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Lithuania

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(1997) 2007 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1998) 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]

2) CONTENTS

In its July 1997 Opinion, the Commission considered that most of Lithuania's industry should be able to cope with the problems of integration into the single European market in the medium term, provided that the positive trends with regard to restructuring of industry and privatisation continued.

The November 1998 Report concluded that Lithuania had made progress, particularly in creating a more market-based business environment.

The October 1999 Report noted the Lithuanian Government' s new approach to industrial policy. Following the Russian crisis and its impact on Lithuanian industry, the new approach focused on industrial restructuring.

The November 2000 Report stated that the Government was continuing to put in place the necessary political and legal framework for industrial restructuring, although little had been done in terms of implementation. The report noted that progress had been made in improving the SME environment and in developing support infrastructures.

The November 2001 Report stressed that in the field of industrial policy considerable progress had been made in the areas of restructuring enterprises, privatisation and promoting investment, as well as in improving the business environment, but that limited progress had been made in supporting competitiveness. With regard to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), some progress had been recorded in terms of their budget allocation, access to finance, improvements in their environment, decentralisation and assistance networks.

The October 2002 Report took stock of the progress made by Lithuania in its efforts to improve the competitiveness of enterprises. For SMEs, work had continued on improving the business environment, access to finance and strengthening business support services. Preparations for the Structural Funds were continuing in the field of both industrial policy and SME policy.

The November 2003 Report considered that Lithuania's industrial policy and policy to promote SMEs had essentially complied with the requirements of the accession negotiations. However, Lithuania needed to continue strengthening its administrative capacity.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

EC industrial policy seeks to enhance competitiveness, thus achieving rising living standards and high rates of employment. Its aim is to speed up adjustment to structural change, encouraging an environment favourable to initiative, to the development of undertakings throughout the Community and to industrial cooperation, and to foster better exploitation of the industrial potential of innovation, research and technological development policies. EU industrial policy combines instruments from a number of Community policies, and includes both instruments related to the operation of markets (product specification and market access, trade policy, State Aid and competition policy) and measures related to industry's capacity to adapt to change (stable macro-economic environment, technology, training etc.).

In order to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union, the industry of applicant countries will need to have achieved a certain level of competitiveness by the time of accession. The applicant countries need to be seen to be pursuing policies aimed at open and competitive markets along the lines set out in Article 157 (ex-Article 130) of the EC Treaty. Cooperation between the EU and the candidate countries in the fields of industrial cooperation, investment, industrial standardisation and conformity assessment as provided for in the Europe Agreement is also an important indicator of development in the right direction.

EVALUATION

Lithuania continued to implement its industrial strategy, mainly through the five themes of innovation, national quality, conformity and assessment infrastructures, the development strategy and export promotion, and SMEs. Efforts have also been made in the field of investment, restructuring and privatisation. These will need to continue in order to integrate enterprises into the single market, promote investment, and restructure certain industries.

Lithuania has made progress in the field of industrial policy since the 1997 opinion. This chapter has been provisionally closed, no transitional arrangements have been requested and Lithuania has met its commitments (see the 2002 Report). Lithuania does, nevertheless, need to improve the administrative environment for enterprises, foster dialogue with industry and implement the industrial policy.

With regard to SMEs, progress has been made in implementing the policy and in improving the business environment. Further work will be required, mainly with a view to simplifying administrative procedures, improving coordination among the different institutions responsible for SMEs and to prepare this sector for integration into the single market.

Lithuania has introduced an SME policy since the 1997 opinion. This chapter has been provisionally closed, no transitional arrangements have been requested and Lithuania has met its commitments (see the 2002 Report). There is, however, still a need to promote entrepreneurship and improve the legal conditions for enterprises.

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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