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Lithuania - Regional Policy

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Short-term priorities:

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Medium-term priority:

  • introduction of the legal, budgetary and administrative framework bringing into effect a national integrated policy to fight regional disparities, with a view to participating in structural programmes of the European Union.

Assessment (October 1999)

No progress has been recorded in this area.

Assessment (November 2000)

No progress made in this area.

Assessment (November 2001)

Decisions defining responsibilities in respect of the management and implementation of the Structural Funds have been taken but are not yet operational. Major efforts are still needed to create the structures necessary for managing the Funds, in particular as regards analysis and evaluation.

Assessment (October 2002)

Lithuania has made important progress in preparing for the implementation of a regional policy aimed at reducing regional disparities. As regards territorial organisation, Lithuania has reached an agreement with the Commission on the NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Statistical Units) classification: the whole country corresponds to NUTS levels I and II, the ten counties to level III, municipalities to level IV and neighbourhoods to level V. Lithuania adopted the Law on Approval of Financial Indicators for State and Municipal Budgets for 2002 and is preparing a new version of the Law on Regional Development. There has been no significant development in allocating institutional responsibilities apart from identifying second-level intermediate bodies which will be involved in managing the Structural Funds. With regard to programming, Lithuania submitted its National Development Plan 2002-2004 to the Commission in January 2002. This Plan will be useful experience for preparing the draft Single Programming Document (SPD), the drafting and ex-ante evaluation of which is currently in progress. In order to ensure inter-ministerial co-operation and the application of the partnership principle, the SPD Supervisory Commission and Working Group were established in February 2002. As far as financial management and control are concerned, Lithuania has successfully introduced a multi-annual approach to the Public Investment Programme and presented, in April 2002, a study on the country's capacity to absorb assistance from the Structural and Cohesion Funds. All the ministries and organisations concerned have set up internal audit units, while a specialised unit is now in charge of developing systems and common standards. Concerning statistics, the compilation of regional data has continued.

Lithuania has provisionally closed negotiations on the Regional Policy chapter without requesting any transitional periods. From now on, efforts must be concentrated on the elaboration of an integrated and coherent national development strategy, which will incorporate the regional development strategy. Although the institutional framework is largely in place now, Lithuania still needs to strengthen its administrative capacity and improve the technical preparation of future projects in order to reach the level required. It is necessary to encourage business aid and a local development approach. Furthermore, Lithuania will focus efforts on the elaboration of the SPD for Objective 1 in accordance with the timetable agreed with the Commission through continued inter-ministerial co-operation and the participation of the relevant partners. Work on ensuring compliance with the requirements of the acquis communautaire for monitoring and evaluation must continue. With regard to management and financial control, the guidelines are still to be drawn up. Lithuania will ensure that the specific procedures for financial control, auditing and certification of expenses and correction of irregularities specifically applicable to the Structural and Cohesion Funds are finalised.

Assessment (November 2003)

Please refer to the fact sheets on the adoption of the Community acquis.

Following the signing of the Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004.

REFERENCES

Decision 98/265/EC of 30.03.1998
Official Journal L 121 of 23.04.1998

Decision 1999/856/EC of 06.12.1999
Official Journal L 335 of 28.12.1999

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(1999) 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, 23.09.2003]

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

Last updated: 19.11.2004
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