Algirdas Astrauskas Kristina Čelkė


The purpose of this article is to present the results of a qualitative study conducted using a questionnaire in February 2023, which aimed to reveal the peculiarities of the legal status of the mayors of Lithuanian municipalities in the presence of two different municipal structure models (the model that was applied from March 2015 to April 1, 2023, and the model that has been applied since April 1, 2023). The idea of conducting this research arose just a few weeks before the regular municipal council and mayoral elections took place on March 5, 2023, a few months before the new Local Self-Government Law came into force on April 1, 2023. This law introduced a new municipal structure model and changed the dominant role of the mayor in Lithuanian municipalities. This research is unique because of the target group chosen for it – only the ten mayors of Lithuanian municipalities who have served in these positions for four or more terms (20 or more years) were consulted. The results of the research show that: the mayors have a good understanding of the specifics of the new municipal structure applied since April 1, 2023; and the mayors are essentially prepared to take on a new role (the role of the municipal executive institution), replacing their previous role (the role of the chairman of the municipal council). However, the fact that the mayor of the municipality, who continues to be the organizer of municipal council meetings (the other role of the mayor of a Lithuanian municipality), will not have the right to vote when the municipal council makes decisions at its meeting is cause for concern. Mayors are also worried about the different interpretations regarding the possibility of transferring part of their powers to vice mayors (political appointees). The results of this research could be useful for improving the legal regulation of the powers of municipal institutions (both municipal councils and municipal mayors, in terms of the scope, composition, transfer and delegation of powers to other municipal entities) and the relations between these institutions.