privalumai ir trūkumai Lietuvos narystei EU

INFORMATION AND PUBLIC OPINION

The Lithuanian Public Awareness and Information Strategy in preparation for accession to the EU was adopted on 6 April 1999, which aims to present and explain the main aspects of the process of integration into European Union and familiarise the Lithuanian society with the position of the Government of Lithuania on EU membership.
In the context of integration, the strategic goals of Public Awareness programme are the following:
• To introduce and explain with reasoned arguments the most important asspects of the process of European integration.
• Properly familiarise the society with the position of Government of Lithuania on EU membership.
• Encourage public acceptance of EU membership by providing exhaustive information.
• Facilitate public and aware discussion in the open information environment on the questions of EU membership, based on exhaustive and reliable information.

The European Council in Luxembourg concluded “from the end of 1998, the Commission will make regular reports to the Council <.> reviewing the progress of each Central and East Euuropean applicant State towards accession in the light of the Copenhagen criteria, in particular the rate at which it is adopting the Union acquis”. Importance of regular accounts of progress had been raised by decisions made at the Helsinki European Co

ouncil on 11 December 1999 where the European Council decided to convene a bilateral intergovernmental conference in February 2000 to begin negotiations with Lithuania on the conditions of its entry into the Union and the ensuing Treaty adjustments. The European Council also stated, that “in the negotiations, each candidate country will be judged on its merits. This principle will apply both to opening of the various negotiating chapters and to the conduct of the negotiations. <.> Progress in negotiations must go hand with progress in incorporating the acquis into legislation and actually implementing and enforcing it”.

Relations between Lithuania and the European Union
Lithuania welcomed the conclusions of the European Council meeting in Laeken on 14-15 December 2001 and regards as a very important the EU assertion thhat the accession process is now irreversible. Lithuania also welcomed the determination of the EU to bring the accession negotiations with the candidate countries that are ready, to a successful conclusion by the end of 2002, so that those countries can take part in the European Parliament elections in 2004 as members. Lithuania welcomed the view of the EU that Lithuania is in a position to achieve this goal.

In the field of political criteria,
 The proper functioning judiciary was consolidated by the adoption of

f the Law on Courts on 24 January 2002 guarantying the independence of the judiciary 9in force from 1 May 2002). The number of vacancies in courts was further reduced. From September 2001 to 1 May 2002, 12 judges were appointed bringing the ratio of occupied posts to vacancies in all courts to 656 : 56. The backlog cases in courts has been further decreased. The backlog of criminal cases under investigation for more than 6 month in the courts of first instance decreased from 595 on January 2001 to 412 on 1 January 2002, or by 31 per cent. The backlog of civil cases under investigation for more than 6 month in the courts of first instance decreased from 1430 on 1 January 2001 to 964 on 1 January 2002, or by 33 per cent. During the reporting period, efforts to improve the training of judges have been sustained. In 2001, a total of 1215 judges were trained.

In the area of economic criteria,
 During the reporting period, Lithuania economy continued to grow, despite the slow-down of growth in the EU member states. Macroeconomic stability has been preserved, especially during the re-pegging of its currency Litas to the Euro and by following a strict fiscal discipline.
 The structural reforms were further advanced, especially in the area of privatization (privatization of all state-owned banks in Lithuania is now completed), restructuring of en

nergy sector and faster bankruptcy procedures. During the reporting period investments, access to the credit and the level of financial intermediation in the banking sector increased. The initiatives by the Government in the fields of business environment, industrial policy, small and medium sized enterprises’ promotion were further continued.
 On the other hand, the pension reform, more effective enterprise-level economic policies and solutions to the problem of structural unemployment remain as the major priorities of Lithuania till its accession to the EU.

In the area of free movement of goods,
 All the basic legislation is in place including the recently amended Law on Pharmaceutical Activities. Legislation in sector specific areas has been harmonized in the fields of crystal glass, textile, footwear, detergents, fertilizers, toys, electrical equipment, gas appliances, pressure vessels and equipment, lifts, personal protective equipment, electromagnetic compatibility. The pre-marketing registration has been abolished for cosmetic and detergents.

In the area of free movement of persons,
 Upon accession, Lithuania will set up a database on the assessment and recognition of professional qualifications, strengthen the Co-ordinating Commission in the Field of Professional Qualification Assessment and Recognition under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and improve qualification of staff aiming to ensure effective monitoring and control of th

he implementation of the EU directives.

In the area of freedom to provide services,
 Following the adoption of the Law on Compulsory Motor Third Party Liability Insurance (2001), all necessary secondary legislation was adopted and institutional arrangements (including the establishment of the Bureau of Compulsory Motor Third Party Liability Insurance in November 2001) were made; thus as this system is operational. The progress in issuing policies and accumulating necessary finances for the operation of the system has been good (the ratio of policy holder to owners of vehicles in use is about 75 per cent; i.e. 940 thousand of contracts concluded since 1 January 2002; LTL 163 million accumulated, of which 1 per cent paid out to the policy holders in settlement of claims). The minimal insurance sums will be raised up to the minimal EU levels, as envisaged, in the 3rd quarter 2003.

In the chapter on agriculture,
 Restructuring of milk processing industry is completed, and reorganization of the meat processing industry has been started (in 2001, 39 slaughterhouses and 18 meat factories were closed down because of their failure to compete and implement the veterinary-sanitary and environmental requirements – or, respectively, 22 and 12 per cent of the total number of establishments of these types, which is twice as many as in 2002).

In the chapter of fisheries,
 As regards administrative capacity, progress has been achieved by establishing the Klaipėda Division of the Fisheries Department. In order to strengthen inspection and control in the fisheries sector, training of inspectors, upgrading of navigation equipment and the acquirement of a new inspection vessel is foreseen in 2003. During the reporting period, progress in development of the satellite-based tracking system was made. Presently, satellite transmitters have been installed and programmed for transmission of data in 59 fishing vessels operating in the Baltic Sea and in the all vases operating in the high seas.
 The ongoing establishment and implementation of the Integrated Information Database System, the Satellite Based Fishing Vessels Monitoring System and the separate Fishing Vessels Register will be competed in 203, also with the PHARE assistance. Conditions for fish landings and control of fish resources utilization will be improved after the construction of a separate fishing port in Klaipėda in 2003.

In the chapter on transport,
 In the field of rail transport, in 2nd quarter of 2003 Lithuania will draft the laws on the Reform or Railway Sector and Rail Traffic Safety. In the maritime sector, Lithuania is planning to join several International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conventions. As regards civil aviation, the implementation of the JARs will take place by the end of 2003. As for the TEN networks, according to the Trans-European network development prospects provided for in the TINA final report, it is foreseen to approve the outline plans of the Trans-European network in the territory of Lithuania in 2003.

In the chapter of Economic and Monetary Union,
 On 1 February 2002, the Bank of Lithuania successfully carried out the re-pegging of the Litas to the Euro instead of the US Dollar without effective devaluation or revaluation (with the official exchange rate of LTL 3.4528 for EUR 1). As regards fiscal policy, on 26 September 2001, the Government adopted the Resolution on the Lithuania Pre-accession Economic Programme. Later, the Programme, which in includes a medium-term economic policy model, task for public financing, landmarks for budget policies and priorities of structural reforms, was approved by the Government and submitted to the European Commission.

In the chapter of social policy and employment,
 During the reporting period a number of important lows adopted, namely the Labour Code, the Law on Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases, the Law on Public Health Surveillance, the Law on Amendments to the Law on Support to Unemployed, etc. The Labour Code transposes and implement the main part of the EU labour law directives and provisions of the European Social Charter. The Joint Assessment Paper (JAP) on Lithuania Employment Policy Priorities between European Commission and Lithuania Government was signed on 12 February 2002. The National Programmes for Social Integration of Persons with Disability and of Safety and Health at Work were approved by, and the Implementation Programme of the Poverty Reduction Strategy was submitted to the Government.

In the chapter of energy,
 In May 2002, Seimas adopted a Resolution mandating the Government to negotiate with the Union the terms and conditions for the closure of Ignalina NPP. This Resolution inter alia calls for amending the National Energy Strategy. As regards preparation for Decommissioning of Unit 1, a first group of decommissioning projects to be submitted for consideration to the Donors’ Assembly on 19 June 2002 was prepared. With a view to strengthen administrative capacities, on 19 September 2001, the head of the Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RWMA) was appointed and the staff of 6 people was employed. Lithuania examined the Council’s Report on Nuclear Safety in the Context of Enlargement and provided a time-table for implementation of recommendations.
Decommissioning of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
The EU attaches great importance to the nuclear safety issues. The Cologne European Council in June 1999 emphasised the importance of high standards of nuclear safety in Central and Eastern Europe in the context of the EU enlargement.
The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania approved the National Energy Strategy on 5 October 1999. One of the main elements of the National Energy Strategy is a plan for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP. The Strategy provides for that the Unit 1 of the Ignalina NPP will be closed down before the year 2005 and the issue pertaining to the final date of the decommissioning of Unit 2 shall be decided upon in the updated National Energy Strategy to be prepared in the year 2004.
On 21-22 June 2000 Lithuanian Government in co-operation with the European Commission and EBRD organised international Donor’s Conference on the decommissioning of Unit 1 of Ignalina NPP. Contribution of the European Union pledged to the international Ignalina NPP decommissioning fund was 165 MEUR, contributions of other participants – 29,35 MEUR. The participants of the Conference pledged 22 MEUR of other contributions.
On 31 January 2001 the Government has approved the Programme for the Closure of the First Unit of Ignalina NPP.
On 5 April 2001 framework agreement relating to the Activities of the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund in Lithuania was signed between Lithuanian Government and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
On 11 June 2002 Lithuania and the EU closed Energy chapter. It means that Lithuania and the EU have reached a principle political agreement enabling to start negotiating on financing the closure of the Ignalina NPP. We have reached important stage in the negotiations on Ignalina NPP: the EU acknowledged that decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP for Lithuania is an exceptional financial burden not commensurate with the size and economic strength of the country and declared its readiness to provide financial assistance. The assistance will be:
– long-term financial assistance (also after Lithuania’s accession to the EU)
– additional to the assistance provided to Lithuania through the structural funds and the Cohesion Fund (as a separate line of the EU budget)
This is an important decision by the Member States, since it endorses proposals by the Commission regarding long-term and additional financial assistance for Lithuania. According the Commission’s proposal, 70 million EURO for the each year from 2004 until 2006 are suggested by the Financial Framework for the closure of the Ignalina NPP. This is in addition to the 165 million EURO already pledged by the EU and 50 million EURO pledged by the donor states. After approval of the Financial Framework by the EU member states the irretrievable support to Lithuania pledged by the EU and other donors would amount to 375 EURO million until the end of 2006.
Lithuania highlighted this expression of solidarity and bearing this in mind, committed to the closure of the Unit 2 of INPP by 2009. Lithuania’s commitment is clearly related with the EU financial assistance.

 The reform of the Lithuania electricity sector was completed, and AB Lietuvos energija was split into five independent companies at the end of 2001. The privatization of the gas company is ongoing, and the privatization agreement of AB Lietuvos dujos has been signed.

In the area of culture and audio-visual policy,
 in the Ministry of culture, Department for Provision for the Public Information Policy was established for the implementation of the audio-visual policy. A monitoring room was established at the Radio and Television commission of Lithuania.

Lithuania has speeded up its actions in all environmental sectors.
 The Seimas passed the Law on Packaging and Packaging Waste and amended the Law on Environmental Pollution-related Charges. The Government approved the National Strategic Waste Management Plan. Moreover, the Seimas amended the Law on Protected Animal, Plant, Fungi Species and Communities and the Law on Wildlife and passed the new Low on Protected Areas.
 A significant part of directives, including some of the new acquis, has already been fully transposed, especially in the areas of air and water quality, nature protection, waste management and radiation protection. Full transposition of the acquis will be achieved by the end of 2003.

In the area of consumers and health protection,
 Legal framework has been adopted, and Lithuania has achieved a good level of alignment in the areas of consumer credit, on general product safety, doorstep and distance contracts, unfair terms in consumer contracts, timeshare, indication of prices, and guarantees. In order to fully comply with the EU acquis, minor shortcomings are foreseen to be abolished before the date of accession.

During the last twelve months, Lithuania has consistently worked in the spheres of justice and home affairs,
 particularly regarding the security of external borders, combating organized crime (including illicit human trafficking and prevention of money laundering), and corruption. The governmental European Integration Commission chaired by the Prime Minister adopted the National Schengen Action Plan on 9 October 2001. An action plan has been drafted for expansion and strengthening of consular institutions in Belarus and in the Kaliningrad region by the end of 2003. The Strategic Plan for Development of the Border Guard Stations and Infrastructure in 2001-2010 was approved by the Government (up to LTL 200 million will be allocated for expansion of the state border infrastructure, construction of the veterinary and phytosanitary stations, post for medical quarantine).
 The new Code of Criminal Procedure was adopted on 14 March 2002. The laws on Identification Cards and Passports were adopted in field of migration. The Law on Prevention on Money Laundering was amended. The National Programme for Fight against Terrorism approved by the Government.
 The reorganization of the Police Department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs was completed, and as a result, the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau has been established, including the International Relations Service comprised of the Lithuanian National Interpol Bureau and (in the future) the SIRENE National Bureau. The Tax Police Department has been reorganized into the Financial Crime Investigation Service, which was afterwards appointed as the contact institution for co-operation with the OLAF. Lithuania also established a National Focal Point for co-operation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Lithuania has achieved a high level of legal approximation in the field of customs union.
 During the period from July 2001 to April 2002, 18 legal acts were adopted. The amended Customs Code (adopted on 4 December 2001) is in full compliance with the Community Customs Code, and the Customs Convention on containers was ratified. The Strategy of Fight against Corruption in Customs and its action plan were approved. The Fraud Prevention and Investigation Service was reorganised into an independent Customs Criminal Service. The territorial customs offices’ reorganisation plan is being implemented, whereby from 1 July 2002, the currently operational ten territorial customs offices will be reorganised into five.

In the area of external relations,
 Lithuania has revised its bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, into order to ascertain their conformity with the EU commitments. The process of denunciation of agreements, which are incompatible with the acquis, is prepared for starting from the beginning of 2003. All necessary institutional infrastructure for implementation and enforcement of the acquis is in place and operational. As regards development policy, the division responsible for the development policy in the Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the budgetary line for the technical assistance to the third countries were established.

Political Dialogue between Lithuania and the EU
Lithuania participates in the political dialogue with the EU in the framework of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
The preliminary stage of political dialogue has started since the enforcement of Agreement on Trade and Commercial and Economic Co-operation between Lithuania and the European Communities which includes the declaration on political dialogue. This declaration provides for concrete frameworks of co-operation: meetings at ministerial and senior official level and exchange of information on foreign policy issues.
According to the Title II of the Europe Agreement on political dialogue, the purpose of the political dialogue is to develop co-operation in the area of CFSP. The structure of the political dialogue is as follows:

Multilateral meetings;

Meetings at ministerial level;

Meetings at Political Directors level;

Co-operation in third countries and international organisations;

Meetings at parliamentary level.
The major forms of the Lithuanian participation in the political dialogue are:

Participation in the EU and candidate countries’ meetings;

Alignment with the EU statements, demarches, common positions and common actions;

Co-operation in the third countries and international organisations.
During every EU Presidency Lithuania participates in the political dialogue meetings on the level of Foreign Ministers, Political Directors, European Correspondents and experts. The political dialogue meetings concentrate on issues such as:

Security,

Non-proliferation,

Analysis and Planning,

Eastern Europe and Central Asia,

Disarmament,

United Nations,

OSCE,

Human Rights,

Terrorism,

Western Balkans,

Drugs,

Conventional Arms Export.
Another example of Lithuania_s participation in the political dialogue is the alignment with the EU statements, demarches, common positions and common actions. During the 4th quarter of 2000 Lithuania aligned itself with 202 EU statements, demarches and common positions through the Council_s Secretariat in Brussels, in the framework of the United Nations and its agencies, in the framework of OSCE.
Lithuanian representatives also participate in the regular political dialogue meetings in the third countries and international organisations.
The secure communication system between EU Council Secretariat and candidate countries in the area of CFSP functions since 6 December 1999. The system ensures secure transfer of documents in the area of CFSP between Lithuanian and the EU Council Secretariat.
The EU Capabilities Commitment Conference has taken place on 20 November 2000, where the EU Foreign and Defence Ministers announced their countries’ contributions to the European Security and defence Policy. The EU candidate countries were also invited to the Conference. Lithuania’s contribution was as follows: 3 infantry battalions, combat support platoon, combat service support section, 2 aircraft, one helicopter, two naval vessels and training areas in Pabrad? and Rukla.

Trade with the European Union
The European Union is the main Lithuania’s trade partner. During year 2001, Lithuanian exports to the EU amounted to LTL 8782 million and imports LTL 12150 million. The annual trade turnover with the EU was 48% of the total trade turnover, and imports and exports amounted 48% of their total figures.

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

Since the Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1995, the share of EU in Lithuania’s trade has constantly increased. However, the trade turnover with EU did not grow proportionally over the period. The growth of imports was significantly larger than the growth of exports. Only starting with 1998 increase in exports exceeded increase in imports: exports compared with the same figure of 1997, increased by 12.2%, whereas imports increased by only 10.7%. In 1999, this trend was even more significant: imports compared with the figure of 1998, decreased by 17.3%, and exports increased by 6.8%. In 2001, the growth of both imports and exports grew uniform – imports rose by 19.8%, and exports by 20.4%.

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

In 2001, Germany remained the main Lithuania’s trade partner. Lithuanian exports to Germany were 12% of the total exports, and imports were 19% of the total imports. The other largest trade partners among the EU countries were the United Kingdom (14% of the total exports and 3% of the total imports), Denmark (4% of exports an 4% of imports), Netherlands (3% of exports and 4% imports), Sweden (4% of exports and 3% of imports), France (3% of exports and 3% of imports) and Italy (2% of exports and 8% of imports).

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

In 2001, as compared to 2000, Lithuania_s exports considerably increased to the United Kingdom (117%), Finland (31%), Belgium (24%), and decreased to Netherlands (26%), Austria (21%), France (10%).
Lithuania_s imports from the most EU countries increased in 2001, in comparison to 2000. The most remarkable growth of imports was from Portugal (78%), Austria (41%0, Belgium (35%), Ireland (32%).
In 2001, the main groups of goods exported to the EU were textile, mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, various manufactured articles and wood. These product groups together constituted 79% of the total Lithuania_s exports to the EU.
Exports of mineral products, food, vegetable products, textile increased in 2001, as compared to 2000, while exports of chemicals and wood decreased.

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

The leading groups of goods imported from the EU in 2001 were machinery and equipment, transport equipment, textile and its products, products of chemical industry and plastics. These groups amounted to 72% of the total imports from the EU.
In 2001, as compared to 2000, there was growth of imports of vehicles, food products, products of chemical industry, machinery and mechanical equipment. Imports from the EU of mineral products and vegetable products has decreased.

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

Foreign Direct Investment from the European Union to Lithuania

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

On 1 January 2002, total foreign direct investment to Lithuania was LTL 10661.9 million. The share of the EU in foreign direct investment to Lithuania amounted to 64% of the total foreign direct investment.

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

The greatest share of investment among the EU countries was from Denmark (18% of total investment), Sweden (17% of total investment), Germany (7% of total investment), the United Kingdom (7% of total investment), and Finland (6% of total investment).

Source: Lithuanian Statistical Department

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