces to integrate civilians. The study underscores the critical need for genuine commitment and leadership to achieve meaningful breakthroughs in Lithuania’s total defence approach. While politicians employ securitization and public discourse to align with public sentiment and present themselves as problem solvers, the actual progress in engaging the public and the private sector remains limited. The discrepancy between discourse and material implementation suggests that a more substantial commitment is essential for effective societal involvement in national defence, making it clear that symbolic gestures fall short of achieving impactful results in Lithuania’s total defence approach.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Situation of Young People’s Political Participation in Albania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The right to participate in political life – especially for youth – is very important for an inclusive society. Although the population under the age of 30 represents about 40% of the total population in Albania, the participation of young people in the political, social, and economic spheres remains low. Under current conditions, the youth in Albania tend to remain uninvolved in policy-making, and thus unable to influence their social and economic status. This article points analyzes the economic, social, and political situation of Albanian youth with some recommendations for policy makers related to each area. The institutional and legal structures for young people and the participation of young people in politics are not well developed in Albania. There is a need to review and strengthen the country’s institutional/legal framework at all levels, in order to make young people a more important factor in the society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue an Employment Contract at the Employer’s Will: Does Expensive and Simple Mean Safe? Lithuanian Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper aims to reveal the nature, specifics and limits of application of one of the legal grounds for termination of employment relationships established in the labour law of the Republic of Lithu ania – termination of the employment contract at the employer’s will. The analysis tests the hypothesis that the goal of increasing flexibility by simplifying the termination of employment relations, which was set at the initiation of the reform of the legal regulation, was not achieved. The presumption is put forward that this ground for terminating the employment contract is neither new nor safely applicable, and the benefits of relatively simplified procedural requirements do not outweigh increased financial burden. To reveal the impact of statutory amendments in question on the regulation of termination of employment relations in Lithuania, the historical background and the impact of obligations established in international documents on it are assessed, key indicators (such as legal grounds, procedural requirements, burden of proof and order of its distribution, etc.) are identified, and the relevant case law is examined.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Measures as a Way of Preventing Domestic Violence: The Experience of Ukraine<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article elucidates the meaning and indicators of restrictive measures applied to individuals who have committed domestic violence, as well as the peculiarities of their implementation during wartime conditions. Additionally, it provides a comparative legal characterization of restrictive measures in Ukraine in various jurisdictions based on the categorization of legal systems. The article provides the authors’ interpretation of the “restrictive measures” concept, outlining its characteristics and types, and evaluating its efficacy in Ukraine.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Defence Policy: Between Functionalism, National Interests, and Transatlantic Realities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Existing insights into recent defence integration, including against the backdrop of Russia’s war, largely stem from EU governance studies. Although these studies might not explicitly delve into the EU’s politico-strategic role, when combined with the broader framework of International Relations (IR), they imply the EU’s effective progression, at least relatively, as a defence actor. However, a closer analysis of certain key developments and transatlantic dynamics suggests a persistent lack in the political and strategic dimensions of EU defence policy. This disparity arises when IR concepts are tailored to fit the EU context in integration studies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Liability in Medicine: The Case of Assistive-Diagnostic AI<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As the prevalence of assistive-diagnostic artificial intelligence (AI) grows, so too will the legal controversies surrounding its use continue to grow. Consequently, determining liability in cases where patients experience harm due to the use of assistive-diagnostic AI in personal healthcare services requires a re-evaluation of existing civil liability regulations. This article proposes a framework for addressing liability in these situations by exploring medical malpractice, organisational negligence by healthcare institutions, and producer liability.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Leader as an Asset of Soft Power: The Ratings of National Leaders and their Countries Abroad<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The original concept of soft power embraced the belief that culture, values and foreign policy practice are the basic resources upon which this type power is based. This article argues that popular national leaders can also – maybe even more so – be treated as soft power resources as their popularity and trustworthiness go hand in hand with the positive public opinion about their countries abroad. This hypothesis is tested against survey data collected from all over the globe by the U.S.-based polling institute Pew Research Center over the last two decades. The data shows a strong positive correlation between the public confidence in a leader and the view of their country abroad in almost every case that was examined. The view of a country among foreign audiences often changes with the change of its top leadership. The results of this reseach cast doubt on whether national culture and values rather than national leaders are the preeminent source of soft power of any given country in international politics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Pay Gap in Estonia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The gender pay gap continues to exist in Estonia, irrespective of its economic and social development, since the country’s inception. Addressing the prevalence of the gender pay gap is significant in the social and economic development of Estonia, as it reflects equal opportunities and social justice in a given society. Reducing the gender pay gap helps ensure that individuals, irrespective of their gender differences, receive equitable pay for their contributions, which can result in increasing their financial security and quality of life while developing an inclusive society. This study examines the gender wage gap and sexism in Estonia and compares sexism in Estonia with Sweden, in order to understand its antecedents. The findings indicate that Estonia has the highest gender wage gap in the European Union. The findings also highlight a significant level of sexism based on societal beliefs associating women’s higher earnings with marital issues and the inability to care for their children. The study further identifies education and income and significant factors influencing the prevalence of sexism in Estonia and Sweden, providing implications for increasing education and employment opportunities for women, implementing fair pay practices, and promoting workplace equality to ensure an inclusive and empowered society in Estonia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Threat or a Solution? The Challenges of Responding to Synthetic Media<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Synthetic media – defined as text, audio, images, and video content or entire 2D or 3D environments generated by AI-enabled tools – are currently at the center of public attention. While benevolent applications of such technologies abound, the negatives attract significantly more debate. While some of such uses tap into existing fears of disinformation and related threats, others pertain to qualitatively new harms, such as non-consensual synthetic pornography. Of particular note is synthetic media’s capacity to democratize content creation, for better or worse. Ultimately, such concerns lead to calls for policing synthetic media in terms of its automatic detection and removal. Nevertheless, such reliance on technological solutions has at least two undesirable effects: first, further concentration of power in the hands of online platforms and other technology companies and, second, ignorance of the underlying causes of nefarious uses of synthetic media. In this sense, generation of harmful content is best seen not as a standalone problem but as a symptom of underlying deeper – cultural – trends. As part of seeking a solution, this article traces some of the roots of nefarious synthetic content, ranging from non-consensual pornography to disinformation to toxic masculinity cultures and the insecurities atttendant to it.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Parody Protection in the European Union: CDSM Directive and DSA Regulation Perspective<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This research aims to evaluate the CDSM Directive and DSA regulation effectiveness in protecting the EU copyright exception for parody, caricature, and pastiche set in Article 5 (3)(k) of the InfoSoc Directive and capture quintessential issues of the regulation that make the conditions for potentially reduced ability to disseminate creative parody content in the online content-sharing service platforms in the EU. The subject of this paper is the complex relationship between algorithmic content recognition tools and creative parody content qualification. Based on EU copyright law doctrinal consensus, a legislative move to introduce liability for copyright-infringing content to online content-sharing service providers induces algorithmic content moderation on digital platforms. The triangular challenge to balance EU copyright and exception protection without disrupting the online content-sharing service leads to algorithmic recognition-based parody recognition solutions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the West? Domestic Contestation in Bulgarian Foreign Policy From 2014 to 2022<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article addresses the evolution of Bulgarian foreign policy since the start of the Russian Ukrainian crisis of 2014 until 2022 through the prism of domestic contestation of foreign policy choices and decisions. The article reviews four key votes that took place during the period that related to NATO decisions and EU-related decisions towards the situation in Ukraine. This article raises three central questions. First: to what extent were Bulgarian foreign policy decisions related to NATO and the EU increasingly contested and politicized in domestic politics? Second: what is the impact of domestic political dynamics in terms of fragmentation, coalition building and role of smaller fringe extreme right political parties on the growing politicization and contestation of Bulgarian foreign policy towards NATO and the EU? Third: to what extent might such politicization and contestation question Bulgaria’s commitments to both NATO and the EU?</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue on the Basis of Personal Data in Employment: The Case Study of Lithuania<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article examines what kind of personal data disclosure may make it difficult to get employed and what kind of excessive (unlawful) data is collected when selecting candidates in Lithuania. The analysis reveals that there have been a number of justified complaints regarding the selection of employees via recruitment platforms and the provided application forms that specifically requested an excessive amount of information, or situations in which the conditions indicated in job listings were adapted to a specific circle of people, thus eliminating other potential candidates, such as persons of pre-retirement age, young families, persons with children, persons of a particular gender and similar groups of people. The purpose of this article is to identify methods of unlawful collection of personal data, as well as the types of requested personal data, the origin of which may lead to discrimination during the recruitment process in Lithuania. The article analyses the legality of documents requested from candidates, data collected from them by filling out application forms and providing preliminary or additional information during job interviews, or information gathered from former employers or social networks.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Vulnerabilities Related to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The Emergence of a New Club of Nato and EU Members<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Тhis article compares and contrasts macro- and micro-foundational explanations about disinformation and resilience in Europe as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine. It presents micro-level data about the shifting public opinion in Europe after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022 on the topics of NATO and EU support and favorability, sympathy for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia, including support for sanctions against Moscow (Pew Research Center 2021, 2022). The study compares and contrasts traditional macro-level analytical frameworks such as deterrence, institutionalization and adaptation. I argue that a combination of macro- (or institutional) and micro-level factors (associated with the idiosyncrasies of the domestic public opinion) best explain the shifting attitudes since the beginning of the War in Ukraine. Against the backdrop of NATO and the EU’s increased resilience, a new group or sub-club of “vulnerable” allies has emerged among some central and east European nations. The article evaluates different constraints and vulnerabilities and makes recommendations how to reduce misinformation and contestation in these states.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Containment Strategy during Biden’s Presidency and its Implications for the Baltic States: Old Wine in New Bottles?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, many experts claimed that in Europe there has not been such an assault on the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity since the end of Cold War.“ Moreover, politicians and researchers urged the U.S. to apply a containment strategy towards Russia once again. Meanwhile, the U.S. president Joe Biden made it clear that the U.S. was moving toward Russia’s containment 2.0: he called Putin’s actions “a naked aggression” and vowed to make Russia pay “economically and strategically.” The article examines Russia‘s containment strategy in Biden‘s administration foreign policy and its implications to the Baltic states. What vision about Russia’s containment strategy does the Biden administration have in terms of goals, instruments, and challenges? How does the administration implement its plans? Has the containment strategy been transformed and adapted to the new circumstances of the 21<sup>st</sup> century? What role does the Biden administration foresee for the Baltic States in Russia’s containment strategy? What risks and opportunities does this idea present for the Baltic States? These are the questions that the article addresses.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Rights-Based Approach to Sanitation: An Analysis with a Particular Focus on a Lithuanian Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article analyses the human rights-based approach to sanitation from theoretical and practical perspectives. The first section of the article briefly introduces the path toward a recognition of sanitation as a human right within the international legal framework. In the second section, emphasis is given to the content of the human right of sanitation. The third section examines the state obligations implied by this right. The fourth section focuses on Lithuania and seeks to analyse whether and how the rights-based approach to sanitation is reflected in the Lithuanian legal system.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Criminal Intelligence: An Evaluation of the Lithuanian Situation in Light of International Practice<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article analyses problems arising in the field of control of criminal intelligence. In order to prevent human rights violations, each state must have a well-functioning mechanism in place to control criminal intelligence actions. The article analyses the activities of the entities responsible for the legality of criminal intelligence activities and, taking into account international practice, reveals the gaps in the legal regulation in Lithuania and the shortcomings in the activities of the institutions responsible for controlling criminal intelligence. Prosecutors, while participating in the process of sanctioning criminal intelligence actions, also examine complaints against these actions, which not only leads to a biased control, but also, as the study has shown, contradicts the case law of the ECtHR. The article also analyses the problems related to the freedom of criminal intelligence entities to choose the court that will hear their applications. The study concludes that the current situation, which restricts a person’s access to information about criminal intelligence actions against him/her, is incompatible with international practice and violates the human right to judicial protection. The article provides suggestions for establishing a specialised independent criminal intelligence control institution in Lithuania.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Workplace Violence Against Older People in Lithuania<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Changes in regulation and legislation place an obligation on employers to provide proper and safe working conditions for employees. In this context, it is important to determine if psychological violence prevention efforts are actually effective and whether the more vulnerable employees, older workers, are exercising their rights to defend themselves against the psychological violence they experience without fear of losing their jobs. This article presents theoretical and empirical data which sheds light on the nature of the psychological violence experienced by older people, the positions of people who exercise psychological violence in the employer’s organization, and the prevalence of, reasons behind, and forms and consequences of this psychological violence. The study behind this article was conducted by giving questionnaires to employers and employee representatives – i.e. trade unions – with identical questions. The responses of employers and employee representatives on the topic of psychological violence experienced by older workers are fundamentally different, which means that there is not enough social dialogue in this area between employees and employers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Determinants and Impact of Possible Russian Influence in the Western Balkan Countries<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For Russia, the Western Balkan region holds significant historical, cultural, and religious ties, and while from a historical point of view the Western Balkans represents an area where Russia tries to be a long-time actor, the relationship between Moscow and Western Balkan states also depends on international factors such as EU integration. Additionally, this relationship is further impacted by current international crises. The objective of this article is to confirm the rise of Russian influence in the Western Balkan countries, and to determine how and to what extent it has impacted the region. For this purpose, a qualitative analysis is conducted with secondary data from many sources, including reports and policy events; the analysis also includes a rhetorical review of public appearances by the political leadership of the Western Balkan countries. First, we consider Russia’s pro-active approach manifested through its economic involvement in the region, and second the reactive approach of the Western Balkan countries due to their disillusionment with the EU, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, we argue that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a strong catalyst, as it directly affects the relationship of the Western Balkan countries with Russia, the EU, and vice versa.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Court Decisions: Are Restrictions on the Right to Information in “Accordance with the Law”?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In Lithuania rules for the anonymization of court decisions were introduced in 2005. These rules require automatic anonymization of all court decisions, which in the opinion of the authors violates the public interest to know and freedom of expression is unjustifiably restricted on behalf of the right to privacy. This issue covers two diametrically opposed human rights: the right to privacy and the right to information. The first question is how the balance between two equivalent rights could be reached. The second question is whether this regulation is in accordance with the law as it is established in the national Constitution and revealed by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and developed by the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The authors conclude that the legislator is not empowered to delegate to the Judicial Council issues which are a matter of legal regulation and suggest possible solutions evaluating practice of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, and selected EU countries.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue