Lithuania in the EU: transformation or imitation?

Client: The Research Council of Lithuania, 2013/03 – 2015/09

The aim of this research project was to examine, evaluate and explain the Europeanization of Lithuania: political, economic and institutional changes in the “new Europe” – the post-communist Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 – in the context of Europeanisation. Changes have been examined at the levels of public policy, politics and politics, distinguishing between (1) the quality of identity and democracy, and (2) institutional and public policy aspects. This systematic comparative study was relevant and new in both academic and applied terms as it was motivated by (1) the needs of the review of Lithuania’s public policy and institutional environment, including (2) the assessment of EU membership experience, as well as the approaching (3) Lithuania’s the EU Presidency in 2013, which was to provide an opportunity to reflect on and publicly assess the experience of EU membership and related change and (4) the transfer of experience in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe and (5) problems in the public sector crisis in southern Europe, especially in Greece.

The study assessed changes in Lithuania after the EU membership, identified the nature of political, economic and institutional changes, as well as explained the ongoing changes and their nature with international EU and other international actors (NATO) and internal factors, applying the main concepts of Europeanization mechanisms: degree of compliance, reallocation of resources, socialization, regulatory competition and institutional adjustment. In order to provide context and a comparative perspective, the nature of Europeanization was reviewed not only in the CEE but also in the EU’s neighbourhood of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

During the project, a model was formulated and empirically verified to allow a comprehensive assessment and explanation of the processes of change, and an analysis of Europeanization processes was performed. During the project, a monograph “Lithuania in the EU: Transformation or Imitation?” was published on the basis of articles prepared by researchers.