National EU Narrative in Lithuania – Promoter of Eastern Integration

Friday, July 14, 2017
WMP Yudowitz Seminar Room 1 (University of Glasgow)
Ramūnas Vilpišauskas , Vilnius University
The paper discusses the evolvement of official narrative in Lithuania since early 1990s when the ‘return to Europe’ objectives has been articulated through the preparation for EU accession and reformulation of country’s European policies in after the accession in 2004. It argues that differently from many other EU (and euro zone) member states, the euro zone crisis and refugee crisis did significantly not affect the national EU narrative in Lithuania. It has been and still continues to be oriented towards positive image of the EU as an integrator of formerly isolated Baltic States into the EU in the fields such as energy and contributing to its economic catching-up, a stabilizer of Eastern neighborhood and provider of an institutional forum for Lithuania to amplify its influence in the region, threatened by unpredictable and increasingly aggressive Russian policies. The major milestone in developing such a narrative was accession into the EU in 2004 when parliamentary parties signed an agreement on Lithuania’s European policy which itself was prepared by senior diplomats that played a crucial role in formulating country’s foreign policy. Dissenting voices in some parties and public commentators have become louder in recent years on the issues of euro adoption in Lithuania and EU refugee policies. However, they do not question the membership of the EU which is backed by all parliamentary parties and general public as reflected in above the EU average figures of support in opinion polls.
  • Vilpisauskas CES paper July 2017.docx (72.2 kB)