Litva in international area

Litva in international area

The return to the political fold was completed on 17 September 1991. On that date, the Republic of Lithuania was accepted into the United Nations Organisation.

At present, Lithuania has diplomatic relations with 157 states. The country has come a long way in 20 years of cooperation in the international arena. It was the first state to become free of occupying Soviet army troops in 1993. This diplomatic success allowed it to move more rapidly towards transatlantic integration. In 2004, Lithuania became a member of NATO and the European Union, and since then Vilnius has been active in shaping and participating in transatlantic agendas. In 2009-2011 Lithuania chaired the Community of Democracies and in 2011 the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. In the second half of 2013 Lithuania will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Lithuania participates in the activities of approximately 50 international intergovernmental organizations. It is a member of the following international financial organizations: organizations of the World Bank group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) , the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB). It is also a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Lithuania and its representatives were elected to the governing bodies of various international organizations, as well as were chairing them for numerous times. By participating in the activities of international organizations, Lithuania contributes to:

  • peacekeeping efforts around the world and the region;
  • the promotion of security and stability;
  • the strengthening of human and regional problems;
  • the reduction of poverty and illiteracy;
  • the sustainable development around the world and the region;
  • the environmental protection;
  • the promotion of the dialogue among civilizations and to solutions for other global problems.

Being a full member of the European Union, Lithuania takes part in the process for co-ordination and implementation of the EU economic policy, i.e. the deeper economic integration process of Europe.

The co-operation with the international financial organizations strengthens the trust of foreign countries and financial markets in Lithuania as a reliable partner and a country making an active contribution towards global financial and economic stability and the processes of promoting economic development.

Decisions regarding the economic and financial policies of the European Union are usually taken in the ECOFIN council and it’s preparatory bodies, in which the representatives of the Ministry of Finance are also involved. During the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2013 the Minister of Finance will be chairing the ECOFIN Council meetings.

The European Commission has evaluated Lithuania as EU’s prime transport centre because 2 strategic international transport routes and their branches run through Lithuania, the North-South highway and the rail route connecting Scandinavia with Central Europe as well as the East-West route linking the huge Eastern markets with the rest of Europe, as being among the ten most important in Europe.  

Lithuania is located on the very crossroads of 3 huge markets. It’s a springboard to the EU markets, and Eastern markets (Russia and the CIS countries) are also just at Lithuania’s side.

On joining the EU the Republic has also become a member of the international donor countries’ community. Since 1 may, 2004 Lithuania has transformed its status from a partner country into a donor country. On a bilateral basis, Lithuania provides support to Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Afghanistan. On a multilateral basis and with regard to the priorities of the European Union, according to possibilities, support is provided to countries in other regions, particularly in the poorest African countries. 

Lithuania also builds its regional identity through active participation in regional organizations, such as Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) which Lithuania chaired in 2009-2010 and in the Baltic Sea regional formats such as the Baltic Council of Ministers and the Nordic-Baltic 8 (NB8). Cooperation between three Baltic States is based on the trilateral Treaty on Concord and Cooperation, signed on September 12, 1934 in Geneva. The Declaration on Unity and Cooperation, signed on May 12, 1990 in Tallinn, in full scope restored the cooperation between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Pursuant to the Geneva Treaty the Baltic Council was established in 1990. The Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) – the institution of trilateral intergovernmental cooperation established at the meeting of Baltic Prime Ministers on the 13th of June 1994.

Lithuania chaired OCSE from 1 January until 31 December 2011. The Chairperson was Mr. Audronius Azubalis, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania at that time.

The UN Security Council (SC) is the second most important UN organ after the General Assembly. On the 17th October 2013 Lithuania, together with Chad, Chile, Nigeria and Jordan, was elected as a non-permanent member for a two-year term, which started on 1 in January 2014.

The UN SC membership provides Lithuania with a possibility to demonstrate mature and active foreign policy, contribute to the solution of international peace and security issues, strengthen international authority of Lithuania and establish Lithuania as a visible and influential state in the region.

In September 2002, an official declaration of Lithuania’s intention to become a full member of the OECD was presented to the Organization’s Secretary – General. In 2012 Lithuania renewed its membership application.

In May 2013, OECD Council resolution on Global Reach has been adopted, mentioning the initiation of more active Lithuania – OECD co-operation and a possibility to open accession negotiations with Lithuania in 2015. In October 2013, Lithuania – OECD Action Plan for 2014-2015 has been adopted, identifying the main areas of enhanced co-operation.

Currently, Lithuania participates in the work of several OECD standing committees and working groups, and has adhered to several international instruments. Lithuanian institutions actively participate in various OECD programmes, forums and other structures. 

Lithuanian membership in NATO is based upon the provision set forth in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania – “to guarantee the security and independence of the country, welfare of the citizens and their fundamental right and liberties”.  On March 26, 2004 Protocols to the Washington Treaty on the accession of the invited candidate countries were signed. And after its ratification by Seimas Lithuania became a full-fledged member of NATO on the 29th of March, 2004. The Lithuanian flag was raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 2, 2004.  


Source:        www.orangeprojects.lt