Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union

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Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union
Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga
ChairpersonRamūnas Karbauskis
First Vice ChairmanAurelijus Veryga
Vice ChairpeopleLigita Girskienė
Kristina Kirslienė
Arvydas Nekrošius
Aušrinė Norkienė
Bronis Ropė
Giedrius Surplys
FounderKazimiera Prunskienė
Founded2001 (Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties)
Merger ofLithuanian Peasants Party
New Democracy Party
HeadquartersGedimino pr. 28, Vilnius
MembershipDecrease 3,741 (2023)
Political positionCentre-left[7][8] to left-wing[7][9]
European Parliament groupUnion for Europe of the Nations (2004–2009)
Greens/EFA (since 2014)
Colours  Green
19 / 141
European Parliament (Lithuanian seats)
2 / 11
Municipal councils
185 / 1,498
8 / 60
Website Edit this at Wikidata

The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga, LVŽS)[nb 1] is a green-conservative[1] and agrarian[5] political party in Lithuania led by Ramūnas Karbauskis. The party is considered one of the main representatives of the left wing of Lithuanian politics.[7] Lithuanian journalist Virgis Valentinavicius described the party as "the mixture of the extreme left in economic matters and the extreme right in some social issues, all spiced up with an anti-establishment rhetoric of radical change".[4]

Following the 2020 parliamentary election, the LVŽS has been in opposition to the Šimonytė Cabinet. The party's two MEPs sit in the Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. Founded in 2001 as the Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union, (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių liaudininkų sąjunga, LVLS), the party's symbol since 2012 has been the white stork.


Foundation and participation in the Social Democratic Party-led governments (2001–2008)[edit]

In December 2001, the Lithuanian Peasants Party (Lietuvos valstiečių partija) and the New Democratic Party (Naujosios demokratijos partija) entered into an electoral alliance known as the "Valstiečių ir Naujosios demokratijos partijų sąjunga" (VNDS), which translates to the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union or Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties was formed.[10] In 2002–03 Lithuanian presidential election party's chairman Kazimira Prunskienė came with 5.04 per cent of the votes in the first round and saved its deposit. In the second round, she endorsed Rolandas Paksas of the Liberal Democratic Party, who won the election.[11]

In the 2004 presidential election (after Rolandas Packsas impeachement), Kazimira Prunskienė narrowly came to the second position (21.25 per cent), but she was defeated in the second round (although, after endorsement of Rolandas Paksas).[12] In 2004 European Parliament election, the party got 7.41 per cent of the votes and won one seat by Gintaras Didžiokas. He joined the Union for Europe of the Nations. In Seimas election later tahat same year, the party got 6.6 per cent of the votes. The Labour Party joined forces with Peasants and New Democratic Party Union and invited the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania to join.[13] Brazauskas initially ruled out a coalition with Labour,[14] but eventually Social Democrats and New Union (Social Liberals) joined forces with the Labour Party and the Peasants, with Brazauskas as the Prime Minister.[15]

In February 2006, the Peasants and New Democratic Party Union led by Lithuanian politician Kazimiera Prunskienė chose to rename itself the Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union (after the pre-war Lithuanian Popular Peasants' Union).

In 2008 parliamentary election the party felt below 5 per cent threshold and was left with three members, who were elected in single-member constituencies.

Opposition and leading force in the government (2009–2020)[edit]

In 2009 Kazimira Prunskienė left the party and founded the party of her own (Lithuanian People's Party).[16] Although the party was minor one, it gained some influence in 2010, when it supported the Homeland Union-led government. The Lithuanian Peasants Popular Union changed its name to the Lithuanian Peasants and Greens Union in January 2012.

The party emerged as a dark horse in the electoral race in the spring of 2016. The rise of support was attributed to the popularity of Karbauskis, who had been active in campaigning against alcohol, and their lack of involvement in political scandals.[17] LVŽS was further boosted by the announcement that Saulius Skvernelis, a Minister of Interior in Butkevičius Cabinet and one of the most popular politicians in Lithuania, would head the party's electoral list in the elections, without joining the party.[18][19]

After successful performance in the 2016 parliamentary elections, a clarification about its English name format was issued, changing it to Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.[20] Also, after these election the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union became one of the main three political parties in Lithuania (along with the Homeland Union and the Social Democratic Party) at the time.[21]

After these elections, various pundits claimed that the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union could form a coalition with the Homeland Union,[22] but Ramūnas Karbauskis proposed wide coalition between the aforementioned parties and the Social Democratic Party. The Homeland Union's leader Gabrielius Landsbergis himself proposed a coalition between the Homeland Union, the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Liberal Movement, although both Ramūnas Karbauskis and the Liberal Movement's leader Eugenijus Gentvilas turned down this offer.[23] Eventually, a coalition was formed between the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union and the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, which lasted until the autumn of 2017.

The party's support gradually declined by 2018 (e. g. in 2019 European Parliament election the party got 11.92 per cent of the votes), although due to the rally 'round the flag effect (caused by the COVID-19 pandemic), its support rebounded. In the 2020 parliamentary election the party won 18.07 per cent of the vote and 32 parliamentary seats.[24] The party has been in opposition since 2020.[25]

Again in opposition (from 2020)[edit]

After the elections, Ramūnas Karbauskis resigned from his parliamentary seat. After the electoral loss the party (along with the Labour Party) began to support various radical movements on the political fringes (e. g. Families' Defense March and the Lithuanian Family Movement). This position caused disagreements within party and its parliamentary group.

Disagreements had forced a split in the parliamentary group in late summer and early autumn of 2021, and former Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis formed the newly established Union of Democrats "For Lithuania" (although this split was speculated by the pundits as early as March 2021).[26] Due to this and the Social Democratic Party's position not to support the opposition coalition, the party lost the position of opposition leader. By the end of 2021, the party started losing members in municipalities' districts (e. g. Lazdijai district municipality mayor Ausma Miškinienė left it along with the almost all LVŽS members in the area).[27]

Aurelijus Veryga, Minister of Health in Skvernelis' cabinet, was put forward as the party's candidate in the 2024 presidential election.[28] In his electoral program, Veryga emphasized his support for traditional values and opposition to same-sex partnerships.[29]


Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union is placed on the left of Lithuanian political spectrum, although with very strong left-wing populist and left-conservative tendencies.[7][9] The party is described as green conservative, agrarian and social conservative and is considered to be a blend of staunchly left-wing economic policy, environmentalism, and a conservative outlook on social and cultural issues.[30] Economically, the party focuses on the importance of expanded healthcare and social welfare, whereas socially the party campaigns on traditional and Christian values and the need to stop the moral decay of contemporary society.[31] The party is also described as technocratic and agrarian populist.[32]

Throughout its existence, the party has evolved from a purely agrarian party to a left-wing populist one, full of eclectic tendencies. Starting out as the farmer-focused Lithuanian Peasant Union (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Valstiečių Sąjunga) in the early 1990s, LVŽS was later renamed the Lithuanian Peasant Party (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių partija) and started broadening its program beyond agricultural issues, joining forces with the Lithuanian Women Party (Lithuanian: Lietuvos moterų partija) in 1995. In the early 2000s, the Lithuanian Peasant Party was becoming increasingly left-wing, leading to the change of its name to the Lithuanian Peasant People’s Party (Lithuanian: Lietuvos valstiečių liaudininkų partija) in 2005, which was to highlight both the leftwards turn of the party and to connect itself to the interwar peasant movements in Lithuania.[4]

In 2012, the party was renamed again to its final name, the Lithuanian Union of Peasants and Greens, after its leader Ramūnas Karbauskis steered the party towards green politics, strongly promoting renewable energy and campaigning against nuclear power plants. This led the party to combine both agricultural interests and elements of green politics, which at the time was condemned as a 'somewhat schizophrenic' political mix. At the same time, led by Karbauskis, it initiated the 2014 Lithuanian constitutional referendum, which sought to prohibit the ownership of land in Lithuania to foreign citizens, in violation of Lithuania's terms of membership in the European Union.[33] Karbauskis opposed Lithuania's accession to the European Union before 2004, although the party emphasized its pro-Europeanism during the 2016 campaign.[34] Between 2012 and 2016, the party also adopted right-wing views on social issues. In the 2016 Lithuanian parliamentary election, the main message of LVŽS was the need to fight poverty and social exclusion, for which the party blamed economic liberalism and pro-business policies by previous Lithuanian governments.[4]

Economically, the party is described as 'extreme-left' and strongly populist, presenting itself as a party of ordinary people. LVŽS argues that wealth inequality is one of Lithuania's key problems, comparing the relative prosperity of Vilnius and the urban middle class with the impoverished Lithuanian countryside, struggling with high unemployment and a lack of prospects. In its ideological manifesto "The Government Program for Sustainable Lithuania" (Lithuanian: Darnios Lietuvos Vyriausybės programa), the party declared: "Addressing regional poverty and exclusion must become a priority task for the new government. Recognising that the economic cause of high unemployment and emigration is relatively low wages, we will take swift and effective measures to increase the income of the population, while at the same time striving to ensure an adequate social safety net." Accentuating the agrarian character of the party, the program also put heavy importance on "preserving the vitality of the Lithuanian countryside".[4]

LVŽS defines an economy that would prioritize the 'common man' as its goal, emphasizing the need to implement worker-friendly reforms in healthcare and education, a significant increase in wages and pensions, and the drastic revision of Lithuania's labour code, which the party has denounced as pro-business. The party has pledged to create a state-owned pharmacy network and sharply reduce drug prices, and initiated an anti-alcohol campaign, which it implemented by increasing excise duty on alcohol, raising minimum drinking age to 20, introducing a total ban on alcohol advertising and establishing a state monopoly on alcohol trade.[4]

The party's program emphasises a commitment to establishing a "strong family" as the core of Lithuanian society. It also strongly praises the Catholic Church and its teachings, and opposes abortion, same-sex partnerships and assisted reproductive technologies on the basis of the Catholic faith. Despite this, in the twelfth Seimas, the LVŽS was a big tent in regards to social issues, and some of its members such as Dovilė Šakalienė and Tomas Tomilinas[35] were strong supporters of feminism, minority rights and civil partnerships for same-sex couples.[4] Since the 2020 election, the party has increasingly turned socially conservative, especially after its more liberal members of the Seimas joined the Union of Democrats "For Lithuania". The party's vice-chairman Tomas Tomilinas was expelled from the party in 2021 for voting in favor of same-sex partnerships.[36]

LVŽS's success in the 2016 parliamentary election has been compared to the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election. According to Virgis Valentinavičius, both Trump and Karbauskis constructed a narrative of 'us against them', opposing themselves against the elite, in spite of both being among the wealthiest people in their respective countries, and both also shifted the blame for their early scandals to the media and the conspiracy of the establishment.[4]

In December 2023, the party took part in a meeting called "The family of European Conservatives is expanding" organized by the European Conservatives and Reformists.[37]

Electoral results[edit]


Election Votes[a] % Seats +/– Government
2004 78,902 6.6 (#6)
10 / 141
Increase 4 Coalition
2008 46,162 3.7 (#9)
3 / 141
Decrease 7 Opposition
2012 53,141 3.9 (#8)
1 / 141
Decrease 2 Opposition
2016 274,108 22.4 (#1)
54 / 141
Increase 53 Coalition
2020 204,780 18.1 (#2)
32 / 141
Decrease 22 Opposition
  1. ^ Proportional representation votes.

European Parliament[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/–
2004 89,338 7.4 (#5)
1 / 13
2009 10,285 1.8 (#11)
0 / 12
Decrease 1
2014 75,643 6.2 (#7)
1 / 11
Increase 1
2019 157,604 11.9 (#3)
2 / 11
Increase 1

Current Members of the Seimas[edit]

Parliamentarian From Constituency
Vida Ačienė 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Valius Ąžuolas 2016 Akmenė-Mažeikiai
Kęstutis Bacvinka 2016 Garliava
Vytautas Bakas 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Rima Baškienė 2004 Kuršėnai-Dainai
Guoda Burokienė 2016 Aukštaitija
Justas Džiugelis 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Aurimas Gaidžiūnas 2016 Radviliškis
Dainius Gaižauskas 2016 Marijampolė
Arūnas Gumuliauskas 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Stasys Jakeliūnas 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Jonas Jarutis 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Eugenijus Jovaiša 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Dalius Kaminskas 2016 Kėdainiai
Ramūnas Karbauskis 2016


Dainius Kepenis 2016 Marių
Gintautas Kindurys 2016 Nalšia
Algimantas Kirkutis 2016 Baltijos
Asta Kubilienė 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Bronius Markauskas 2016


Raimundas Martinėlis 2016 Sėla
Laimutė Matkevičienė 2016 Kaišiadorys-Elektrėnai
Kęstutis Mažeika 2016 Sūduva
Rūta Miliūtė 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Alfredas Stasys Nausėda 2016 Šilutė
Arvydas Nekrošius 2016 Raseiniai-Kėdainiai
Petras Nevulis 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Aušrinė Norkienė 2016 Tauragė
Aušra Papirtienė 2016 Kalniečiai
Virgilijus Poderys 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Viktoras Pranckietis 2016 Raudondvaris
Mindaugas Puidokas 2016 Aleksotas-Vilijampolė
Vytautas Rastenis 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Juozas Rimkus 2016 Kelmė-Šiauliai
Viktoras Rinkevičius 2016


Multi-member Constituency
Valerijus Simulik 2000 Saulės
Virginijus Sinkevičius 2016 Šeškinė
Saulius Skvernelis 2016 Karoliniškės
Kęstutis Smirnovas 2016 Vilkaviškis
Lauras Stacevičius 2016 Dainava
Andriejus Stančikas 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Levutė Staniuvienė 2016 Kuršas
Zenonas Streikus 2016 Lazdijai-Druskininkai
Dovilė Šakalienė 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Robertas Šarknickas 2016 Alytus
Audrys Šimas 2016 Biržai-Kupiškis
Agnė Širinskienė 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Tomas Tomilinas 2016 Multi-member Constituency
Stasys Tumėnas 2016 Aušros
Povilas Urbšys 2012 Vakarinė
Petras Valiūnas 2016 Dzūkija
Egidijus Vareikis 2000 Multi-member Constituency
Juozas Varžgalys 2016 Ukmergė
Gediminas Vasiliauskas 2016 Petrašiūnai
Aurelijus Veryga 2016 Panemunė
Virginija Vingrienė 2016 Multi-member Constituency


  • 2001 – Dec 2005: Peasants and New Democratic Party Union or Union of Peasants and New Democratic Parties (Valstiečių ir Naujosios demokratijos partijų sąjunga/VNDS)
  • Dec 2005 – Jan 2012: Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union (Lietuvos valstiečių liaudininkų sąjunga/LVLS)
  • Jan 2012 – Feb 2017: Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union (Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga/LVŽS)
  • Feb 2017 – present: Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjunga/LVŽS)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Raunio, Tapio; Sedelius, Thomas (13 July 2019). Semi-Presidential Policy-Making in Europe: Executive Coordination and Political Leadership. Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 63. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-16431-7. ISBN 978-3-030-16431-7. S2CID 198743002.
  2. ^ "Karbauskis rėžė – už Partnerystės įstatymą balsuojantiems "valstiečiams" nėra vietos frakcijoje". 17 July 2021.
  3. ^ "LVŽS steigia Krikščioniškosios demokratijos ir tradicinių vertybių analitinį centrą". 24 April 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Virgis Valentinavicius [in Lithuanian] (2017). "Lithuanian Election 2016: the Mainstream Left and Right Rejected by Voters Angry with the Establishment". Political Preferences. 14 (1): 19–34. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5216161.
  5. ^ a b Bakke, Elisabeth (2010). "Central and East European party systems since 1989". Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press. p. 81.
  6. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "Lithuania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d "Nations in Transit 2021 - Lithuania". 2021. As a result, LVŽS appeared to establish itself as the main left-wing actor on the political spectrum, pushing out LSDP.
  8. ^ Mindaugas Kluonis (30 October 2020). "Lithuania turns right: urban-rural cleavage, generational change, and left-wing perspectives". Since 2016, the main party that was considered to be "'left"' was the LVŽS.
  9. ^ a b Mindaugas Kluonis (30 October 2020). "Lithuania turns right: urban-rural cleavage, generational change, and left-wing perspectives". This lack of firm position did not work, and in rural areas, the LSDP lost to the more populist and conservative left-wing LVŽS as well as to the Labour Party (DP), while in urban areas progressive voters voted for the liberals, mostly for the Freedom Party, but also for the Liberal Movement.
  10. ^ "K.Prunskienė ruošiasi jungtuvėms ir rinkimams". DELFI.
  11. ^ "K.Prunskienė antrame ture parems R.Paksą". DELFI.
  12. ^ "R.Paksas pareiškė remiąs K.Prunskienę". DELFI.
  13. ^ "V. Uspaskichas kviečia kitas partijas kartu formuoti valdančiąją daugumą". ELTA. 25 October 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  14. ^ "A. Brazauskas: prognozuoju, kad koalicijos su Darbo partija nebus". ELTA. 24 October 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  15. ^ "Seimas 2004-2008 m.: valdantieji rūbą keitė kelis kartus" [2004-2008 Seimas: the governing coalition changed its clothes several times] (in Lithuanian). Verslo Žinios. 13 September 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  16. ^ "K.Prunskienė gimdys Liaudies partiją". Kauno diena.
  17. ^ "Partijų reitinguose išnyra juodasis arkliukas" [A dark horse emerges in the party ratings]. (in Lithuanian). 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  18. ^ Želnienė, Liepa (23 March 2016). "Saulius Skvernelis rinkimuose dalyvaus su žaliaisiais, bet į partiją nestos" [Saulius Skvernelis will participate in the elections with the Greens, but will not join the party] (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Lietuvos valstiečių ir žaliųjų sąjungą į Seimą ves Saulius Skvernelis" [Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union will be led in the elections by Saulius Skvernelis] (in Lithuanian). Vakarų Ekspresas. ELTA. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Verčiant į anglų žodžio "valstiečiai" neliks". Lietuvos Žinios (in Lithuanian). 17 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017. LVŽS šiandien pranešė, kad nuo šiol partijos pavadinimas angliškai skambės Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.
  21. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Lithuanian election brings major shake-up | DW | 24.10.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Seimo rinkimų apžvalga: Šokiruojanti, bet dėsninga LVŽS pergalė". 26 October 2016.
  23. ^ "R. Karbauskis: koaliciją galime suformuoti ir be konservatorių ar socialdemokratų".
  24. ^ "Centre-right opposition wins Lithuania's parliamentary election". Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  25. ^ ERR, ERR News | (26 October 2020). "Lithuania to get new conservative-liberal coalition prime minister". ERR. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Matas Baltrukevičius: Kodėl Skvernelio ir Karbauskio sąjunga gali žlugti?".
  27. ^ "Prie Skvernelio politinės jėgos nusprendė jungtis ir Lazdijų rajono "valstiečiai" kartu su mere Miškiniene". 2 December 2021.
  28. ^ ""Valstiečiai" į prezidentus kelia Aurelijų Verygą: nebijo būti pirmuoju partiniu kandidatu". 15min (in Lithuanian). 1 August 2023.
  29. ^ Pikelytė, Martyna (11 December 2023). "Veryga pristatė prezidento rinkimų programą: ginsiu tradicines vertybes". Delfi (in Lithuanian).
  30. ^ Kwiatkowska, Agnieszka (2019). "Institutionalisation without voters: the Green Party in Poland in comparative perspective". Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft. 13 (1): 273–294. doi:10.1007/s12286-019-00424-6.
  31. ^ Tusor, Anita; Escobar Fernández, Iván (2023). "Mapping European Populism – Panel 7: Populist parties/actors and far-right movements in the Baltic countries and Belarus". European Center for Populism Studies. doi:10.55271/rp0009.
  32. ^ Karolis Jonutis (2019). Post-democracy and Populist Discourses in Lithuania (2004-2016). Lithunia: Vilnius University. p. 21.
  33. ^ Samoškaitė, Eglė (25 March 2014). "Referendumo dėl žemės siurprizas: R. Karbauskio įmonės nebegalėtų pirkti žemės". Delfi (in Lithuanian).
  34. ^ Želnienė, Liepa (18 December 2017). "Ramūnas Karbauskis, kurį jau pamiršote: Europos Sąjungos priešininkas, ūkininkų advokatas ir legalaus samagono užtarėjas". (in Lithuanian).
  35. ^ Gaučaitė-Znutienė, Modesta (25 May 2021). "Balsavimas už partnerystę Tomilinui gali atsirūgti – partija ketina svarstyti jo elgesį". LRT (in Lithuanian).
  36. ^ Jakučionis, Saulius (16 June 2021). "Partnerystės įstatymą parėmęs "valstietis" Tomilinas šalinamas iš partinių postų". LRT (in Lithuanian).
  37. ^ Russo, Agnese (16 December 2023). "Atreju, la speranza e l'orgoglio di dare un nuovo futuro all'Ue: "La famiglia dei Conservatori si allarga"". Secolo d'Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  1. ^ The party is also known as Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union.

External links[edit]