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Lithuania

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2007 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 706 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(99) 507 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 707 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1750 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1406 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1204 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its July 1997 Opinion the European Commission considered that Lithuania should not have major problems in the area of education, training and youth in relation to accession.

However, the November 1998 Report ascertained that progress in this field was limited.

In its October 1999 Report, the Commission noted that the reform of the education system had begun. To this end, the guidelines for reorganising the general education system were published in February 1999. Since November 1998, Lithuania had been taking part in the Community programmes Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates and Youth for Europe.

The November 2000 Report emphasised that Lithuania had made progress in reforming its education and training system and in introducing European standards. It was hoped it would use this progress to continue to align legislation and successfully conclude the reform of the education and training system.

The November 2001 Report considered that Lithuania had made some progress in this area by adopting a law in December 2000 on long-term funding of science and education. Lithuania was participating in the second generation of Leonardo, Socrates and Youth programmes.

In its October 2002 Report, the Commission noted that further progress had been made but that work remained to be done in order to ensure the effective implementation of the Directive on education of the children of migrant workers and in order to develop administrative capacity within the Ministry of Education.

The November 2003 Report considers that Lithuania meets the main commitments arising from the accession negotiations in the area of education and training.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

The EC Treaty provides that the Community shall:

  • contribute to the development of quality education which shall include a European dimension and shall support and supplement the action of the Member States while respecting their cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 149, ex Article 126) with regard to the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems;
  • implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States (Article 150, ex Article 127) and shall aim to facilitate adaptation to industrial changes and increase employability.

These provisions are being implemented mainly through three major action programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe) recently updated by a new generation of programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).

EVALUATION

Since 1997, Lithuania has been tackling the reform of the education system. This reform, which relates to education and vocational training, followed on from the legislative acts on vocational training which were adopted in 1997 and 1998 to solve the problems that had arisen in this sector. The Education Act provides for the introduction of non-university higher education, quality controls on study and rules to ensure that the quality of teaching is consistent. Furthermore, Lithuania's White Paper on higher education, containing plans for the development of higher education until 2015, was approved in December 1999. In December 2000, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted the law on long-term funding of science and education.

Participation in the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth programmes is satisfactory, and the existing national agencies are operational. With regard to student mobility, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed an agreement in February 2000 on the recognition of degrees in order to facilitate student mobility. With regard to non-discrimination of European Union nationals, the aim of the new Education Act adopted in March 2000 is to create conditions to ensure freedom of movement and equal treatment.

In order to conclude the preparations for accession, Lithuania must now concentrate on strengthening the infrastructure needed to ensure the effective implementation of the Directive on the children of migrant workers and develop administrative capacity within the Ministry of Education.

Since the Commission Opinion of 1997, Lithuania has made steady progress. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed (see 2002 Report). Lithuania has not requested any transitional arrangements in this area.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 08.03.2004
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