“The politics of differentiated integration: what do governments want? Country report – Lithuania”, Inga Vinogradnaitė and Ramūnas Vilpišauskas (IIRPS, Lithuania)

The report discusses the attitude of the Lithuanian policy-makers (parliament, president, government) towards differentiated integration during the period from Lithuania’s accession into the EU in 2004 till 2020. On the basis of quantitative and qualitative analysis of official speeches, documents and parliamentary debates, it concludes with several observations. First, the salience of differentiated integration in Lithuania has been limited with a notable exception of ending opt-outs from eurozone and the Schengen area, also to some extent the promotion of closer relations between the EU and its eastern partners. The assessment of ‘different-speeds’ and ‘different-tiers’ Europe is negative, though both models seem to be often confused in political discourse. Meanwhile, attitude towards mechanisms and concrete instances of differentiated integration is more nuanced and pragmatic, often depending on costs and benefits and political sensitivities of Lithuania joining them.

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