Partnership Agreement Republic Of Lithuania PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT June 20

Partnership Agreement Republic Of Lithuania PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT June 20

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Partnership Agreement
Republic of Lithuania
PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
June 20, 2014
(Amendment No. C(2017)211 of 23 January 2017)
Table of Contents
1. MISSION OF FUNDS AND THEIR ALIGNMENT WITH THE EU STRATEGY OF SMART,
SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH 7
1.1. Current situation analysis, challenges and growth potentials 7
1.1.1. General overview 7
1.1.2. Key development challenges and growth potentials 10
1.2. Summary of the ex ante evaluation 72
1.3. Summary of the results of each thematic objective in respect of
each fund 77
1.3.1. Strengthening research, technological development and
innovation 77
1.3.2. Enhancing access, use and quality of ICT 80
1.3.3. Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs, the agricultural sector (for
the EAFRD) and fisheries and aquaculture sector (for the EMFF) 82
1.3.4. Supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all
sectors 85
1.3.5. Promoting climate change adaptation and risk prevention and
management 87
1.3.6. Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency 89
1.3.7. Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key
network infrastructures 94
1.3.8. Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility 97
1.3.9. Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty 100
1.3.10. Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning 103
1.3.11. Enhancing institutional capacity and ensuring efficient public
administration 108
1.4. Indicative allocations by thematic objective for each ESI Fund
110
1.4.1. Indicative allocation of financial resources by thematic
objective for each of the ESI Funds 110
1.5. Application of horizontal principles 112
1.5.1. Partnership principle 112
1.5.2. Promotion of equality between men and women, non-discrimination
116
1.5.3. Sustainable development 118
1.5.4. Youth 122
1.6. The list of operational programmes with preliminary allocations
by fund and by year 124
2. ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION 125
2.1. Arrangements to ensure coordination between the ESI Funds and
other Union and national funding instruments and with the European
Investment Bank (EIB) 125
2.1.1. Coordination between the ESI funds, European Territorial
Cooperation (ETC) Programmes and the EUSBSR 125
2.1.2. Coordination between the ESI Funds and other Union and national
financing instruments and with the EIB 128
2.2. Ensuring additionality 133
2.3. A summary on the fulfilment of applicable ex ante
conditionalities 133
2.4. Methodology and mechanism to ensure consistency in the
functioning of the performance framework 133
2.5. Reinforcement of administrative capacity 137
2.5.1. Reinforcement of administrative capacities among bodies
responsible for administration 137
2.5.2. Reinforcement of administrative capacities among beneficiaries
141
2.6. Reducing administrative burden for beneficiaries 144
3. INTEGRATED APPROACH TO TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT 148
3.1. Integrated approach to the use of support for the territorial
development of specific sub-regional areas 152
3.1.1. Community-led local development (CLLD) 152
3.1.2. Integrated territorial investments (ITIs) 159
3.1.3. Sustainable urban development, including the urban areas where
integrated sustainable urban development actions are to be implemented
161
3.1.4. Main priority areas for cooperation, under the ESI Funds,
taking account, where appropriate, of macro-regional strategies 162
4. ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE EFFICIENT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP
AGREEMENT 166
4.1. Assessment of the existing systems for electronic exchange and
possibilities to share all information by electronic exchange only 166
FIGURES
Figure 1. Cumulative indicators of the Innovation Union Scoreboard:
comparison of the Lithuanian and EU average
Figure 2. Integrated territorial development model
TABLES
Table 1. Europe 2020 targets and current situation in Lithuania
Table 2. Indicative allocation of support by the Union by thematic
objective for each of the ESI Funds (EUR) (preliminary)
Table 3. Funds allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative under
thematic objective 8
Table 4. Allocations to technical assistance by category of region and
fund
Table 5. ESF share in all the Structural Funds (ESF and ERDF)
Table 6. Rural population by age, emphasising age groups of the youth
and young farmers
Table 7. List of operational programmes with preliminary allocations
by ESI Fund and by year
Table 8. Allocations related to the performance reserve by ESI Fund
and by category of regions
Table 9. Ensuring additionality in 2014–2020
Table 10. Reducing administrative burden of EU Structural and Cohesion
Fund 2014–2020
Table 11. Preliminary distribution of support to ITIs, except for the
support provided for in Section 3.1.3 (total amount)
Table 12. Indicative allocation at national level to integrated
actions for sustainable urban development under the ERDF
Table 13. Indicative schedule for the adaptation of the information
system to the 2014–2020 programming period
ANNEXES
Annex 1. Partner List
Annex 2. Identification of Ex Ante Conditionalities and Evaluation of
their Fulfilment
Annex 3. Compatibility between ESI funds
Annex 4. Experience from 2007–2013 in Implementing CLLD Initiatives
Abbreviations and definitions
ALMP – active labour market policy
ASIT – Agency for Science, Innovations and Technology
CAP – Common Agricultural Policy
CCIs –creative and cultural industries
CEF – Connecting Europe Facility
CFP – Common Fisheries Policy
CLLD – community-led local development
CO2 – carbon dioxide
DEW – data exchange website
EAFRD – European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
EAGF – European Agricultural Guarantee Fund
EEA – European Economic Area
EC – European Commission
EIB – European Investment Bank
EMFF – European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
ERDF – European Regional Development Fund
ERTMS – European Rail Traffic Management System
ESCO – Energy Service Company
ESF – European Social Fund
ESFRI – European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures
ESI Funds – European structural and investment funds (ERDF, ESF,
Cohesion Fund, EMFF, EAFRD)
EU Structural and Cohesion Funds – ERDF, ESF and Cohesion Fund
ETC – European territorial cooperation
EU – European Union
EUR – Euro
EURES – European Job Mobility Portal
EUSBSR – Strategy of the European Union for the Baltic Sea Region
FCIS – Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the
Interior
FDI – foreign direct investments
GAEC – good agricultural and environmental condition
GDP – Gross Domestic Product
GHG – greenhouse gas
GMO – genetically modified organisms
HNV – high nature value
IAP – inter-institutional action plan
ICT – information and communication technologies
ISARDP – Information System for the Administration of the Rural
Development Plan Measures
ISCED – International Standard Classification of Education
ISDC – Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of
Transport and Communications
ITI – integrated territorial investment
ITS – intelligent transport system
LAG – local action group
LDS – local development strategy
LNG – liquefied natural gas
LPIS – land parcel identification system
LR – Republic of Lithuania
LTL – Litas
RMDP – Road Maintenance and Development Programme
MCS – management and control system
NGO – non-governmental organisation
NPA – National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture
NDP – National Development Programme 2014–2020 approved by Resolution
No 148 of 28 November 2012 of the Government of the Republic of
Lithuania
NMVOC – non-methane volatile organic compounds
NRA – National Reform Agenda
OAC – open access centres
OECD – Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PFAA – project funding and administration agreement
PIRLS – Progress in International Reading Literacy Study
R&D – research and development
RDI – research, development and innovation
RDP – Rural Development Programme
RES – renewable energy sources
RHEMC – Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre
SDS – statistical data storage
SFMIS – computerised information system for the management and control
of the EU structural assistance
SME – small and medium-sized enterprise
SMR – standardised mortality ratio
SODRA – State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social
Security and Labour
STI – State Tax Inspectorate
SUMP – sustainable urban mobility plans
SWOT analysis – analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats
TEN-T – Trans-European Transport Networks
TEU – twenty-foot equivalent unit
TIMSS – Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
PLC – Public Logistics Centres
ŽŪIKVS – Agricultural Information and Rural Business Centre
ŽŪMIS – information system for the provision of e-services by bodies
and agencies within the regulatory scope of the Ministry of
Agriculture
ŽŪPAIS – Information System for the Administration of Support to
Agriculture
1. MISSION OF FUNDS AND THEIR ALIGNMENT WITH THE EU STRATEGY OF SMART,
SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH
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1.1. Current situation analysis, challenges and growth potentials
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1.1.1. General overview
From 2004 to 2012, the Lithuanian economy grew by 3.55% per year on
average. The economic growth was stimulated by the added-value
generated by sectors of construction, real estate, rent, wholesale,
retail, transport, warehousing, and by communications enterprises. At
that time, export positions of traditional industries strengthened,
exports of agricultural produce and food products grew and the share
of this production in the total structure of the country’s exports
increased and created a positive foreign trade balance. In 2007, a
record low unemployment rate was observed standing merely at 4.3%. In
2008, Lithuania’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded the record
threshold of LTL 122 billion (EUR 35.33 billion) at the prices of that
period; the average net pay amounted to LTL 1,651 (EUR 478.16). The
share of tangible investments accounted for 23.5% in the GDP structure
in 2007.
Lithuania’s rapid economic growth was slowed down by the global
financial and economic crisis. In 2009, Lithuania’s real GDP reduced
by nearly a fifth and the Lithuanian economy suffered the greatest
recession since 1993. The global downturn considerably limited
possibilities for exports, the consumption of households and private
enterprises and investments shrank in particular. Unemployment started
growing – compared to 2007, it grew by 1.5%. In 2010, a record
unemployment rate of 17.8% was observed in Lithuania, the average
monthly pay reduced. The share of tangible investments in the GDP
structure reduced more than twofold from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, this
indicator was merely 11.9%.
Signs of the economic recovery have been recorded since 2010. However,
the growth was rather slow and depended on the situation in the
European Union (EU) and the global economy, as well as on other key
trade partners. Since 2010, the GDP growth was stimulated by real net
exports of goods and services, gross fixed capital formation (which in
Lithuania is primarily associated with domestic investments into civil
and engineering constructions built by the state and state-owned
companies), and by the recovering modernisation of production in the
private sector. Since 2011, the growth of tangible investments was
observed – they grew by LTL 2.7 billion (EUR 0.78 billion) compared to
2010 and amounted to LTL 14 billion (EUR 4.05 billion) (13.2% of GDP),
in 2012 tangible investments grew further by nearly LTL 0.5 billion
(EUR 0.14 billion). Unemployment reduced by 2.1 percentage points over
the period of 2011-2012.
To sum it up, Lithuania stands out as a Member State that has
demonstrated a rapid growth during the recent 10 years in comparison
to the EU. However, it is a Member State with the highest emigration
rate in the EU – the net annual emigration accounted for 4.4% from
2000 to 2010. Unemployment, long-term unemployment in particular,
remains high and exceeds the EU average (in 2012, unemployment
accounted for 13.3% in Lithuania, while in the EU it stood at 10.5%).
Lithuania badly lags behind in terms of the key welfare indicator –
life expectancy, especially among men. Lithuanian men’s life
expectancy is the shortest in the entire EU. According to the data of
the 2012 study on income and living conditions, the risk of poverty or
social exclusion was experienced by 32.5 million of the Lithuanian
population. Lithuania was the fifth poorest country in the EU (the EU
average is 24.8%) by this indicator.
The National Reform Agenda (NRA) is one of the key national documents,
which establishes Lithuania’s commitment to achieve Europe 2020
targets. A large gap between the current values of Lithuania’s
national targets and the target values for 2020 is seen in most
priority areas of Europe 2020 (employment, research and development
(R&D), climate change and energy, education, poverty and social
exclusion) (see Table 1). The formal indicators of Lithuanian
education, which are among the best in the EU and reached the national
targets for 2020 already in 2013, are an exception. Therefore, the NRA
contains a set of regulatory and investment measures to ensure the
achievement of Europe 2020 targets.
Table 1. Europe 2020 targets and current situation in Lithuania
Europe 2020 headline targets
Current situation in Lithuania
National
target for 2020
3% of the EU’s GDP to be invested in R&D
0.92% (2011)
1.9%
A 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
-4% (2011)
not more than +15%
20% of energy from renewable energy sources
20.3% (2011)
23%
A 20% increase in energy efficiency
-4.5% (2011)
-17%
75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed
68.7% (2012)
72.8%
Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%
6.5% (2012)
< 9%
At least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
47.9% (2012)
47.9%
At least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social
exclusion
1,080,000 (2011)
814,000
The gap between the current situation of Lithuania and the target
values of the relevant indicators were assessed in the Council‘s
country specific recommendations 2014 which noted that Lithuania
should reinforce the budgetary measures in the light of expenditure
growth exceeding the benchmark; complement the budgetary strategy with
a further strengthened fiscal framework; further review the tax system
and consider increasing those taxes that are least detrimental to the
growth of economy, such as recurrent property and environmental
taxation; to complete the reform of state-owned enterprises by
ensuring, in particular, the separation of commercial and
non-commercial activities; adopt and implement legislation on a
comprehensive pension system reform in order to promote employability
of older workers; better target active labour market measures to the
low-skilled and long-term unemployed; address persistent skills
mismatches by improving the labour-market relevance of education and
promote life long learning; to continue to strengthen the links
between cash social assistance and activation measures. One of the
recommendations concerns improving of energy efficiency of buildings
by eliminating barriers precluding a more rapid implementation of the
holding fund initiative; further development of cross-border
connections to neighbouring Member States for both electricity and
gas.
The NRA is based on an optimistic macroeconomic growth forecast for
the Lithuanian economy. It also provides for the fulfilment of
commitments under the Euro-Plus Pact, which is mainly focussed on four
areas: fostering competitiveness, fostering employment, contributing
to the sustainability of public finance and reinforcing financial
stability. Whereas the Convergence Programme additionally emphasises
macroeconomic stability, business development and the reforms of
pensions, education, health care systems, reduction of energy
dependence on fossil fuel and other structural reforms necessary for
sustainable economy.
The position of the Commission services on the development of the
Partnership Agreement and programmes in Lithuania for the period
2014–2020 calls for optimising the use of the European Structural and
Investment Funds (ESI Funds) by establishing a strong link to
productivity and competitiveness-enhancing reforms, leveraging private
resources and boosting potential high growth sectors. Together with
the European Commission, it emphasises the need to preserve solidarity
within the EU and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources. It
states that the most complicated challenges for Lithuania are related
to an investment-friendly business environment; modern infrastructure
for economic growth and job creation; maximising the use of the labour
force’s potential and reducing youth unemployment; the sustainable and
efficient use of natural resources.
The National Development Programme (NDP) for 2014–2020, intended for
the implementation of the Lithuanian Development Strategy ‘Lithuania
2030’, is aimed at the creation of an advanced, modern and strong
state distinguished by the harmony of smart society, smart economy and
smart governance. The NDP covers not only the major provisions of the
national policy but also the main provisions of the EU policy set
forth in Europe 2020. The NDP sets out directions for the
implementation of the national long-term priorities, establishes
proportions of the EU financial support to the implementation of the
national long-term priorities during the 2014–2020 programming period.
The following five vertical priorities are set out in the NDP:
‘Development of the society, science and culture’, ‘Active and
solidarious society’, ‘Favourable environment for economic growth’,
‘High value-added focuses, integral economy’ and ‘Advanced public
governance meeting the society’s needs’, as well as three horizontal
priorities, i.e. ‘Culture’, ‘Regional development’ and ‘Health for
all’ which can be implemented through vertical priorities.
The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) is another
important strategic document which identifies the development needs
that are important for Lithuania at the regional level and the growth
potential. The EUSBSR, which is closely linked with Europe 2020 and
contributes to the implementation of this strategy, outlines several
challenges which very are characteristic for the Baltic Sea Region,
such as poor ecological condition of the Baltic Sea, a lack of
transport and electricity interconnections and climate change, which
cannot be properly solved by efforts of one country and call for
actions at the regional level. In order to overcome these challenges,
constructive cooperation of the states in the region and active
engagement of ministries within the states which should be guided by a
coordinated international strategic approach in their work are
important. Only in this way it is possible to improve the ecological
condition of the Baltic Sea, ensure energy security, improve the
transport system in the region, adapt to climate change, boost the
competitiveness and innovation capacities of regional enterprises,
etc. It should be noted that the EUSBSR allows to tackle cross-border
challenges more effectively, which in turn has a positive impact on
the overall development of the country’s economy and contributes to
the objectives of the Blue Growth Strategy.
Drawing on the experience in implementing operational programmes for
2007–2013 and the examples of best practice, national and regional
strategic documents, as well as the comparison of the major social and
economic indicators of Lithuania and the EU, and taking into account
the Council’s country-specific recommendations for Lithuania, the
analysis of territorial differences, the potential for growth and
development needs was performed and the following major challenges
which are in line with Europe 2020 priorities were identified:
(1) Efforts to achieve smart growth face challenges related to the
promotion of RDI, the quality of education, the efficiency of public
administration and the development of digital society;
(2) Efforts to achieve sustainable growth face challenges related to
the development of basic modern infrastructure, the creation of a
better business environment, as well as the sustainable and efficient
use of natural resources;
(3) Efforts to achieve inclusive growth face challenges of promoting
employment and reducing poverty and social exclusion in aligning them
with the targets of social and territorial cohesion.
1.1.2. Key development challenges and growth potentials
1.1.2.1. Smart growth challenges: R&D and innovation promotion,
ensuring quality in education, efficiency in public governance and
development of digital society
1.1.2.1.1. Innovativeness and investments into RDI
In the Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 (the Scoreboard), Lithuania is
listed 23rd among the EU Member States according to the Summary
Innovation Index. Over last five years, Lithuania advanced from modest
innovators to moderate innovators nearly in all indicators used in the
Scoreboard. Despite the progress, Lithuania still considerably lags
behind the EU average (see Fig.1), particularly in terms of indicators
measuring innovative activities of enterprises and economic results of
R&D and innovation (RDI).
Progress in RDI is impeded by poor efficiency of investments and
different scope of investments into RDI by the public and private
sectors. Although the share of RDI funding from the public sector
expressed in percentage from the GDP differs from the EU average only
slightly, Lithuania is in the penultimate position by the efficiency
of these investments according to the Commission’s report ‘The State
of the Innovation Union 2012’. Expenditure of the Lithuanian business
sector on R&D is over five times lower than the EU average. In 2011,
the expenditure of the business sector on R&D per capita amounted to
EUR 24.1 in Lithuania, whereas the EU average was EUR 318.4, according
to Eurostat. It is also notable that over the 2007-2011 period the
difference from the EU average in terms of business expenditure on R&D
did not reduce, but increased. Lithuanian business enterprises try to
compensate for low R&D capacities by choosing alternative innovation
generation methods. This is evidenced by the largest expenditure of
enterprises on innovation which are not based on R&D among the EU
Member States.
Figure 1. Cumulative indicators of the Innovation Union Scoreboard:
comparison of the Lithuanian and EU Average

Source: Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013.
Lithuania’s research potential in stimulating RDI development
strengthens every year. This is reflected by the increasing number of
international joint scientific publications and a considerable growth
in the share of frequently cited scientific publications. Over the
recent years, Lithuania’s progress in these areas has been much faster
than in the majority of the EU Member States. Lithuania is nearly in
line with the EU average in terms of the success index of
participation in the Seventh Framework Programme. Despite the progress
made in the above areas, the openness and attractiveness of the
Lithuanian RDI system remains insufficient, and the gap is still
considerable. This is obviously reflected by a very low interest in
PhD studies in Lithuania among citizens of the third countries, a
relatively low number of applications for projects under the Seventh
Framework programme and similar indicators.
Lithuania distinguishes fairly greatly from other EU Member States by
uneven distribution of R&D workers in the private and public sectors:
only 12.7% of R&D workers were employed in the business sector in
2012. Such structure of R&D human resources impedes processes aimed to
stimulate relations between research and business in conducting R&D,
as well as creating and introducing innovation.
Therefore, investments in the 2007–2013 period saw comprehensive
improvements in career conditions for R&D workers, subsidies were
granted to scientists, support was provided to the mobility of
scientists and other researchers, the state aid was provided for the
employment of scientists in enterprises, professional development and
development of competences of scientists and other researchers, and
the dissemination of knowledge on R&D. The implementation of the above
and other measures has not been completed, and the data used in the
Scoreboard covers only the statistical data from 2010 and 2011.
Therefore, in order to achieve a sustainable and long-term impact of
the above measures on R&D human resources and indicators of the
research system in particular, it is important to ensure further
improvement of RDI human resources. Moreover, taking into account the
persisting significant gap, it is very important to continue
increasing the openness of the research system, strengthen
international competitiveness and excellence in the 2014–2020
programming period.
RDI infrastructure. The funding of the RDI infrastructure from the
2007–2013 envelope was mainly used for the implementation of valley
infrastructure projects – development of joint research centres,
science and technology parks (R&D), technology transfer centres,
purchases of the laboratory facilities needed for their functioning.
However, in spite of larger investments the ambitious objectives
raised in valley programmes are not fully achieved yet – the largest
projects, in particular, those involving construction works1, were
behind the schedule which lead to subsequent delays in operational
arrangements for the open access centres (OAC), i. e. in many
instances the decisions concerning management and organisational
structure of the OACs are still pending, the OAC action plans lack
clear vision on how the purchased or developed facilities will be
used, there is a lack of human resources that are needed for the
operationalisation of the purchased or the developed infrastructure2.
Another important problem is that the developed R&D infrastructure is
under-exploited. Not all innovation support, knowledge and technology
transfer services of R&D, business incubators and other actors of the
valleys match the needs of the applicant enterprises. This results
from several reasons3:
(1) STP do not target specific services that might be needed for high
value added generating enterprises and are offering general services
that can be used by a wide range of enterprises instead;
(2) The choice of services to be offered by STP is significantly
influenced by the source of financing (for instance, an STP offers
consulting, financing and partner search services because these
activities are supported as part of the implemented STP projects).
The current problems have also partially resulted from the lack of
coordination on both inter-institutional and infrastructure planning
level, because once political consensus concerning establishment of
the valleys was reached, further planning of infrastructural
development was mostly undertaken within the framework of valley
projects. Therefore the investments were fragmented and the
opportunities provided by the 2007–2013 funding of RDI infrastructure
were not fully employed.
With regard to planning of the investments of the 2014–2020 period, it
is important to ensure as efficient use of the existing infrastructure
as possible: to ensure open access to the institutions participating
in the establishment and the development of the valleys, and to the
laboratory equipment (development of OAC); to fully employ the
potential of the Science and Technology Parks (optimisation of the STP
network, improvement of the quality of the offered services); to
promote the establishment of the competence centres engaging in RDI
that match the needs of the public and the private sectors and are
relevant for the science-intensive businesses, social and cultural
innovations, and in the development and introduction of new products.
There remains a need to continue investing into the highest quality
infrastructure needed for research and innovations because the
development of integrated science, studies and business centres is not
completed yet.
Business innovation. According to the Commission report on the
progress of the countries in creating the Innovation Union4, Lithuania
ranks 18th by the index of economic impact of innovation, 25th by the
R&D quality index, and 22nd by the knowledge intensity of the economy
in the EU. The fact that recently Lithuania has not made any progress
in several important comparative indicators contributed much to these
results. For instance, income from the sales of products and services
which are new to the enterprise and the market (percentage from the
turnover) reduced nearly twofold from 2006 to 2010; the balance of
trade in medium-high and high-tech products remains negative; the
share of knowledge-intensive services in the export structure remains
stable, however, it does not increase. Based on the data of the
Scoreboard, cooperation between research and business, as well as
entrepreneurship should be promoted, progress in the area of
intellectual property creation should be fostered, new innovative
enterprises should be supported and the economic impact of R&D should
be boosted by investments in Lithuania in the 2014–2020 programming
period. Currently Lithuania is considerably behind the majority of the
EU Member States in these areas.
It is notable that the problem of the share of innovative business in
the overall economy is more characteristic to Lithuania than the issue
of the amount of expenditure of business enterprises on innovation.
Innovation expenditure in Lithuanian enterprises investing in R&D
accounted for 2.9% of these enterprises’ working capital in 2008–2010.
In this respect, the country’s business relatively slightly lags
behind the enterprises which invest most into R&D at the global level.
According to the data of the 2012 EU Industrial R&D Investment
Scoreboard5, enterprises investing most into R&D in the world allocate
3.3% of their income for this purpose on average. The fact that
Lithuania ranks merely 21st in the EU by the number of innovative
enterprises6—innovative enterprises accounted for 32.5% of all
enterprises in Lithuania in 2008-20107—is a greater problem.
According to the data of national surveys8, a shortage of funds in the
enterprise or group of enterprises, a lack of funding from other
sources and too expensive innovation are the major reasons for limited
technological innovative activities in country’s enterprises. Such
survey results indicate that individual Lithuanian enterprises are
seldom capable of introducing innovation. On the other hand, there is
sufficient evidence9 that Lithuanian innovative enterprises tend to
cooperate with each other: 43.3% of innovators of the Lithuanian
product and enterprises introducing marketing innovation cooperate
with other enterprises and/or research institutions. Lithuania is well
above the majority of the EU Member States (the EU average is 25.5%)
in terms of this indicator. In order to successfully build on this
strength and boost the capacities of business enterprises to invest in
innovation, it is important to actively support business-business
cooperation and cluster formation in the 2014–2020 programming period.
Research and business collaboration, commercialisation of R&D results
and demand for innovation. Lithuanian business enterprises make a poor
use of the opportunities offered by cooperation with research and
study institutions. Although nearly 20% of the enterprises introducing
technological innovation indicate that they cooperate with research
and study institutions, only 7% considers them the most important
partners. The public, higher education and non-profit organisation
sector receives merely 15% of the business enterprises’ expenditure on
R&D, the rest is paid for R&D services provided by other (local and
foreign) enterprises10. Underdeveloped relations limit the
dissemination of knowledge and technologies – research institutes are
indicated as the major source of information on innovation only by
3.8% of the business enterprises involved in innovative activities,
and higher education institutions – by 3.3% of the enterprises
respectively.
There are different reasons for the limited interest of businesses for
investing into R&D. One of them – preference to the measures
stimulating supply rather than demand for RDI by using EU structural
support of 2007–2013. Therefore the interventions implemented so far
have failed to generate or have not generated yet the incentives for
businesses to more actively engage in the cooperation with research
and higher education institutions and to channel more investments into
RDI. Other reasons of limited business investments include: efforts of
the companies to reduce costs incurred during periods of economic
crisis; low economic development level of the country (transitional
development stage); insufficient quality of RDI supply and mismatching
of the offered services to the needs of the business; lack of
understanding and capacities of the businesses in terms of
implementation and management of RDI activities11. In 2012, the
Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the classification of
the stages of research and development12, whereby it defined the main
R&D stages from acquisition of knowledge to development of a product.
An economic entity which is not sure whether the activities it is
engaged in are categorised as R&D activities, may contact the Agency
for Science, Innovations and Technology which will make assessment and
provide conclusions to the entity concerned or the tax administrator
concerning the compliance of the entity’s activities with the specific
technological preparedness level and treatment of the activities as
R&D. It is expected to encourage business companies to more actively
seek the corporate tax incentive applicable when investing into R&D.
On the other hand, the insufficient research and business cooperation
is to a certain extent determined by the regulatory framework which
does not offer sufficient incentives for research and higher education
institutions to undertake orders from the business consequently
stimulating larger spending of business entities on R&D activities.
The conducted assessment has revealed that the research and business
cooperation is confined both due to the lack of competencies,
experience and material resources by research and higher education
institutions and due to the hurdles such as undefined legal procedures
for transfer of ownership of research products, regulatory drawbacks
in relation to financial resources of the budget institutions, large
red tape in signing and amending agreements with research and higher
education institutions, etc.13.
In the 2014–2020 programming period the changes in the RDI area will
be sought on the basis of the progress achieved and the lessons learnt
in 2007–2013 along with better coordination of the investments into
RDI by focusing them in the priority directions for the development of
RDI (smart specialisation) (hereinafter RDI priority directions).
To identify RDI priority directions,14 Lithuania’s research potential
was analysed; strengths of the economy and the knowledge-based growth
perspectives overviewed; main long-term challenges for Lithuania and
Europe assessed; 614 science, business representatives and decision
makers interviewed; 7 discussions with research and business
representatives and decision makers held; and the possibilities to
exploit RDI infrastructure developed as part of the programmes for
science, studies and business centres (valleys) assessed. As a result
of the analysis of research15 and economic16 potential as well as
discussions with the stakeholders six RDI priority directions have
been pointed out. These directions are: energy and sustainable
environment; inclusive and creative society; agricultural innovations
and food technologies; new production processes, materials and
technologies; health technologies and biotechnologies; transport,
logistics and ICT. Once priority directions were identified, specific
priorities were further defined. The priorities were identified on the
basis of an extensive analysis of research and business potential, RDI
capacities in the identified RDI priority directions, future
challenges, analysis of national and global trends associated with
these directions, analysis of critical technologies and processes
within these directions. To achieve consensus of the stakeholders,
discussions of the experts representing different interests (academic
society, associated business structures, public institutions) were
arranged. That lead to 20 RDI priorities. In the meanwhile, the
Programme for the Development of Priority Research, Development
(Social, Cultural) and Innovation Directions (Smart Specialisation)
and Implementation of the Priorities Thereof was prepared defining the
procedure for approval, implementation, monitoring, assessment and
coordination of RDI priorities, identification and implementation of
new RDI priorities as well as other procedures needed for a smooth and
efficient implementation of RDI priorities by coordinating activities
of stakeholders’ institutions. Each RDI priority will be implemented
on the basis of an action plan which will define specific study and
RDI policy measures, indicators for evaluation of the milestones and
final targets of RDI priorities. The implementation of the RDI
priorities will be subject to ongoing institutional monitoring as
required in the Programme for implementation of RDI priorities
enabling intervention and adjustments to the process as it progresses.
This means that the list of RDI priorities is not static and may
change (i.e. the current priorities may be abandoned / new priorities
introduced) depending on the circumstances and whether or not the
implementation of the priorities brings tangible benefits and results.
The approval of the above mentioned action plans will finalise the
documentation phase of the smart specialisation process and mark the
start of implementation of the planned activities.
When implementing the measures funded under the European Agricultural
Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) in the 2007–2013 programming period
intended for the dissemination of scientific knowledge and innovative
practice, the aim was to encourage people working in agriculture and
forestry to introduce scientific innovation and advanced technologies
in their farms more rapidly.
‘Nemunas’ and ‘Santaka’, research, higher education and business
centres (valleys) established in Lithuania, mobilise the potential of
agricultural, forestry and food research as well as
knowledge-intensive business that have general and networked R&D
infrastructure and targeted contribution to the development of
agricultural, forestry and food sectors, the creation of knowledge
economy and the competitiveness of the Lithuanian economy.
The valleys bring together agricultural and food higher education
institutions (Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Veterinary Academy
of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Competence Centre of
Food Science and Technology and institutes of the Kaunas Unversity of
Technology (Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry,
its three institutes of Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, 10
branches, experimental stations and research centres), Lithuanian
Institute of Agrarian Economics, Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory
Service) and business structures. These institutions employ over 400
scientists and around 350 highly qualified consultants. Their
capacities to expand the application of scientific results as well as
science-business relations should be used more effectively.
The valleys have successfully implemented or are finalising R&D
infrastructure projects; the infrastructure needed for the development
of agriculture, forestry and food sectors, transfer of technologies
and promotion of entrepreneurship has been created; research potential
has been consolidated; research and business collaboration is
proceeding. For further success of the valleys it is important to
ensure the development of human resources and innovations, i. e. to
identify the priorities and funding measures that would enable the
valley associations and institutions engaged in innovative
developments (e. g. communication and technologies centres, parks) to
efficiently perform the functions critically important to the sectors
(management of innovations, publicity of the valleys, promotion of
research and business collaboration, transfer of technologies). The
potential of the valleys to expand the adaptability of research
outcomes, research and business relations should be exploited more
efficiently.The majority of farmers are still under-informed and
unmotivated to adopt innovations, they do not take any risk of
introducing innovative solutions that have not been tested under
production conditions. On the other hand, research does not always
receive feedback from farmers on production problems and the demand
for innovation. Consultations with farmers, therefore, play a very
significant role in the course of the creation and dissemination of
innovation for agricultural processes. Eliminating deficiencies
obviously requires strengthening cooperation among research
institutions, consultancies and agricultural producers in dealing with
relevant issues of economic activities.
For the purpose of further development of RDI and ensuring of its
efficiency it is planned, where appropriate, to take the opportunities
offered by EUSBSR and to cooperate with other countries of the Baltic
Sea Region, to continue successful implementation of the pilot
projects envisioned in the EUSBSR action plan, such as BSR stars and
ScanBalt Health Region (intersectoral and international projects
dealing with innovations in health and sciences of the living nature,
in which one of the leading countries is Lithuania), considering the
possibility to support these projects from the ESI funds, in
particular having in mind that these projects are consistent with the
directions set in the smart specialisation strategy.
The SWOT analysis of the Lithuanian RDI system shows that a special
focus should be further placed on leveraging private investments in
research, enabling the existing capacities to commercialise research
results and increasing the number of innovative enterprises.
1.1.2.1.2. Ensuring quality in education, openness and creativity
Lithuania is viewed as a rather closed society with no appropriate
conditions for the development and expression of creativity. The index
of globalisation, which measures the country’s economic, political and
social globalisation, placed Lithuania merely 26th in the EU in 2010.
Lithuania also lacks appropriate conditions for the development of
creativity. It ranked 17th in the EU in terms of creativity in 2009,
while its creativity climate was seen as even worse – Lithuania ranked
24th in the EU. Therefore, it is necessary to exploit the potential of
creativity to promote growth and job creation.
Lithuania considerably lags behind the EU average in terms of a share
of children aged between 1 and 6 attending pre-school education
institutions. In 2011, the participation rate of children aged between
4 and 6 was 77.6% (the EU average was 92.4%). The largest gap in the
attendance of pre-school education institutions is observed in urban
and rural areas17 (this indicator is three times lower than the number
of pre-school children in the area). The majority of pre-school
education institutions are in poor condition – around 20% of the
currently operating institutions were renovated during the
independence period. Although, the number of pre-school education
institutions has reduced since 2000, the network of pre-school
education institutions was optimised, i.e. the number of pupils and
their groups increased, while the number of institutions reduced.
In the coming years, the demand for pre-school education should grow
due to the increased birth rate over the recent years. Moreover, the
current increase in the number of children attending kindergarten is
preconditioned by a higher birth rate between 2008 and 2010. The
demand for pre-school education will also grow due to reduced
maternity benefits (reduction down to 40% of the pay during the second
year of the maternity leave).
The introduction of pre-school education vouchers and the amendment of
other legal acts in 2011 created more favourable conditions for
non-state funded kindergartens/groups. All founders (including
private) are funded four child education hours per day (20 hour per
week) by this voucher. Education of children with special educational
needs is subject to a voucher which is larger by 35%. Besides,
requirements concerning buildings and the use of premises are
liberalised when establishing new pre-school education institutions:
it is not necessary to change the purpose of these premises, and
hygiene requirements have been simplified.
In 2007–2013 programming period interventions into pre-school and
pre-primary education included: development of universal
multifunctional centres; grants to municipalities where existing/newly
established entities/groups were admitting new trainees; promotion of
more diverse models for organisational and education services;
strengthening of cooperation between integrated support groups;
provision of methodological and advisory assistance; training of
distance teaching mentors; drafting of distance learning programmes,
courses in line with the needs of rural population; preparation of
methodologies for qualification enhancement; management training for
the heads of pre-school and pre-primary education institutions and
heads of municipal administrations; qualification enhancement courses
for educators and teachers; issuing of methodological publications and
other related activities. 138 schools delivering pre-school and
pre-primary education programmes were modernised. In addition to that
more than 70 universal multifunctional centres delivering pre-school
and pre-primary education were established.
One of the key challenges in general education is related to the
misbalance in the network of educational institutions caused by
demographic reasons. The price for education of one pupil differs up
to five times in different schools due to the irrational use of
educational premises. It is forecasted that the number of general
school pupils will reduce by another 8% (30,000 children) by 2015.
Thus far, more investments were made in gymnasiums, whereas
lower-secondary schools did not receive any significant investments.
Child socialisation centres have extremely poor education conditions –
there are no conditions for individualised teaching and comprehensive
assistance to children with special needs due to worn-out
infrastructure. Links of the inefficient school network with low
education quality in regions is also illustrated by the results of
PISA, a survey of fifteen-year-olds. The survey revealed that the
results of Lithuanian pupils were distributed quite evenly,
irrespective of the social and economic situation in their family.
However, it observed considerable differences between achievements in
different schools, suggesting that high-quality education is not
equally available to all children in all areas.
Although investments have intensified over the last 15 years, the
share of general education schools modernised for LTL 1 million
constitutes only one fifth of all education institutions. In 2007–2013
period one art school and ten non-governmental general education
schools were modernised; four special methodological centres
established. According to the data collected in IEA TIMSS study in
2011, relatively lower learning results of Lithuanian pupils were
determined by the fact that only 13% of the eighth graders attended
schools with natural science laboratories, and primary schools did not
have them at all (the international average was 80% in the eighth
grade and 36% in the fourth grade).
Insufficient quality of education is reflected by international
studies on learning results (PISA, TIMSS and PIRLS). They have
revealed that learning results of Lithuanian pupils are lower than in
the neighbouring countries and are getting worse; the number of pupils
with the highest results is particularly low; learning results of
pupils in rural areas are much lower than those of pupils in urban
areas, and learning results among boys are much lower than among
girls. According to indicators of the international survey of
fifteen-year-olds, PISA, reading, mathematics and natural sciences
skills of Lithuanian pupils were statistically lower than the
respective average values in 2012. Lithuania ranks 37th (of 65
countries that participated in the study) in terms of mathematical
literacy, 39th in terms of reading skills, and 30th in terms of
literacy in natural sciences. Although the results of Lithuanian
pupils in mathematics, natural sciences and reading are higher than
the average of the participating countries, the deteriorating trend
was observed in 2011, according to the data TIMSS and PIRLS. The
results of this study also show the number of pupils who demonstrate
best results is lower than the study average. To assess learning
results, both national and international studies are conducted,
however, the collected data are used for general accounting purposes
only; they are not used for identifying pupils’ needs, adapting the
curriculum or assessing the performance of schools. Lithuanian schools
have a limited system of learning results and no system for the
assessment of schools’ progress. A survey of 11th–12th graders18
revealed that the majority (59%) think that teachers lack knowledge in
pedagogy and/or psychology, management and technology required for the
application of new teaching methods and work with new technologies.
The older age of teachers and the unattractiveness of a teacher’s
profession as such cause long-term systemic problems in general
education. An unfavourable ratio between young teachers’ workload and
pay does not encourage secondary school graduates to choose studies of
educology.
In 2007–2013, measures focusing on skills related to languages,
digital literacy, citizenship, entrepreneurship, cultural awareness
were implemented, however the demand for the measures addressing the
key competencies was three times as large as the budget available for
that measure. Another element inherent to the quality of the general
education is the quality of teachers’ work, therefore in the last
programming period different measures were implemented to improve the
qualification of the teachers. Massive qualification enhancement
courses did not prove success in the previous programming period
therefore in the coming period they are to be replaced with targeted
training of the teachers coordinated from the strategic point of view
by the Ministry of Education and Science and based on self-assessments
of the schools, studies of pupils’ performance, pre-determined
education quality improvement plans, and the identified general needs
such as using of IT, etc. In 2007–2013, total funding granted for the
improvement of access to education for the children with special needs
amounted to almost mLTL 16, although the demand for the measure was by
mLTL 7.7 larger; the education of talented children lacked about mLTL
2 during this period. Although the interventions dealing with quality
improvement of education for talented people were in place during the
period, these were only the first steps in this area of general
education. Taking the above into consideration, investments are going
to be channelled into these activities in the new programming period
as well.
Although the share of early leavers of the education system aged 18-24
with only basic education has been consistently reducing at the
national level since 2009, in 2012 it still stood at 6.5%. Besides,
large differences between urban and rural areas remained (in 2012,
3.7% and 11.7% respectively). In Lithuania, the number of dropouts and
early leavers of the general education system in rural areas is almost
three times as large as in urban areas; the number of early school
leavers among boys is twice as large as between girls. Higher poverty
level and social inequality in Lithuania (to compare with EU average)
makes this problem even more relevant, in particular in rural areas.
In the previous programming period, there was one project implemented
in relation to reduction of dropouts dealing with reinstatement of
dropouts back into schools; mLTL 4 were granted for the project. The
investments of the 2014–2020 programming period will also contribute
to tackling the above mentioned problems.
Challenges for pre-school and general education in the new programming
period include the creation of a system which is capable of responding
to demographic changes in a timely manner and where flexibility and
adaptation are matched with ensuring equal quality in education
services for all Lithuanian children.
Non-formal education of children helps develop social and basic
competencies and skills, as well as satisfies a child’s need for
self-expression. Non-formal education is more flexible than formal,
therefore, it is capable of satisfying better the needs of pupils with
special needs: children at risk of social exclusion, children of
foreigners, children with special abilities – wider provision of these
possibilities to children is embedded in the State Education Strategy
for 2013–2022.
Although changes in the legal base are favourable for the development
of non-formal education of children, its development is still limited
by insufficiently effective organisation, poor access and insufficient
funding.19 Regional and gender differences in non-formal education are
evidenced by statistical data. 289 non-formal child education
institutions and schools supplementing formal education functioned in
2012, although this statistics does not reflect the total number of
non-formal education providers (as they are not registered with state
registers). While the total number of pupils has been reducing in the
recent years, the number of pupils participating in non-formal
education has been growing, except for rural areas where the
deteriorating trend was observed from 2010 to 2012. Moreover,
differences between urban and rural areas are highlighted by the share
of children participating in non-formal education: in urban areas this
share was more than twice as high.
Sports and music remain the most popular fields of non-formal
education with art and choreography lagging slightly behind.
Possibilities to choose activities remain limited, access to
non-formal education in technology and natural sciences is lacking in
particular.
The key investment of the 2007–2013 EU structural support was targeted
towards the establishment of non-formal education services support
system in municipalities. Investments were channelled into the
implementation of non-formal education programmes in summer camps for
children; the implementation of non-formal education programmes for
children in municipalities; the training of non-formal education
teachers; the implementation of non-formal education programmes for
children on civil and ethnic issues in municipalities; the training of
administrators of the life long learning system. In the new
programming period, these activities are to be continued. It should be
noted that in the 2007–2013 programming period no investments were
made in non-formal education infrastructure; this area is going to be
targeted in the 2014–2020 programming period.
Challenges for non-formal education include expanding the range of
fields of education offered, creating conditions for early career
counselling and development of creativity, improving the integrity of
formal and non-formal education and ensuring their complementarity.
In 2012, 47.9% of the Lithuanian population aged between 30 and 34 had
higher or equivalent education – this indicator exceeded the EU
average. Funding for the modernisation of the study system increased
upon Lithuania’s accession to the EU. In 2007–2013 higher education
institutions updated study programmes, optimised the internal
structure of higher education institutions, introduced quality
management systems, teachers actively participated in their
professional development, international cooperation in the area of
studies expanded, academic mobility of teachers and students improved.
However, some problems related to higher education remain relevant.
Quality in higher education that does not comply with the needs of the
labour market and the society20, limited practical skills, more
process than results-oriented studies and poorly developed career
services cause employment problems for graduates and lower
attractiveness of studies in Lithuania (the employment rate of people
with higher education aged between 25 and 29 accounted for 88.1% in
2012; the employment rate of people aged between 20 and 34 with higher
education (ISCED 5-6) acquired not earlier than three years ago was
81.9% in 2012; the unemployment rate of young people (20-34) with
higher education was 11% in 2012 (the EU average was 13%).
Access to higher education is limited by the lack of flexible modes of
study, modules or studies that are adapted to adults and relevant for
those wishing to balance their job and studies (in 2008, 4.5% of the
persons aged between 25 and 64 trained and studied in a distance/
continuing studies (the EU average was 9.3%21). The attraction of
potential students is limited by poor social and financial
availability of studies: financial incentives for underrepresented
social groups are lacking, the operating system for funding higher
education does not comply with actual possibilities to pay the tuition
fee (a high tuition fee, unclear further employment opportunities, and
a low pay after starting to work).
The quality of studies is not properly managed – objective data
required for making decisions and identifying areas to be improved,
development trends and prospects are limited, and the external review
of higher education institutions which could help identify their
quality has a low coverage. In 2007, the largest number of the people
aged between 25 and 34 with higher education working in a different
area than their education in Lithuania was among the graduates of
agriculture and veterinary (59.5%), service (58.9%) and engineering,
production and construction (48.7%).
In the past programming periods investments from the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds helped to improve the studying conditions only in some
higher education schools. In order to further improve the quality and
to increase the attractiveness of the higher education the students’
learning, living and leisure environment has to be modernized, and the
capacities of the education and training institutions pursuing the
highest quality standards reinforced; the major investments have to be
channelled into the mobilisation of the human capital and other
resources for the development of the required education and training
infrastructure and for its integration into the infrastructure of
research centres.
Problems are faced in processes of researcher education from a pupil
to the highest level researcher, as well as in relations between R&D
and innovation with business. Despite a high education rate, as
compared to the EU average, the number of new doctors of science is
nearly twice as low as the EU average. Moreover, compared to the
situation in other EU Member States, Lithuania distinguishes by the
distribution of R&D workers in the private and public sectors – 12.7%
of R&D workers worked in the business sector in 2012.
Despite the reinforced material base and continuous efforts to improve
quality in higher education, the key challenges in the future
programming period are still related to insufficient employment
opportunities for graduates which correspond to their education, weak
career incentives for scientists’/researchers’ career in the area of
scientific potential reproduction.
Although the attractiveness of vocational training has been growing
over the recent years, it is not sufficient yet. The share of pupils
studying under vocational training programmes intended for acquiring
secondary education together with professional qualifications account
for less than 30% of the total number of pupils in ISCED 3 programmes,
whereas the respective average in the EU Member States is around 50%.
One of the major reasons behind low attractiveness of vocational
training is insufficient quality of training in the majority of
vocational training institutions. The supply of vocational and adult
training lacks flexibility, attractiveness and compliance with the
needs of the labour market and population. According to the data of
the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, as many as 44% of the
country’s enterprises did not hire new employees in 2012 only because
they did not find well-trained specialists with a suitable
qualification.
Investments into sectoral practical training centres from the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds in the 2004–2006 and 2007–2013
programming periods allowed for the modernisation of training spaces
and equipment in some vocational and adult training institutions. The
vocational and technological training facilities were upgraded by 21
vocational training establishments; 19 establishments providing
training services for adults were modernised. By the end of the
2007–2013 programming period vocational training institutions will
have 42 sectoral practical training centres established. However,
these funds were insufficient for all of them, leaving behind
dormitories, wellness infrastructure and methodological centres of
vocational training institutions with centres. Not all vocational
training institutions are capable of providing high-quality basic
vocational training either. This leads to limited possibilities for
high-quality learning close to the place of residence.
A high structural and youth unemployment rate shows that competences
acquired in the educational system by a large share of people do not
comply with the needs on the labour market. People in vocational
training lack possibilities for quality development of practical
skills in particular. Therefore, in the 2014–2020 programming period,
it is necessary to provide more possibilities for them to undergo the
practical training part in sectoral practical training centres of high
technological level, and complete the preparation for the labour
market by internship placements with employers or apprenticeship
programmes.
Professional standards for five economic sectors, 40 new modular
vocational training programmes in line with the standards and modern
learning material will be prepared in cooperation with social partners
by the end of the 2007–2013 programming period. These activities must
be continued in other economic sectors. The formation of
qualifications and the implementation of modular programmes will make
it possible to offer opportunities for persons to evaluate their
competences and acquire a qualification or a part of it, facilitate
the transition between educational programmes.
Subject-specific, technological, creative and other competences of the
teaching staff in a large number of vocational and adult training
institutions are insufficient to ensure the quality of training
services. At the end of the 2007–2013 programming period, the aim is
to train only one third of vocational teachers in enterprises in
cooperation with social partners. Therefore, shrinking the gap between
vocational teachers’ competence and modern technologies that are
actually applied in enterprises remains relevant.
By the end of the 2007–2013 programming period, internal systems for
ensuring quality of activities and training services will be
introduced in all vocational training institutions. Ensuring the
practical operation of these systems and the improvement of
institutions’ activities is a long-term process though. Progress has
been made in the area of external review of vocational training
programmes – 90 programmes, under which around 30% of pupils are
studying, will be reviewed by the end of this period and it is
intended to continue this process.
In 2007–2013, continued vocational training activities supported by
the EAFRD were attended by about 30,000 people engaged in agricultural
and forestry activities. Nevertheless vocational background for
engaging in farming is not sufficient because only one tenth of the
farmers possess basic vocational background. Farmers of the
agricultural and forestry sectors as well as owners of forests still
lack knowledge and expertise needed to tackle specific farming issues
related to compliance with the requirements of farm management,
application of climate and environment-friendly farming practice,
introduction of environmental protection standards. SMEs established
or operating in rural areas lack experience in developing their
business, addressing environmental farming issues.
The sustainment and improvement of the competitiveness of the
Lithuanian farmers and agricultural companies call for consistent
accessibility of continued vocational training for those involved in
agriculture and forestry. Change of generations in the agricultural
sector will mean that the farming will be taken over by young farmers
or elder farmers that will engage in agricultural activities as a new
start and therefore will lack theoretical and practical farming
skills. Continued training will provide new competencies for the
successors of the farms: competencies in farming technologies,
application of innovations, smart (precise) farming, etc. Geographical
access to training has also to be secured, i. e. close to the home
places of the farmers, in rural regions. The surveys conducted by the
Centre for LEADER Programme and Agricultural Training Methodology
indicate inaccessibility of training sites as one of the reasons for
non-participation in the continued training.
The progress made during the 2007–2013 programming period serves as an
important basis for strengthening the role of vocational education in
training of qualified specialists. The range of results of the
launched pilot projects have to be assessed in detail and multiplied
to boost the attractiveness of this chain of the education system.
Adult education remains underdeveloped in the general context of
education. In 2012, the share of the Lithuanian population aged
between 25 and 64 who participated in formal or non-formal education
was 1.6 times lower than the EU average (5.7% and 9%, respectively)
and 2.6 times lower than the Europe 2020 objective (15%). The major
problem is low motivation to learn among adults and a belief that it
is too late to learn, caused mainly by the lack of information about
new learning objectives, possibilities, their benefits to professional
activities and personal life.
In the 2007–2013 programming period, in the area of lifelong learning
the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds were mainly allocated to the
training of high-skilled staff of public services and the unemployed,
as well as individuals informed about their dismissal. Considerable
support was also provided to enterprises to stimulate their
investments in staff training, but enterprises tended to invest in
further training of high-skilled staff, too. Insufficient attention
has been paid so far to learning of non-skilled and low-skilled
employed persons who account for over a half of the country’s labour
force. What is more, a number of these persons perform the work for
which they are unqualified. This makes them more vulnerable in case
the job is lost. This group participates in lifelong learning rather
seldom and cannot acquire learning services because of low income.
During the 2014–2020 programming period, the challenge will be to
create continuous incentives for the country’s population, in
particular non-skilled and low-skilled workers, to participate in the
lifelong learning system by ensuring a variety of studies (content and
mode) and their compliance with the needs of the labour market and an
individual person, as well as developing possibilities for the
recognition of acquired competences.
1.1.2.1.3. Ensuring efficiency of public administration
Efficient public administration is an important factor in the
country’s progress. In the 2007–2013 programming period, resources of
the European Social Fund (ESF) were made available for reinforcing
administrative capacities and effectiveness of public administration
for the first time. The assessment performed in 2011 established that
this support contributed to positive changes in the civil service, the
governance of public authorities and the quality of services22.
Despite the above ESF investments, Lithuania still lags behind other
EU Member States in the assessment of certain public governance areas.
According to the data of the World Bank for 2011, Lithuania ranks only
21st in the EU by government effectiveness index23. The indicators of
public confidence in public authorities are also not that high. Based
on the data from the survey carried out by the Eurobarometer in 2013,
the confidence of the Lithuanian population in the Government accounts
for 27% (the EU average is 25%), the Parliament – 13% (the EU average
was 26%). The results of a survey of the Lithuanian population
conducted in 201224 show that apart from the Government and the
Parliament, the population has no confidence in courts, law
enforcement institutions, municipalities and establishments
subordinate to them.
Public administrations are not sufficiently results-oriented; they
lack targeted and systematic monitoring, evaluation and improvement.
Their administration-related decisions are not sufficiently built on
information on the results already achieved. The legislative process
is not always based on the analysis of the current situation
(collected evidence). Besides, there is a shortage of well-planned and
implemented national reforms in a certain area of public
administration, which would contribute to a more rational distribution
and efficient use of resources allocated to public administration,
etc. Integral planning of public resources which include all possible
financial sources is lacking. Decisions concerning new investments are
not always based on the assessment of costs incurred during the entire
period of economic benefits generated by the developed assets.
Possibilities for improvement of public infrastructure related to the
development of the public and private partnership, the application of
renewable financial instruments, etc., are not sufficiently used.
The decision-making process lacks openness and transparency as well as
effective consultations with the public. Population surveys show that
around half (44%) of the country’s population thinks that too much
information is not published and provided by public authorities25. The
public lacks information about activities and performance of public
authorities, as well as knowledge about and opportunities for
participation in public administration processes. Even though all
draft decisions have been published on a special website since 2009,
it is not efficient enough for public consultations. Corruption and
non-transparent decisions are observed, in particular in healthcare,
law enforcement and other areas of public administration. According to
the index of corruption perception for 2012, Lithuania scores 54
points of 100 and is the 21st among the EU Member States26.
According to the data of the World Bank, in 2012 Lithuania ranked 21st
in the EU in terms of the rule of law. The data of the EU Justice
Scoreboard 201327 show that the efficiency of the country’s judicial
system exceeds average results of the assessment of judicial systems
in the EU Member States by certain parameters (the duration of case
investigation in first instance courts, the provision of e-services to
the parties of the proceedings).
One of the reasons determining insufficient performance efficiency of
the police and other law enforcement institutions is limited abilities
and modern tools required for ensuring effective
inter-institutional/international cooperation, fast exchange of
information among law enforcement and other institutions in crime
prevention and fight against it.
Lithuania is in the middle by regulatory quality – it ranks 17th in
the EU28. Excessive, non-proportional or unjustified regulation and
its insufficient quality place a rather heavy administrative and/or
other regulatory burden on business and residents. In the country,
municipalities in particular, where the administrative burden has not
been assessed and systematically reduced so far, initiatives aimed at
the reduction of the administrative burden are implemented slowly. The
objective set by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in 2009
of cutting the national administrative burden for business in seven
selected priority areas by 30% by the end of 2011 has not been
achieved so far. By the end of 2012, the administrative burden was
limited by around 2% or by LTL 3 million annually (draft legal acts
have been prepared and after their adoption the reduction of the
administrative burden would account for 23.2% compared to the
objective of 30%). The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Reduction
of Administrative Burden, which came into effect in 2013, is expected
to serve as a significant positive impetus in planning and
implementing administrative burden assessment and reduction
initiatives.
While reforming bodies responsible for the supervision of activities
by economic entities in Lithuania since 2009, improvements are
observed in the performance assessment of bodies that inspected
activities of economic entities (the results of a survey29 conducted
in 2013 show that 48% of the enterprise representatives surveyed agree
that supervisory bodies have been providing more assistance to
business recently in order to implement legal requirements; this
opinion was expressed by 39% of the enterprise representatives
interviewed in the survey conducted in 2012). Better achievement of
indicators is prevented by insufficient coordination and cooperation
of actions among bodies supervising activities of economic entities,
as well as the fact that not all supervisory bodies have introduced
and apply advanced measures for the supervision of activities by
economic entities (risk assessment of economic entities, unanimous
consultation of economic entities, application of checklists during
inspections, use of information technologies to ensure the quality and
efficiency of actions, etc.), not all supervisory bodies focus their
financial and human resources on the prevention of the highest risk,
etc. The Council Recommendation 5 for the year 2014 calls to complete
the reform of state-owned enterprises and to monitor compliance with
the requirements of the reform. The implementation of the public
governance reform involves collection and processing of integrated,
timely, reliant and comprehensive information (with regard to
state-controlled enterprises, it is related to financial management,
management of human resources and competencies, management of
projects, processes and risk).
The ability of public administration authorities to provide high
quality services is directly dependent on the size of the public
spending. As the public spending in Lithuania is relatively low and
restricted (37.4% of GDP (the EU average is 46.9%), it is necessary to
diversify it by taking into account the major needs of the society,
identifying priority services, establishing their optimum scope and a
respective ‘value for money’. So far, no assessment has been made on
the scope and purposefulness of all public services; no minimum
service quality standards have been developed; a lack of focus on
users of services is observed – examination of service users’
satisfaction with the services provided is not active enough. The data
of a survey performed in 2012 shows that only approximately 34% of the
authorities conduct customer surveys on the quality of services
provided30. The population, the private sector, local communities and
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are barely involved in the
provision and/or improvement of services; services are developed
without sufficient consideration as to where and how the society would
like to receive them.
The civil service is lacking professionalism to achieve better
performance in public administration. The Lithuanian civil service is
still too much focused on operational processes, lacks a single system
of requirements for civil servants’ knowledge, skills and abilities,
flexibility in career planning, pay, motivation, performance
evaluation, training and other areas. Although a report OECD/SIGMA
drafted in 2009 assessed the compliance of the Lithuanian civil
service with the European public administration principles the best
among the new EU Member States, the lowest compliance was established
in the area of the senior civil service, as well as insufficient
compliance in the areas of performance evaluation, pay and motivation.
The current remuneration system does not foster efficiency
requirements imposed on the civil service as it distorts remuneration
based on the hierarchy of positions, is unable to compete on the
labour market and is inadequate for the functions performed and the
responsibility. The observed lack of managers’ leadership affects
insufficient interaction between institutions and stakeholders. These
deficiencies of the system partially cause a relatively low
competitiveness of the civil service with the private sector and make
the civil service unattractive to high-skilled specialists.
The key challenges in public administration in the 2014–2020
programming period will be the formation of incentives intended for
boosting performance efficiency among institutions by introducing
focussed operation planning and monitoring systems; the introduction
of a evidence-based and result-focussed management model; the creation
of a motivated and professional civil service based on the principles
of transparency and partnership.
1.1.2.1.4. Development of the digital society
According to the European Commission’s data for 2012, basic fixed
broadband connection covered 97% of the Lithuanian households (the EU
average was 95%), in rural areas – 91% of the households, while
advanced 3G mobile broadband internet connection – 95% of the
Lithuanian households (the EU average was 96%)31. However, a detailed
analysis32 of the broadband connection infrastructure conducted at the
end of 2013 has revealed that although high-speed (30Mbps and faster)
internet connection currently covers 73% of the Lithuanian households,
most of this infrastructure is concentrated and will mainly be
developed in Lithuania’s five largest cities and district centres in
the nearest future, while the remaining 27%, i.e. around 300,000
households, remain uncovered and will not be included in the territory
of the high-speed broadband connection coverage, if the current trend
continues.
Despite the state’s great contribution into the development of the
basic broadband connection infrastructure in the rural areas, some
territories still remain commercially unattractive for private
operators due to a relatively low number of potential internet users
and their low purchasing power, as well as large investments required
(taking into account individual operators) into the ‘last mile’
infrastructure. The remaining territories uncovered by high-speed
broadband connection are the most difficult to reach and it is
necessary to look for the best solutions by matching the actions aimed
at the development of both fixed and wireless broadband connection
infrastructure in order to cover them. Therefore, a target set for the
Member States in the Digital Agenda for Europe that all households are
to be covered by high-speed broadband (30Mbps and faster) internet
connection by 2020 remains a significant challenge for Lithuania.
Although the RAIN-2 project has ensured 98% territorial broadband
coverage of rural areas (as a result of PRIP project funded by EAFRD
in accordance with RDP 2007–2013 the broadband infrastructure will add
1% to the RAIN-2 coverage and the broadband coverage will reach 99%),
there remains a pressing need to reduce the gaps between the urban and
the rural areas in terms of access to a speedy internet connection and
a significant challenge to shift the public and administrative
services that are most important for rural population and business
into electronic environment to make them readily accessible via
internet.
The feasibility study conducted in 201233 established that by the
current needs and financial capacities there are 800 objects in rural
areas (agricultural institutions and organisations, production and
processing companies, rural communities, major farms) that should be
connected to the broadband infrastructure. In 2007–2013 programming
period 50 % of the target was achieved in the rural areas, i.e. about
400 objects were connected and about 400 km of fibre-based network
cable lines constructed.
Lithuania considerably lags behind the EU average in terms of the use
of broadband connection, among households in particular. Only 61% of
the households used the basic broadband internet connection in
Lithuania in 2012, whereas the EU average was 73%. Fortunately, this
indicator increased by approximately 4 percentage points in a year.
Besides, significant differences remain between the possibilities for
urban and rural residents to use high-speed internet connection.
According to the data available at the start of 2013, 72% of the urban
households used the broadband connection, 49% of the rural households.
The Digital Agenda for Europe sets a target that 50% of the EU
households are to use ultra-fast broadband internet (100Mbps and
faster) by 2020 remains an important goal for Lithuania as only 6% of
the Lithuanian households used 100Mbps and faster internet connection
in 2012. As it is discussed below, although technical possibilities
are available, a very large share of households still use the
broadband connection very seldom or do not use it at all. Given it,
one of the key development challenges is to increase the use of the
broadband connection, in particular high-speed connection, in
households.
Lithuania lags behind the EU average by the internet use among the
population. According to the Eurostat data for 2013, only 65% of the
Lithuanian households had the internet connection (the EU average was
79%) and only 53% of the population stated that they used the internet
every day or nearly every day (the EU average was 62%); besides as
many as 29% of the Lithuanian population stated that they had never
used the internet (the EU average was 21%).
The survey data show that over half of the population state the
absence of the need for the internet as the main reason for not using
it, more than a third indicate expensive equipment and expensive
connection. The latter problem is caused by a partially unsolved ‘last
mile’ problem in some rural areas of the country. The problem related
to the absence of the need could be solved by raising awareness on
possibilities offered by information and communications technologies
(ICT) (among the population who use them seldom or have never used
them in particular) and the breakthrough in the area of e-services to
residents, which remain an untapped potential in Lithuania for
boosting the population’s interest in possibilities offered by ICT.
An important aspect in the use of possibilities offered by the
information society is cyber security and privacy online. Compared to
other EU Member States, Lithuanians report that they encounter fewer
online threats than an average EU citizen. For instance, in 2010,
merely 1% of the Lithuanians reported that they were subject to
privacy violations related to the data sent online (Lithuania is among
the first eight EU Member States by this indicator). According to
statistical data, the number of reports related to online security
issues has been increasing rapidly over the recent years. In 2006, the
Lithuanian National Computer Emergency Response Team CERT-LT received
93 reports about incidents online, whereas in 2012 it investigated
already 21,416 reports, i.e. the number of reports investigated a year
increased 230 times. From 2006 to 2012, the types of online incidents
changed too. In 2006, reports about unwanted emails (56% of the
reports) prevailed, while in 2012 malicious software (42% of the
investigated incidents) 34and incidents related to taking over of
information systems (54.9% of all the investigated reports) were the
major source of concern for online actors, i.e. online service
providers and internet users.
Lithuanians are not sufficiently aware of and do not take into
consideration security threats online. According to the Eurobarometer
data for 2013, merely 23% of the Lithuanian internet users stated that
they fear someone may illegally use their personal data while they are
making purchases or performing banking operations online (the EU
average was 37%), and 29% stated that they are concerned about the
security of online payments (the EU average was 35%), whereas 31%
reported having no fears with regard to monetary operations performed
online (the EU average was 23%); besides, only 42% of the Lithuanian
internet users state that they use an antivirus software (the EU
average was 46%), 26% say that they do not open emails received from
unknown senders (the EU average was 40%), 23% claim that they avoid
submitting their personal data on online websites (the EU average was
34%). The above data show that a considerable share of the Lithuanian
internet users do not always recognise security threats and know how
to deal with these problems. Therefore, an important goal is to help
the Lithuanian population to protect their personal data and privacy
online by raising their awareness and developing their abilities in
the area.
Along with the promotion of safe and responsible conduct online among
the Lithuanian population, another very important challenge is the
protection of ICT infrastructure and information resources that are
important for the State. The number of incidents which are potentially
dangerous to the key information systems and websites of public
institutions is increasing in Lithuania. The analysis of the security
of the State’s information resources and infrastructure shows that the
current system for the coordination of electronic information safety
management in the public sector is not effective enough; the detection
and elimination of vulnerabilities of information technologies are not
centralised enough; the security of the information infrastructure of
extreme importance is ensured only at the institutional level; the
reserve of information resources and infrastructure intended for
supporting the operation of infrastructure and information resources
of extreme importance in cases of emergencies has not been created;
cooperation between entities of the Lithuanian private and public
sectors is insufficient in this area; highly-skilled electronic
information security specialists are lacking. In the 2007–2013
programming period, important projects aimed at ensuring the safety of
the State’s most important information systems were implemented by
public institutions with the support of the EU Structural and Cohesion
Funds, however, it is necessary to develop these activities further
and focus efforts and resources on the areas where the dependence on
information resources and the use of services is the highest and
criminal activities and incidents can cause the greatest damage or
even a national crisis. A safe cyber space is in the interests of all
entities involved in activities related to the services provided in
the cyber space, i.e. public institutions, private economic entities,
the academic community, residents. Activities in this area should
ensure that interests of all the parties involved are protected, they
have to be systematic and continuous in order to create a digital
space which is safe, based on trust and responsibility of interacting
persons.
E-services. Lithuanian internet users are ahead the average EU
internet user with regard to various purposes of internet use, except
for the use of e-commerce. For instance, in 2012, online newspapers
and magazines were read by 92% of the internet users (the best result
in the EU), 71% used online voice and video calls and 65% online
banking services (all these indicators are well above the EU average).
However, both internet users and all the Lithuanian population used
public e-services relatively little.
Although in 2012 more basic public services (an increase from 68% to
87%) and fully interactive services (an increase from 40% to 75%) were
transferred online compared to 2006, Lithuania is still lagging behind
the EU average in terms of the transfer of eight basic public services
for business and twenty basic public services for the population into
the e-environment, as well as the level of interactivity of these
services. The transfer of self-government public services into the
e-environment is slow (only the first and the second level are
dominating).
According to the report on the implementation of the Digital Agenda
for Europe 2012, a third (37%) of the Lithuanian population has used
e-services of the public sector (the EU average was 44%) over last 12
months. This indicator has been growing consistently as more useful
and necessary public and administrative e-services, a large share of
which were created using the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds from
2007 to 2013, are provided because increasingly more people tend to
try these services and start to use them.
The level of customer service based on the ‘one stop shop’ principle
is also still insufficient in public institutions. The flagship
initiative ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ under the Europe 2020 Strategy
promotes the use of advanced IT solutions to improve access to public
services for persons and business35.
According to the data of a study commissioned by the Information
Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and
Communications in 2012, the population needs e-services related to
health in particular (20% of the population used them over last 12
months). Electronic healthcare services and solutions are among the
most relevant for the population because they allow the population to
receive and healthcare institutions to provide high-quality healthcare
services. Research shows that in Lithuania electronic healthcare
services are used most actively compared to all groups of e-services:
they were used by 20% of the population over last 12 months. The
importance of electronic healthcare services is also revealed in the
context of the ageing society when improving the access to healthcare
services. Mobility of the population when travelling to the EU also
preconditions the need to ensure the exchange of precise and reliable
data on health not only among national healthcare institutions, but
also at the international level. Over the 2007–2013 programming
period, institutions participating in the healthcare system
implemented significant activities aimed to create an electronic
health record, e-prescription, telemedicine and other basic electronic
healthcare systems with the intention to continue these activities in
the 2014–2020 programming period. It is also intended to develop
electronic healthcare services and solutions that ensure the
collection of precise, detailed and interactive e-data on patients’
health, safe and reliable exchange, as well as the use, interaction
and integration of the existing solutions.
Other most commonly used areas of e-services are tax declaration,
search for a job, social and social insurance services, etc. Merely 7%
of the population use e-services via the central access to
administrative and public e-services E-government gateway (www.epaslaugos.lt).
It is noteworthy that expectations and requirements of service
recipients are growing rapidly; they want convenient, easily
accessible and easily received e-services. The key challenge for
public institutions, therefore, is the introduction of e-services that
are focussed on events in the service recipient’s life, comprehensive,
interactive and smart; moreover, in the course of e-service
development, optimum solutions in terms of costs and procedures should
be chosen with a view of boosting performance efficiency and reducing
operational costs in the public sector.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, it is necessary to continue the
development of the Lithuanian e-health system and e-health services.
As to cultural and linguistic e-services, the degree of consumers’
awareness and the using of these services is low. E-services related
to digital heritage were used by 7% of the internet users36, and 17%
of the internet users used e-services related to the Lithuanian
language.37 Not all digitised items are available online (according to
the data of the Ministry of Culture for 2011, 85% of all the digitised
items), international availability of the Lithuanian cultural heritage
is low (only 9,000 deposited items in Europeana at the end of 2011).
The number of digitised cultural heritage items has increased and
their availability improved over the recent years – over 650,000
cultural heritage items were digitised and provided for public access
using the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds over the 2007–2013
programming period. However, some of these items are functional only
in the environment of a specific hardware and software. Due to fast
technological changes, this digitised material starts ageing and a
threat of its loss is posed. Moreover, they still constitute a small
share of the values stored in the country’s memory institutions, which
makes it important to ensure the continuity of these activities. The
Lithuanian language is one of the non-commercial European languages,
facing major difficulties in the development of language technologies.
Lithuanian institutions of culture and history (memory) lack equipment
as well as financial and human resources required for digitising.
A feasibility study on the creation of intelligent transport systems
(ITS), conducted in Lithuania in 2011, provides for five priority
areas and eleven ITS projects. The ITS projects implemented in the
2007–2013 programming period were aimed at better management of cargo
flows, management of different modes of transport, route planning,
etc. However, relatively few e-services and solutions were introduced
in this area. The aim is to develop ITSs further in order to
facilitate transportation, reduce road accident rates, contribute to
environmental initiatives, etc.
At the moment, various spatial data are collected and accumulated by
different institutions in the country, therefore, its availability is
limited; data on the same geographic location are not equally detailed
and are provided in different formats. The target of Directive
2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March
2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the
European Community (INSPIRE) (OJ 2007 L 108, p. 1) (hereinafter
referred to as the ‘INSPIRE Directive’), which has to be implemented
by 2019, is to ensure that the spatial data (for instance, water and
air pollution, metrological data, items on digital maps: roads,
rivers, etc.) in the EU territory are interoperable and easily
accessible. A significant technical and intellectual base that was
developed in the 2007–2013 programming period makes it possible for
Lithuania to implement the requirements for interoperability and
disclosure of spatial data to the public set forth in Directive
2007/2/EB (INSPIRE) of the European Parliament and of the Council by
2019, however, the required human and financial resources have to be
focused, as well as all the required technical, procedural and
regulatory solutions have to be put in place in time to achieve this
target.
As investments in the 2007–2013 programming period showed, an optimum
use of the ICT infrastructure and programme resources in the public
sector is a very important aspect of e-government development. The use
of these resources in Lithuania is decentralised, therefore,
individual public institutions have created a number of information
resources and tools which are not sufficiently interoperable; the
state information infrastructure is not used optimally and
efficiently. A preliminary assessment shows that 126 state information
systems, 88 registers38 and 85 server/data centres the resources of
which were only partially used (up to 30-40%39) operated in Lithuania
at the start of 2012. The Law on Management of State Information
Resources, effective as of 1 January 2012, sets forth consolidation
principles to be implemented for the infrastructure in the public
sector. At the moment, trends and prospects of the State Information
Technology Infrastructure, which according to the plan will be funded
by the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds in the 2014–2020 programming
period and is intended for the creation of the architectural model of
the state information resources infrastructure, the scenarios of
transition to this model and the plan of measures to optimise the
management and development of the state information technologies
infrastructure, are assessed. On the basis of this plan, it is
intended to introduce solutions designed for using the ICT base and IT
tools available in the country, as well as accumulated information
resources as efficiently as possible.
ICT in business. Lithuanian enterprises are fairly active internet
users (87% of the enterprises have fixed broadband connection) and
exploit opportunities offered by it (for instance, the share of income
generated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from e-commerce
exceeds the EU average). Lithuanian business enterprises also remain
among the most active users of e-government services in the EU.
According to the data of the Statistics Lithuania for 2012, 99% of the
country’s enterprises communicated with public institutions online:
99% downloaded or submitted various completed forms, 97% performed
administrative procedures online, 34% received public procurement
documents and specifications from public institutions (Lithuanian and
the EU) online, 30% submitted tenders in the e-procurement system. In
2012, a qualified electronic signature was used by 86% of the
enterprises (77% of the enterprises used electronic signature for
receiving e-services, 28% for providing e-services and 44% for signing
e-documents to be sent).
With a view of improving the efficiency and transparency of public
procurement in Lithuania, a considerable progress was made in the
development of electronic and centralised public procurement. From
2009 to 2012, e-procurement increased by 47% (it accounts for 83.1% of
all the tenders launched in 2012) and its scope accounted for 75.2% of
the total value of the tenders launched in 2012. Further development
of e-procurement is limited by a complicated and inefficiently
operating Central Public Procurement Information System, as well as
insufficient abilities and skills among representatives of contracting
authorities to perform such procurement, etc. It is notable that more
efficient functioning of the public procurement system is also impeded
by very frequent amendments to legal acts, insufficient institutional
abilities of participants in the public procurement system (including
personnel’s competence) in areas such as the implementation of public
procurement, legal regulation, the provision of methodological support
to contracting authorities, the monitoring of public procurement, etc.
The public sector is the largest information producer and supplier in
Europe as stated in the Digital Agenda for Europe. A preliminary value
of this market is EUR 32 billion. A repeated use of the public
sector’s data for commercial or non-commercial purposes offers broad
possibilities for the creation of new businesses and jobs, as well as
new activity models and products. The Lithuanian legal base makes it
possible for private persons to receive and use information of the
state and municipalities. Business enterprises, on the other hand,
still make very little use of the possibilities offered by re-use of
the public sector’s information. According to the data for 2013, 56%
of the enterprises used information received from public institutions
for commercial activities, however, only a small share of these
enterprises uses this information for the development of new
commercial digital services and products.
The ICT infrastructure, designed in Lithuania during the programming
periods 2004-2006 and 2007–2013, creates a serious potential for
further development which faces major challenges related to a broader
use of high-speed internet in households, as well as the creation of
safer, transparent and friendly conditions for the provision of
e-services in the public sector.
1.1.2.2. Challenges of sustainable growth – development of modern
basic infrastructure, creation of better business environment and
sustainable and efficient Use of natural resources
1.1.2.2.1. Development of modern basic infrastructure
Transport infrastructure. The development of a single, integrated and
efficient transport system is one of the main EU transport policy
objectives. Lithuanian transport network is a part of the transport
system in the Baltic Sea Region which has a potential of becoming an
important chain in shaping and developing the Eurasian transport
flows. The quality and safety of the trans-European network (TEN-T)
and the integrated multimodal transport corridors enabling efficient
exploitation of roads, railways, sea routes or air ways is an
important element of the EU and Lithuanian transport policy. In 2012,
transport and communications sector generated 11% of Lithuania's GDP40.
A significant part of the current TEN-T network in Lithuania does not
meet the required standards. Therefore, in order to ensure smooth
international and transit transport flows and traffic safety,
weaknesses of the TEN-T network have to be eliminated. Moreover, there
is no efficient interoperability of different transport modes
safeguarded in Lithuania. In addition to saving freight costs and
increasing flexibility of transport services, the combination of
different transport modes exerts less adverse impact on ecologic and
social environment. These transport infrastructure problems in
Lithuania limit freight and passenger mobility in the Baltic Sea
Region. When the Republic of Lithuania accessed the EU and entered the
Schengen area, the importance of border control posts infrastructure
for the efficiency of transit and border crossing flows became even
greater, quality requirements became tighter as well. The legal status
and infrastructure of the current border control posts at the external
EU borders does not in all instances meet the applicable requirements.
Therefore the aim is to ensure smooth functioning of the border
control posts by safeguarding rapid freight and passenger control.
From all transport development areas the major share of investments
from the Cohesion Fund, ERDF (under thematic objective 7) and CEF are
to be channelled to tackle the railway challenges.
As regards the maintenance of the developed and upgraded
infrastructure the current practice will be continued, where the
maintenance of an infrastructure is the responsibility of its operator
and the money is raised through the rates applicable to the users of
the infrastructure. National allocations for the maintenance of the
road transport infrastructure are to be allocated under the tailored
Road Development and Maintenance Programme (RDMP).
Railway transport is a special focus in the EU transport system – it
is treated as a priority transport mode which is expected to comprise
the major part of travels and transportation in the future and to help
to solve the key problems of the transport system. The aim is to
develop a Europe-wide single European railway area.
The strategic goals until 2050 identified by the EC in 2011 in the
White Paper in relation to transportation of passengers by railways
envision that the majority of medium-distance passenger transport
should go by rail; the European network of high-speed trains should be
expanded by tripling the length of the existing high-speed rail
network; a dense railway network should be maintained in all Member
States; all core network airports should be connected to the rail
network. The current Lithuanian railway sector significantly lags
behind the modern and interrelated railway transport systems of the EU
Member States from technical, economic and technological points of
view. The primary and major problem of the railway infrastructure in
Lithuania is the absence of connection with European (1435 mm wide)
gauge railway network. The ongoing phase of the ‘Rail Baltica’ project
will secure construction of the relevant gauge rail from the
Lithuanian-Polish border to Kaunas, however, freight and passenger
mobility via railways on the northern-southern axis remains confined.
To tackle the problem it is planned to continue the ‘Rail Baltica’
project in a section from Kaunas to Lithuanian national border with
Latvia. The implementation of the ‘Rail Baltica’ project will also
help to improve the attractiveness of the railway transport over road
transport which currently comprises the majority of passenger and
freight transportation in northern-southern destinations. Efficient
railway transport would improve access to Lithuania, facilitate
convenient and rapid access to administrative, cultural and political
centres of the countries in the Baltic Sea Region, enable to implement
EU TEN-T network policy provisions – connect the capitals of the EU
Member States (new high-speed European gauge rail from Kaunas to
Vilnius), and would allow Lithuania to benefit from the European
railway corridor No VIII supported by the EC (Rotterdam/ Antwerp –
Kaunas) and from the Baltic-Adrian corridor. ‘Rail Baltica’ will also
contribute to the EUSBSR priority area 'Transport – improving internal
and external transport links’ by connecting four countries of the
region, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The Lithuanian railway system is closely integrated into the
Eastern-Western transport corridor; in the corridor IX B, the
potential of combined transportation services via shuttle train
‘Viking’ (route Klaipėda-Minsk-Odessa/Iljichivsk) is well exploited.
Further development of the infrastructure in the Eastern-Western
corridor is of critical importance for entering the leading transit
routes for trading exchanges between the EU and the East (including
Asia). The Eastern-Western corridor is one of the most important
intermodal transport development projects in Lithuania. The
Eastern-Western transport corridor is a regional project which
naturally complements the main international transport and logistic
chains. Modernisation of the corridor IX B
(Klaipėda-Radviliškis-Vilnius-Minsk) should involve electrification of
lines, construction of second rail tracks, reconstruction of railway
stations. The current railway stations are insufficiently integrated
with other transport modes, offer insufficient convenience for
passengers, lack clearer provisions of information and references. The
stations have to be developed to make them more attractive for
passengers and to ensure interoperability of railways and other
transport modes.
The existing railway infrastructure in Lithuania is not competitive in
terms of freight and passenger transportation. The facilities are
physically worn out, the basic technical parameters of railway
infrastructure (for instance, the curve radiuses) limits the speed in
many sections therefore the existing railway infrastructure creates
the ‘bottleneck’ effect. To increase the capacity of TEN-T network
these infrastructure problems have to be solved. Another problem as a
weakness of the railway transport infrastructure is the lack of double
track railway routes throughout the network. In 2012, double track
railway routes in Lithuania accounted for just 22% of the whole
railway network. The above leads to railway transport problems such as
crossing of opposite trains, complications in bypassing slower moving
trains.
It should be emphasised that in terms of sustainable development a
critical problem of the railway transport is rather low degree of
network electrification – in 2012 only 6.9% of the Lithuanian railway
network was electrified (EU average 52.7%). In the current Lithuanian
railway network only two local passenger transportation railway routes
are electrified: Naujoji Vilnia–Vilnius–Kaunas and Vilnius–Trakai. The
length of exploited electrified railway lines covers 122 km, of which
single track comprise 4.98 km, double track - 117.02 km. In order to
scale down the adverse environmental impact of the transport
infrastructure, to expand the possibilities for passenger
transportation and to enable freight transportation via electrified
railway lines, the existing network of electrified railway routes is
to be expanded.
An important element to be considered in the development of railway
infrastructure is traffic safety. The risks that Lithuanian society is
facing in railway sector (in terms of fatalities and heavy injures as
a ratio to the number of kilometres covered by trains per year) is
more than 3 times as high as the risks posed to the society by railway
transport in the EU countries (Lithuanian rate - 2590, EU - 785).
Railway transport infrastructure (level crossings, in particular),
which causes the main railway traffic safety problems, must be
upgraded.
In order to abate the noise generated by railways and to implement the
Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
relating to assessment and management of environmental noise, noise
mitigation measures need to be installed.
The main challenges in the railway transport are related to small
degree of network electrification, small density of the network and
absence of narrow gauge railway.
Currently road infrastructure is one of the essential factors deciding
the operational efficiency of the transport and has a huge
significance to Lithuania’s economic and social development.
Lithuanian road transport system generates about 7% of GDP. The
experience from the 2007–2013 programming period shows that along the
reconstructed national and regional roads new businesses, new settlers
are establishing, more diversified activities (logistics, tourism,
manufacturing companies and service providers) are being developed.
Therefore a good network of roads is the foundation for development,
while connections with TEN-T network are an important basis for
economic growth of the regional centres.
To increase freight and passenger mobility via road transport one of
the highest priorities for Lithuania is to ensure proper technical
level of the Lithuanian TEN-T network consisting of 1617 km of roads
in terms of speed, traffic safety, security and convenience. A
significant part of the current roads of the TEN-T network in
Lithuania does not meet the requirements applicable to those roads and
lag behind the standards of the West Europe in terms of speed, traffic
safety, security and convenience. According to 2010 Eurostat data, in
Lithuania 59% of freight is transported via roads, 41% via railroads,
similar breakdown among EU-27 is registered only in Estonia, Latvia,
Romania and Austria. In other EU-27 countries, 83% of freight is
carried by roads and only 17% by railroads. This limits mobility in
the corridors of North-South (‘Via Baltica’) and East-West. Moreover,
the road network of Lithuania still has not reached the standards of
the West European countries and meets neither loading (only 30% of
roadways meet the axle load of 11.5 tons requirements) nor traffic
safety requirements. With the increasing number of cars and traffic
intensity (in particular, freight vehicles with the gross weight of
more than 12 tons, freight vehicles with three or more axles (their
sequence), the intensity of the annual average daily traffic on
arterial roads in 2013 increased by 1.56 times compared to 2005) the
need for modernisation and expansion of roads network is increasing.
Taking that into consideration the TEN-T network roads and access
routes must be further modernised, expanded and efficiently integrated
into the TEN-T network. The expansion of international transport
corridors is one of the EUSBSR priorities. Therefore the upgrading of
‘Rail Baltica’ connecting Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, will
contribute to the EUSBSR priority area 'Transport – improving internal
and external transport links’.
The Lithuanian roads network consists of roads of national
significance, which include highways and motorways of international
(TEN-T) significance, regional roads and municipal roads consisting of
local roads/streets run by municipalities. The roads network must
guarantee a safe and efficient access from regional centres and remote
areas to the main TEN-T network. Therefore connections between TEN-T
network and regional centres and between regional centres and local
areas are needed. Without guarantees of safe connection via access
routes and interconnections, the national level traffic safety will
not improve.
Roads transport system must efficiently interconnect primary,
secondary roads and trunk roads. Primary roads refer to gravel roads
(regional roads with asphalt pavement in rural areas (capillary),
where the traffic starts to build); secondary roads refer to the
regional roads which integrate local roads and where traffic flows
generate; tertiary roads refer to trunk roads whereby access to the
main TEN-T networks is guaranteed. In the suburban areas of the
Lithuanian major cities, an intensive urbanisation is observed near
the roads of national significance, the traffic is becoming more
intensive therefore the urban accesses are being reconstructed and
their capacity is being increased. Construction of bypasses in the
cities and towns, reconstruction of streets in the cities would be a
way to reduce traffic congestions, decrease ambient air pollution and
noise. With the view to improving the connection via trunk roads,
shifting the freight transport from centres of the cities and ensuring
the sufficient capacity of the roads of international significance,
bypasses of the cities, reconstruction of trunk roads, urban transport
nods, installation of multi-level crossings and other measures for the
sake of traffic safety and environmental protection are planned. By
2012 the financing from the Cohesion Fund has been used to construct
about 42 km of bypasses. However, a big part of the cities still have
no bypasses. This leads to big transit flows of personal and freight
vehicles within the cities which in turn result in lower speed within
the TEN-T network.
Proper status of the transport infrastructure is one of the major
drivers for smooth and sustainable regional development because it is
only with developed modern transport infrastructure the business
friendly environment able to attract investments can be created and
better employment opportunities for regional population can be
facilitated. Based on the results from the assessment of qualitative
parameters of the roads surface, the status of regional and local
roads, in particular in high intensity regional roads, is aggravating
each year. Insufficient degree of reconstruction and expansion of the
network of local roads does not allow to ensure equal competitive
conditions between large cities and regional centres. The development
of road transport infrastructure and the modernisation of the current
roads would enable to reach a better territorial cohesion in the
regions. Investments into transport infrastructure have positive
impact on economic growth, secure jobs, develop trade, geographic
accessibility and mobility of people. These must be planned with
consideration to the positive impact on economic growth and mitigation
of negative environmental impact.
Another critical problem in relation to Lithuanian transport is
insufficient traffic safety. Given the current situation on the roads
(number of fatalities and injuries) ensuring of traffic safety remains
the highest priority. In the recent five years the basic breakthrough
in terms of traffic safety was reached. Lithuania was one of just a
few countries who reached the goal defined in the Verona Declaration
and 2011 White Paper on transport to halve the number of road
fatalities in a 10 years’ span. The dynamics of this indicator puts
Lithuania among the leading countries in the EU. However the gap to
the EU average is still rather significant. The average number of road
fatalities in Lithuanian is twice as big as in the EU. Furthermore,
the traffic safety in Lithuania is still among the worst in the EU,
while the rate of accidents on the roads was increasing with each year
(only in 2008 it was smaller compared to 2007), while in other EU
countries a downwards tendency has been recorded. One of the basic
reasons for this problem is poor status of the roads. The status of 32
% of Lithuanian regional roads is poor or very poor, while the scope
of the current reconstruction of roads surface (1.6% of the total
length of the roads in 2009) is five times smaller compared to the
optimal level. The EU Directive 2008/96/EC stipulates that measures to
increase traffic safety are to be installed throughout the whole
network of roads infrastructure. The environment that would be safe
for the traffic participants (the major element of which is efficient
engineering and intelligent traffic safety measures) has not been
created in the roads yet. For instance, a safe roundabout crossing
constructed in a dangerous crossing would reduce the number of
fatalities and injuries by up to 95 %. Installation of safe traffic
measures has significantly reduced the number of ‘black spots’. In
2006 there were 270 ‘black spots’, while in 2013 there officially
remained 43 'black spots'. Another measure to ensure traffic safety is
pedestrian and bicycle paths. Since 2007 there were 165 km of
pedestrian and bicycle paths constructed along regional roads of
national significance and local roads. All in all, the length of the
paths increased from 1085 to 1250 km over the period 2007–2012 along
the roads of national significance. That has led to a significant
improvement of traffic safety: In 2007, 235 pedestrians and 73
bicyclists were killed, in 2011 – 137 and 26, respectively. Roundabout
crossings, safety islands, bicycle paths also reduce air pollution and
mitigate other negative impact of the transport on the environment and
residential areas.
A lack of a common local or regional (covering both a regional centre
and the surrounding territories) strategy slows down the development
of the transport network, in particular in peripheral areas of the
country. Municipalities prepare strategic plans oriented towards
tackling of transport network problems in their territories, however
these plans do not take into consideration infrastructural and
political issues related to objects covering a few municipalities, for
instance, arrangements of intercity communication, renovation of
routes, regional and local roads. This leads to social and
environmental implications – part of the population of Lithuanian
rural or suburban areas are isolated from the centres that offer
better employment opportunities or are able to reach such places by
cars only (which is a big problem to people with small income or
unemployed people); an intense traffic flow causes environmental
problems in the cities (environmental pollution, noise). The lagging
behind of small and medium towns (both physical and economical) is
determined by the lack of their integration into national and
trans-European transport networks, insufficient exploitation of
different transport modes, while growing automobilisation is reducing
the competitiveness of the public transport.
The main challenges of the roads transport are related to ensuring
quality and safety parameters of the TEN-T network, connection of
secondary and tertiary roads to the TEN-T network, construction of
bypass roads, ensuring of safe traffic.
An integral part of the TEN-T IX B transport corridor is Klaipėda
State Seaport which is one of the most important and largest transport
nodes in Lithuania connecting the transport of the sea, roads,
railways and inland waterways. The current infrastructure of Klaipėda
Seaport and its quality does not ensure efficient interoperability
between water- and land-bound transport; the freight capacity via land
transport and the relevant capacity of the Port is not sufficient. In
Klaipėda State Seaport, the freight brought and carried via railroads
accounts for 74% of the total freight that passes the Port. The
current railway capacity is 40 million tons per year, however with the
increasing flow of freight the current railway capacity will not be
sufficient in the future. Compared to the roads transport, only a very
small part of containers are carried to and from the Port via
railways, which leads to an increasing flow of freight vehicles in the
port city in spite of the fact that the major part of other types of
cargos are transported via railways. Therefore, in the development of
the Klaipėda Seaport infrastructure a priority would be given to
efficient connection of the Seaport with the railway corridors,
thereby stimulating establishment of container terminals and
technologies in the outskirts the Klaipėda State Seaport where flows
from all terminals would be consolidated and the concept of shuttle
trains would be implemented.
In addition to that, the railway access roads and stations need to be
modernised, approach channel of the port and the breakwaters have to
be refurbished. The harbour deepening works should also be in line
with the environmental requirements (Malku bay is polluted with
tributyltin compounds (TBT)).
Given that in the shipping market the number of ships in the ports has
in principle not been increasing for a certain period of time and that
the increase in size parameters of the vessels has been recorded
instead, the largest focus is to be placed on ensuring safety and
mitigating of negative environmental impact of the shipping. The
current capacities of the container and general freight terminals are
confined because due to too small depth of its waters the port is not
able to receive container ships with the capacity of 6000 TEU. This
leads to a larger flow of vessels in the port which has adverse
environmental implications and is directly related to air pollution.
Adapting of the port for receiving of ships with larger draught would
help to reduce air pollution: the more cargo per ship – the less
operating ships – the less air pollution – the better carbon dioxide
(CO2) prevention. For receiving ships with larger draught, the
construction of an external deep-water seaport might be an option.
However, in the short term, in order to increase shipping safety in
the port approach channel, the approach channel of the Klaipėda
Seaport should be deepened and widened. When the liquefied natural gas
terminal (LNG) will come into exploitation and ships carrying LNG will
start coming to Klaipėda State Seaport, it will be in particular
important. The safety of navigation in the port must be secured for
those ships, the current infrastructure must be modernised and new
infrastructure must be developed to be able to serve new generation
larger ships. Adapting of the Port to receive ships of maximum size
would help to ensure the safety of their manoeuvring thereby improving
the safety of shipping and to reduce adverse environmental impact of
the Port’s operations.
The main challenges in this area are related to increasing of the
intermodality in order to achieve a better interoperability between
water- and land-bound transport as well as to ensure the
implementation of the environmental measures.
The infrastructure of the inland waterway transport in Lithuania is
insufficiently developed and not adapted to shipping because it does
not meet the applicable shipping requirements leading to
under-exploitation of the potential of this transport mode. There are
930.8 km of inland waterways in Lithuania of which: 827.8 km are
routes of national significance, 68 km – routes of local significance,
35 km – perspective routes. The inland waterway along the Nemunas
river and Curonian Lagoon E-41 Kaunas-Jurbarkas-Klaipėda is
categorized as inland waterway of international significance. In these
inland waterways, the parameters of the waterways set forth in the
Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance and the
Inventory of Main Standards and Parameters of the Waterway Network
(TRANS/SC.3/144) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
should be maintained. The current inland waterway transport is
under-developed: the inland ports no longer meet the current
standards, the vessels are outdated; a rather big recreational,
entertainment, tourism, freight and communication potential is not
exploited; the interoperability of inland waterway transport and other
modes of transport is poorly developed; the shipping infrastructure is
neglected (one of the main reasons for that was non-exploitation of
inland waterways) and in a poor status, outdated and in many instances
not suitable for use.
The inland water transport as an integral part of the Lithuanian
transport system is to be developed and integrated into the operations
of the Klaipėda State Seaport and other logistics and multimodal
transport centres securing the expansion of waterbone transport and
reducing the loads on motorways. Currently cargo transportation via
inland waterways is not attractive due to under-developed
interoperability with other transport modes: there are no convenient
facilities to reload cargos from/to road and railway transport. During
2007–2014 programming period the reconstruction of Marvelė wharf was
started, however for the sake of further development the conditions
for transportation of passengers and freight via inland waterways of
national significance (in particular inland waterway of international
significance E-41 Kaunas-Jurbarkas-Klaipėda) need to be created.
Combination of different transport modes (including inland waterways)
would help to reduce the flows of freight carried via road transport.
Since water transport is ecologically cleaner and safer than other
transport modes, its exploitation would bring benefit in that it will
both save freight transportation costs, improve the flexibility of
transportation services and exert less negative environmental and
social impact.
An important role in the country’s economy is played by civil aviation,
therefore it is important to ensure sustainable, environment-friendly
and uninterrupted provision of air transport services. With the
increased number of tourism, business, diplomatic and other types of
journeys investments in the air transport will be focused on the
airport of the TEN-T core network with the view to improving the
infrastructure and mitigating the negative environmental impact.
Connections via airbone transport are important for Lithuania situated
in the periphery of Europe both for communication and for economic
reasons. Hence he air transport infrastructure needs to be modernized
and expanded. That would lead to relatively less number of flights
and, consequently, to smaller pollution caused by aircrafts. It should
be noted that the renovation of certain infrastructure elements will
allow to reduce the manoeuvring time of aircrafts after landing and
before taking of, which will also contribute to mitigation of aviation
related pollution.
Except for Klaipėda State Seaport the country has no other multimodal
transport freight villages – industrial territories, where the flows
of cargos are concentrated and many transport, logistics and related
services operators are functioning. Distribution warehouses and
terminals tailored for uni-modal transport (roads) are rapidly
developing in the country. Warehouses are being established near the
major trunk roads, however there are no signs of territorial
concentration therefore it is difficult to improve the
interoperability between different modes of transport. The freight
transport policy followed by the EU aims at ensuring a consistent
interoperability between different modes of transport and to develop
multimodal transport solutions, and promotes the shift from road
transport to more environmentally friendly transport modes that are
safer in terms of traffics and are less dependent on fossil fuel
(railway, water transport). To ensure interoperability of multimodal
transport, in particular within the TEN-T network, public logistic
centres (PLC) should be developed. At the state initiative a decision
has been taken to establish PLCs within the international transport
corridors, near the industrial territories and core transport nodes,
which would have at least one multimodal transport terminal for
reloading and warehousing of containers, and a logistics park, where
companies would be offering different auxiliary services. In the
framework of PLCs development it is also necessary to ensure efficient
connections with the international transport corridors. In 2013 the
construction of Vilnius PLC and Kaunas PLC was started. The Vilnius
PLC will be established near Vaidotai railway distribution station,
near the section of the Southern Bypass of Vilnius which is going to
be constructed near this territory. Kaunas PLC will be established
near the main roads of the country (A1 and A6 highways, etc.) and
Kaunas international airport.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, the key challenge will be to make
a full use of Lithuania’s potential as a transit country by developing
a multimodal transport infrastructure integrated into the EU transport
network and distributed evenly in the territory of Lithuania, as well
as by creating conditions for the sustainable development of the
country’s regions. Traffic safety and environmental aspects should
also be ensured.
The existing energy infrastructure is not balanced enough for
efficient, safe and reliable supply of energy resources and services.
Capacities are too large in some parts of the energy infrastructure,
and insufficient in others. A similar situation is observed in
electricity grids, i.e. the development of renewable energy sources
(RES) requires the development of electricity grids, and some existing
lines should be replaced or upgraded due to excessive capacities. The
above aspects precondition the need to make comprehensive investments
into the energy sector, i.e. assess the effect of a part of
investments on other parts of the energy system and adapt them
respectively.
Moreover, old electricity and gas transmission networks with no
interconnectivity with the continental Europe and Nordic networks are
operated and therefore energy can be imported only from a few
countries (natural gas can be imported only from a single external
supplier). Lithuania is the largest importer of electricity in the EU,
i.e. the level of energy security is very low. Technical capacities of
the Lithuanian natural gas transmission infrastructure accounts for
merely 35.41% using N-1 formula, although it should be at least 100%
in accordance with the EU general requirements.
The under-developed energy supply infrastructure preconditions the
lack of competition in gas, electricity and thermal energy production
sectors. The price for imported natural gas increased by over 50% in
Lithuania from 2010 to 2013 and Lithuania has become an EU Member
State paying the highest price for natural gas (the price has
increased twofold compared to the EU average).
To implement the Council’s country-specific recommendation 2014
regarding the improvement of electricity and gas grids, as well as to
contribute to the implementation of the sub-objective ‘Reliable energy
markets’ of the EUSBSR objective ‘Connect the Region’, support is
planned for the construction of new advanced power transmission lines
ensuring technical possibilities for power exchange through
interconnectivity with Poland and Sweden, the
reconstruction/modernisation of the existing power transmission lines
by ensuring reliable power supply to consumers, as well as the
renovation of internal gas transmission and distribution networks. At
the same time, the integration of RES generated electricity into the
electricity transmission networks will be facilitated.
The main challenge of the 2014–2020 programming period – to ensure
efficient, safe and reliable supply of energy resources and services
by installing smart power and gas transmission networks.
1.1.2.2.2. Creation of a better environment for business
Lithuania ranked 17th among 189 countries in the world by business
environment index in 2013. It surpassed by only five EU Member States
according to this indicator and was ahead of Estonia (22nd position)
and Latvia (24th position)41. However, compared to other EU Member
States, the state’s regulatory burden is rather heavy in Lithuania –
Lithuania ranks the 20th in the EU by this indicator and 22nd by the
taxation scope and efficiency42. Therefore, the improvement of
regulation and the reduction of administrative burden for SMEs remain
relevant in the new programming period with a view of boosting the
population’s entrepreneurship.
Lithuania does not pay sufficient attention to the promotion of the
competitive environment primarily due to institutional-systemic
reasons. A strategic approach to issues in the competition policy is
lacking; no approved guidelines for the competition policy are in
place; authorisations, competences, initiatives and activity
prioritisation (as well as respective material support) are
insufficient in the Competition Council, as well as the responsibility
of administrations for violations of the Law on Competition.
According to the Eurostat data, Lithuania lags behind the EU average
by the level of entrepreneurship: in 2010, there were 39 enterprises
and persons working under business certificates or engaged in
registered individual activities per 1,000 population in Lithuania
(the EU average was 48). The fact that when the global economic crisis
started this indicator in Lithuania dropped from 42 in 2008 to 36 in
2009 and almost did not grow in 2010, i.e. increased only up to 39,
causes concern.
On the other hand, according to the data of a survey conducted in
2012, 18% of the respondents intend to establish their own business
within the coming three years43. At the moment, there are eight
business incubators in Lithuania (in Vilnius, Kaunas, Visaginas,
Telšiai, Šiauliai and Kazlų Rūda) and only 14 of 50 Lithuanian
municipalities ensure that entrepreneurs have a constant access to
information and consultation support under preferential conditions, if
needed44. Substantial EU funds were invested in business incubators
from 2007 to 2013, but the need for support to business incubators
with SMEs producing for niche markets remains in the 2014–2020
programming period. Therefore, one of the development challenges in
boosting the population’s entrepreneurship (among young people, women
and other target groups in particular) is raising awareness and
consultations on the possibilities to set up business and incubation
services, i.e. ensuring the availability of services for the start and
development of business.
Limited entrepreneurship and business development are also the result
of a limited availability of funding for the development of new and
existing business, especially micro enterprises. Although Lithuania is
in line with the EU average of 19% by the availability of funding
according to the data for 2011, SMEs face the problem of secure
funding when their applications are rejected or too stringent funding
conditions are offered45. Innovative, high-growth and international
market-focused enterprises as well as enterprises in the creative and
cultural industries (CCIs) that are engaged in activities
distinguished by a higher risk due to innovativeness and uniqueness of
their products and services also face the problems of funding
availability.
According to the Statistics Lithuania, 65,461 operated in Lithuania in
2012. During the 2007–2013 programming period, 8,250 SMEs, i.e. 12.6%
of the operating SMEs, were supported under financial engineering and
related measures of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds by December
2013. These enterprises were granted 1,875 loans and 2,776 guarantees;
54 risk capital investments were made; 3,545 enterprises made use of
the partial compensation of interest.
The recent global economic and financial crisis has lead to a
complicated situation in the Lithuanian credits market: significant
mismatch between the expectations of the sellers and the buyers,
tightened lending criteria, lack of financing in private capital
market, slow business development due to unwillingness/ inability of
the companies to invest and focusing on search for funding of their
working capital instead, waiting for the economy to recover has put a
burden on the implementation of finance engineering instruments aimed
at business development and on the absorption of finances earmarked
for that purpose. On the other hand, the introduction of finance
engineering instruments during the period of financial crisis has
given the SMEs the opportunity to partially solve the problem of worse
access to market financing.
The number of agricultural companies registered and operating in the
agricultural sector fell by 10% over the period 2007–2013. In rural
areas, the change in the number of non-agricultural SMEs was
negligible. In 2003 there were 9,000 companies of the type, while in
2012 the number increased to about 10,000 (of which 78% were micro
enterprises). These enterprises comprise about 15% of the total number
of enterprises operating in Lithuania. Rural areas with prevailing
unfavourable conditions for agricultural activities are dominated by
negative trends in the development of SMEs – in 2011 there were up to
nine SMEs per 1,000 rural population of working age. In the course of
the implementation of measures of the RDP for 2007–2013, which were
intended for promoting other than agricultural business, by the end of
2013 support was provided to 414 business enterprises and 463
self-employed persons (implemented projects were usually related to
rural tourism activities, the provision of various cleaning services,
construction, construction site preparation works, landscaping, the
production of pellets and other fuel from biomass, the production of
wooden products, retail trade, etc.). The diversification on
non-agricultural activities in Lithuanian rural areas is still
limited.
In the 2007–2013 period, the financial engineering measure was used
with EAFRD funds under which preferential loans were granted to
entities related to agricultural production and processing – in total
474 loan contracts with a value of EUR 39.1 million were concluded. In
the new programming period, financial engineering measures will be
relevant for both agricultural and other non-agricultural entities in
rural areas (starting business in particular). In the 2014–2020
programming period, financial engineering measures is being
implemented with regard to the results of the ex ante evaluation of
financing engineering.
According to Eurostat, in 2011 Lithuania was 18th in the EU in terms
of integration into foreign markets. The national strategic target to
rank 15th in the EU by this indicator by 202046 shows that the
internationalisation of activities in SMEs, which create 63.5% of the
total value-added47, is among the key development challenges in order
to reduce SME dependence on a relatively small domestic market and
boost their competitiveness and innovativeness.
Even though over the recent years a significant growth of exports has
been observed in Lithuania (exports grew by 29% in 2011 compared to
2010 and Lithuania was rated 5th by this indicator in the EU), a large
share of exported Lithuanian goods (around 38% according to the data
for the third quarter of 2013) is not of Lithuanian origin, i.e. goods
are not produced in Lithuania. Despite the fact that the exports of
Lithuanian goods (at the prices of that time) constitute a large share
of the total exports and GDP, the exports of the goods actually
produced in Lithuania make up a small share of GDP (26.4%). Moreover,
there are a lot of enterprises exporting raw materials and
intermediate products among existing exporters. In 2012, the exports
of intermediate products represented 52.7% of the total good exports.
In 2010–2012 the export of Lithuanian agricultural and food products
was increasing with each year (on average, by 22.5 percentage points
per year). The competition on the international markets is likely to
grow in the future as well. Lithuanian agricultural and food sectors
will have favourable conditions to increase the scope of exports, to
offer ecological products and products of higher and exceptional
quality to the consumers.
The integration of SMEs into foreign markets is partially limited by a
lack of cooperation among enterprises: in the period 2013–2014,
Lithuania ranked 109th of 142 states in terms of the global
competitiveness index by cluster development. However, when promoting
the internationalisation of SMEs, it is also important to ensure the
availability of public services to enterprises willing to export and
increase SME productivity, as well as the innovativeness of production
and services.
In Lithuania, low labour productivity has been recorded, while the
availability of relatively cheap workforce does not stimulate a shift
to more advanced production methods that would lead to a higher
productivity. This can be seen by comparing the labour productivity
per actually worked number of hours in Lithuania and in the EU-27. As
per Eurostat data, the labour productivity per actually worked number
of hours in 2011 in Lithuania constituted 64.3%, from 2012 – 65.4% of
EU average. Poor labour productivity confines competitiveness of the
country’s enterprises both on the domestic and on the foreign markets.
SME productivity is hampered not only by a slow introduction of
already created technological innovation in production, but also
outdated business processes, insufficient management, marketing and
branding skills and experience. Lithuania features a rather low share
of innovative enterprises in the total number of SMEs related to
innovation: in 2010, this indicator accounted for 15.67% (the EU
average was 31.8% in 2010, Eurostat). Innovation statistics shows that
Lithuania lags behind the EU average in the process of higher value
generation. Even though according to the European Innovation
Scoreboard 2013, Lithuania rated the second in the EU in terms of
business expenditure on innovation other than R&D (acquisition of
equipment, patents and permits), other innovation indicators of
Lithuanian SMEs are still well behind the EU average. For instance,
21.39% of the SMEs introduced product or process innovation in
Lithuania in 2013 (the EU average was 38.44%), and 26.39% of the SMEs
introduced marketing and organisational innovation in 2013 (the EU
average was 40.3%)48.
A survey conducted by Statistics Lithuania showed that from 2008 to
2010 innovation in enterprises was most restricted by its high price
(29.6%.) and limited funds within the enterprise or a group of
enterprises (28.7%)49. On the other hand, such factors as the
availability of public services for business and innovation, as well
as appropriate regulation and leadership skills of enterprise managers
also influenced the introduction of innovation in enterprises.
According to the Statistics Lithuania, from 2008 to 2010 24.6% of the
enterprises which introduced technological innovation set a target of
reducing environmental pollution and adverse environmental impacts.
Even though Lithuania is in line with the EU average in terms of the
introduction of innovation with a positive environmental impact,
Lithuanian SMEs badly lag behind in terms of other sustainable
business development indicators. In 2012, 79% of the SMEs implemented
resource efficiency measures (the EU average was 93%) and only 3% of
them received public support for the implementation of these measures
(the EU average was 9%).
Lithuania also falls behind in terms of the supply of green products
and services: in 2012 these products and services were offered by 21%
of the Lithuanian SMEs (the EU average was 25%) and only 16% of the
SMEs stated that their income from the sales of green products and
services accounted for more than 50% of their annual turnover (the EU
average was 22%). Like in case of resource efficiency measures, only
3% of these enterprises made use of the public sector’s support to the
production of green products and the provision of green services. This
evidences that the potential of public support (including EU
structural investments) is not fully used in promoting the development
of sustainable and environment-friendly business.
The CCI potential of the country is under-exploited. The Lithuania's
Innovation Development Programme 2014–2020 raises a strategic goal –
to become a creative knowledge society. The Global Innovation Index
2013 of the World Intellectual Property Organization records rather
high indicators defining education and research level of Lithuania (35th
position among 142 countries). Lithuania has highly qualified human
resources, in terms of the level of education background Lithuania
rates 20th. However, this potential of knowledge, education,
creativity of the people, entrepreneurship and innovations is still
under-exploited.
The survey of the Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries
in Lithuania conducted in 201250 noted that GDP generated in this area
in 2000–2008 fluttered from 4.79 to 5.62%, while in 2008 it
constituted 5.4% of GDP. In 2009, Lithuania’s CCI sector had about
70,000 employees which accounted for 4.94% of the overall labour
market of Lithuania, while the GDP share generated by CCI sector
amounted to 6%51. The scientific article published in 201352
highlights a link between Lithuanian economy and CCI cycles – in spite
of large economic recession the CCI output did not suffer this change
and remained rather stabile.
As recorded in the scoreboard of the Innovation Union, in 2013 the
share of SMEs pursuing technological innovations in Lithuania
accounted for 21% of all SMEs, while the EU average is 38%, those
pursuing non-technological innovations accounted for 26% (EU average –
40%). The indicator reflecting protection of Lithuanian intellectual
property and income generated from licensing of the intellectual
property is 13 times smaller compared to EU average.
A wider use of design technologies and other non-technological,
creative and cultural innovations is one of the drivers for the
development of products with larger value added and larger
productivity, and a more sustainable use of resources. With the
increasing participation and involvement of the society and the
growing number of flexible, creativity-intensive, self-employment
jobs, CCI gains more opportunities to create innovations and to tailor
them in line with the progress of the society and the economy.
During 2007–2013 period CCI received more than 450 mLTL, of which 21
mLTL (approximately 5% of the total financing earmarked to CCI sector)
were channelled to research and development in the CCI sector. The
companies and the research centres operating in the CCI sector were
actively involved in tailored measures and successfully absorbed the
earmarked funds. Economic stability of the sector is under control,
the growth of the generated value reflects a potential of more active
growth. Further development is limited by the lack of suitable
infrastructure, under-developed cooperation networks, lack of
knowledge and capacities required for CCI development, big risk
associated with the business projects in this area due to their unique
and innovative nature which complicates capital raising efforts. The
cooperation between the countries of the Baltic Sea region in the
framework of EUSBSR would facilitate expansion of CCI cooperation
networks, better exploitation of CCI potential and would accordingly
contribute to the increased welfare of the country and the region as a
whole.
The share of Gross Value Added (GVA) generated by Lithuania’s
agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors increased from 3.7% to 4%
over the period from 2008 to 2012 (EU-28 average constitutes 1.7%).
The value added per one actually worked hour in 2012 in agriculture,
forestry and fishery amounted to only 5.45 EUR and accounted for 60.4%
of EU-27 average (9.02 EUR). In 2010 in Lithuania, out of 1000
employed people 88 were working in agriculture, forestry of fishery
sector (EU average – 52).
In 2012, the labour productivity in the agricultural sector was lower
compared to other sectors of the economy and lagged behind the average
of the country’s economy (average of the EU-27 – 70%) by 57%. This is
a consequence of dependence of technological processes on
environmental factors and their role in providing public goods and
services. Smaller labour productivity in the agricultural sector leads
to lower income compared to other sectors. The agricultural sector
also faces the problem of small labour productivity resulting from
unfavourable farm structure, insufficient modernisation of machinery
and use of outdated technologies, unfavourable age structure of the
farmers, suboptimal use of production factors, feeble participation of
agricultural stakeholders in diversification of economic activities,
insufficient entrepreneurship of the population of rural areas.
The changes in the structure of farmers’ age reflect unfavourable
tendencies. In 2010, 53.6% of farmers and their family members were
older than 55 years (EU-27 average – 53.1%). In 2010, farmers of up to
35 years of age accounted for just 5.9% of all farmers (EU-27 average
– 7.5%) which threatens smooth change of generations in the
agricultural sector and continuity of farming traditions. In 2013,
about 44% of Lithuanian farmers were older than 60 years, 43% were
within the 41-60 age interval53.
In Lithuania, the structure of arable land is rather diverse,
individual land plots tend to be small, the arable land plots of the
same farm are in distance from each other (fragmented). According to
the 2010 Census of Lithuanian Agriculture, the majority of Lithuanian
farms are from 2 to 9.9 ha by size (124 730 farms) and account for
about 62% of the total number (199 910) of farms. An average farm size
– 13.7 ha (EU-27 average – 14.3 ha). An average area of private
agricultural land plots – 2.4 ha. The structure of farms by size in
Lithuania compared to EU average in 2010 had marked differences in the
size category from 2 ha to 5 ha and 5 ha to 10 ha. Such farms
respectively account for 42.43% and 19.96% of all farms of Lithuania,
whereas the EU-27 averages in these categories respectively account
for 20.20% and 10.92%. Hence in Lithuania, the arable land plots tend
to be smaller by size and more polarised compared to average of EU
Member States. To facilitate the implementation of the objectives of
the land management and administration system related to building of
rational agricultural holdings, Lithuania has started preparing land
consolidation projects back in 2000 already. The aim of the projects
is to form larger land plots that would have better configuration and
would be more suitable for farming, to arrange for the necessary
access routes, to form land plots needed for the implementation of
environmental objectives and to implement other goals and objectives
of territorial planning.
Although the technical potential for production of agricultural and
food products is improving, the necessary scope of production of raw
materials is not secured. In the recent years, the number of animals
of certain species kept for farming purposes reduced. In 2013, the
number of cattle in Lithuania amounted to 684,000, of which 104,000
animals were kept for meat production and for mixed purposes, which is
by 12.6% less than in 2008, although the number of animals for meat
production and mixed purposes increased by 8.4%; the number of sheep
increased significantly as well: in 2013, the number of sheep was by
60% larger compared to 2008, the number of pigs reduced over the
reference period by 19%54.
It should be noted that Lithuanian farmers insufficiently diversify
their economic activities: as demonstrated by 2010 Census of
Agriculture only 0.8% of the farms larger than 1 ha also engage in
other – income generating non-agricultural activities (EU average
14.3%).
The industry of food and beverages is one of the largest producing and
processing industries in Lithuania: the production sold by the food
and beverages industry in 2009 accounted for 18%. The share of the
Gross Value Added generated by the production sector of food products,
beverages and tobacco products grew since 2009 and in 2012 accounted
for 4.8% being 2.3 times larger compared to EU-27 average. Although
the companies of this industrial area were investing a lot, the Gross
Value Added per one entity engaged in food and beverages industry is
still a few times smaller than EU average55. As per Eurostat data, the
Value Added per one actually worked hour in 2011 constituted 14.8 EUR
in Lithuanian food and beverages industry (EU-27 average 28.4 EUR) and
was by 48% smaller than the EU-27 average. Therefore companies of food
industry willing to remain competitive need to increase their labour
productivity more rapidly, to introduce innovations and new
technologies, improve the quality of their products, value added and
marketing.
There is an increasing demand for vegetables and fruit in the country,
however, given the particular labour-intensiveness of the sector it is
necessary to support the investments contributing to higher labour
productivity of the sector and improved presentation of vegetables and
fruits to the consumers.
With the increasing demand for fresh and natural agricultural and food
products grown and produced at the place of consumers’ residence,
farmers, in particular small and medium-sized, have a possibility to
sell their products directly to consumers and increase their income in
this way. However, direct sales are not sufficiently developed in
Lithuania: individual farmers are incapable of reaching consumers
themselves, all the more so finding and maintaining regular consumers,
therefore, united efforts for cooperation of producers and consumers
are required.
The Lithuanian fisheries sector consists of such major subsectors as
fishing, aquaculture, processing of fishery products. The fishing
subsector has some problematic aspects, including the outdated, energy
inefficient and environmentally unfriendly Baltic Sea fleet;
insufficient dissemination of advanced technologies and best practice;
limited financial possibilities of the majority of micro, small and
medium-sized fishing enterprises to invest into the creation of
value-added and the development of sales, their low profitability,
insufficiently developed fishing infrastructure: vessel service, fish
unloading and primary processing; underdeveloped infrastructure of
fish waste generated in fishing activities, unwanted catches,
management and utilisation of vessels’ technical waste; shortage of
specialists and high-skilled staff in the fishing sector and their
emigration abroad; an underdeveloped system for specialist training
and professional development of representatives from the fisheries
sector; an underdeveloped target system for applied research;
insufficiently maintained fish migration routes and spawning grounds;
insufficient stock of valuable commercial fish in internal bodies of
water.
An increase in the production capacities in the subsector of
commercial fishing has been considerably limited by sustainability and
efficient consumption factors, including restrictions on the use of
resources, in the recent years. Therefore, issues related to the
improvement of labour efficiency and increase of production capacities
in commercial fishing can be dealt with only through added performance
and creation of value-added. Whereas production processes in the
majority of enterprises in the Lithuanian fishery product processing
sector that have introduced advanced technologies and some aquaculture
enterprises are performed efficiently.
Among weaknesses observed in the Lithuanian aquaculture sector are
insufficient dissemination of advanced technologies and best
production practice; limited financial possibilities of the majority
of micro (including farms of natural persons engaged in aquaculture
activities), small and medium-sized aquaculture enterprises to invest
into the creation of value-added and the development of production and
sales; their low profitability; shortage of specialists and
high-skilled staff in the private sector and their emigration abroad;
an underdeveloped target system for applied research; a lack of
research institutions; weak management of some enterprises; poor
marketing skills to operate in the EU market; high electricity costs
caused by filling fisheries ponds with water, which increases
production costs in aquaculture enterprises. The currently prevailing
species of grown commercial fish, carps, have a relatively limited
geography of consumption; therefore, growing fish that is considered
more valuable and is on a greater demand in the market (trout, eels,
catfish, sturgeon and other) has been becoming more popular in
Lithuanian aquaculture farms.
Problems faced by the fishery product processing subsector include
limited financial possibilities of the majority of micro, small and
medium-sized aquaculture enterprises to invest into the creation of
value-added and the development of production and sales; their low
profitability; underdeveloped processing of small pelagic fish caught
in the Baltic Sea and production of fish preserves, as well as
marketing; a lack of fresh quality raw materials in processing
enterprises; poor management of certain enterprises; insufficient
marketing skills to operate in the EU market; insufficiently
coordinated and associated small producers are not always able to
adequately represent their interests and compete in the international
market.
The key challenges in future will be a better use of the
entrepreneurship and creativity potential of the country’s population
in promoting the establishment and sustainability of SMEs. At the same
time, it is necessary to strengthen the competitiveness of operating
enterprises in Lithuanian and European markets through increased
labour efficiency and productivity, as well as the use of market
niches and the promotion of innovation.
1.1.2.2.3. Sustainable and efficient use of natural resources
A considerable progress has been made in Lithuania in environmental
protection. The quality of ambient air and surface water constantly is
improving, however, the public is not well-aware of sustainable
development principles yet, and they are not consistently implemented
either. Lithuania falls behind the EU average by the headline
indicator of sustainable consumption and production—resource
productivity—set forth in the EU Strategy for Sustainable Development
(in 2010, this indicator in Lithuania amounted to EUR 0.57/kg, and the
EU average was EUR 1.64/kg). Moreover, the value of this indicator has
hardly changed in Lithuania in the last decade, whereas the EU average
has been constantly climbing up. During the period of rapid economic
growth, GDP grew relatively faster (by a fourth) than greenhouse gas
emissions and at that time a conclusion could be drawn that the
economy developed sustainably. When the economic crisis started, GDP
and greenhouse gas emissions dropped in parallel. However, when the
economy started showing some signs of recovery, in 2010 GDP grew by
3.5% and greenhouse gas emissions even by 17.7%. This shows that a lot
of efforts will be required to bring back the economy to the path of
sustainable development.
After the analysis of sustainability in individual economic sectors,
it should be stated that they are developed in a traditional way with
regard to the use of resources, and environmental restrictions in the
context of economic growth are understood by economic entities as
problems rather than part of a possible solution. Insufficient
investments by enterprises in the sustainable use of resources are
typical of Lithuania.
Lithuania is still behind the EU average in terms of civic
environmental activism and green personal behaviour. The population’s
attitude to the sustainable use of natural resources is changing
slower than the development of new infrastructure (for example, a
survey performed by the Eurobarometer in 2007 revealed that the
Lithuanian population bought green products or avoided using
disposable items half as often as the EU population (on average)).
Sustainable development is also limited by insufficient human
resources efficiency. It is far behind the EU average. Rural
population is not well-aware of the fact that the sustainable
functioning of ecosystems depends on resource efficiency in
agriculture and forestry.
The promotion of sustainable and efficient use of resources results in
clean and healthy natural environment, biodiversity and contributes to
the implementation of ambitious targets set by the EU environmental
policy, as well as to the implementation of the EUSBSR objective ‘Save
the Sea’ and environmentally sustainable development of the Baltic Sea
Region.
Lithuania has over 16,000 immovable cultural values, but only a small
share of them is adequately researched, renovated and adapted for use.
There is a risk that part of this heritage may completely deteriorate.
Local heritage objects are poorly known and thus are not used for
tourism. National parks are consistently implementing measures for
their adaptation to visiting; however, the shortage of footpaths and
cycling lanes, water trails, observation towers and points is still
evident. In the 2007–2013 programming period, investments into the
revival of cultural heritage were planned with regard to tourism
needs, sometimes without considering the value of cultural heritage
items, possibilities for using the items being restored for social and
educational needs: heritage restoration projects were systemically
implemented only under tourism measures. The experience gained in the
2007–2013 programming period shows that investments in cultural
heritage return to the city’s budget because of increased flows of
visitors.
Air quality. Lithuania does not exceed the level of emission of
pollutants set in the EU legislation for 2010 and subsequent years (SO2,
NMVOC, NH3, NOx). In 2012, compared to 2005, the level of SO2, NMVOC
and NOX, emitted into the ambient air was lower, the level of emitted
NH3 remained almost unchanged, the emission of fine solid particles
increased to a small extent. Although the air quality is gradually
improving certain important problems persist: pollutants emitted in
the cities by local pollution sources – transport, food, energy
objects, including fuel combustion facilities used in households for
heating purposes; increased pollution from thermal power stations
after decommissioning of the state enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power
Plant; Lithuania, similarly to the rest of the EU, was insufficiently
regulating pollution from agricultural (in particular, animal
production) activities; pollution of Lithuania’s air basin with
pollutants carried from other regions.
The problem of air pollution with fine solid particles and
benzo(a)pyrene persist in Lithuanian major cities. This problem is of
particular relevance in cold seasons due to more intensive production
of thermal energy and the resulting increase of emissions of
pollutants into the air by the energy companies providing centralised
heating supply services, and by the heating facilities of individual
houses (the cheapest fuel that is also emitting the highest level of
pollutants is being used), as well as in the spring season when the
dirt accumulated during the winter that has not been timely and
efficiently removed is suspended in the air by transport vehicles or
stronger wind.
The main challenge is to reduce air pollution in order to improve the
quality of the air and to mitigate negative implications for human
health and the environment.
In the last decade, the quality of water in Lithuanian rivers has
greatly improved. However, the Curonian Lagoon, the coast of the
Baltic Sea, around two thirds of the Lithuanian rivers and around a
third of the Lithuanian lakes are still incompliant with the
requirements of good water quality. In 2012, 54% of the bodies of
water were in good condition in terms of criteria of the Water
Framework Directive. Non-point-source pollution and point-source
pollution are the main factors of human economic activities affecting
the condition of surface bodies of water. According to the Report of
the European Commission of 4 October 2013 on the implementation of
Nitrates Directive in EU-27 Member States in 2008–2011, the
concentration of nitrates in Lithuanian surface and ground waters is
among the lowest in the EU. In spite of this, the need to invest in
manure management technologies, including manure storage and
spreading, as well as other measures related to the reduction of water
contamination remains in Lithuania.
Coordinated cooperation with other countries in the Baltic Sea Region
would facilitate more efficient solution of challenges faced in this
area, especially in the efforts to improve the environmental condition
of the Baltic Sea, reduce non-point-source and point-source pollution,
ensure good condition of bodies of water and contribute to the
implementation of the sub-objective ‘Clean water in the sea’ of the
EUSBSR objective ‘Save the Sea’, and to implement the Common Water
Policy, directives on use of nitrates and sustainable use of
pesticides.
In case of point-source pollution, more than 90% of the collected
wastewater is properly cleaned. This is primarily applicable to
agglomerations that are larger than 2,000 population equivalents. It
is still relevant to ensure quality water supply and wastewater
management services in rural areas, i.e. agglomerations that are
smaller than 2,000 population equivalents. Wastewater in small towns
and villages, which constitute a small part of all the collected
wastewater, is untreated or treated insufficiently. However, it costs
much more to solve this problem there than in major cities due to a
large number of wastewater collection systems. There are over 1,100
wastewater treatment plants (around 730 household, domestic and
industrial plants, around 370 surface wastewater treatment plants) in
Lithuania. The majority of these facilities are installed in the
residential areas with population over 2000 people. In the new
programming period the focus must also include smaller settlements.
In 2013, the share of the housing connected to a drinking water supply
and wastewater treatment systems accounted for 77% and 69%,
respectively. Drinking water losses made up 30% of the amount supplied
to the networks in 2011.
Surface (rain) wastewater, which is collected from urban and other
polluted territories (in particular, in the towns with population
larger than 10,000) and discharged into surface bodies of water, has
an adverse impact on bodies of water. Only one tenth of the collected
surface wastewater is currently treated. A larger part of the treated
wastewater complies with the standards. Most of the surface wastewater
collection systems are outdated. Due to the sprawl of urban
territories and the increase in the quantity of collected surface
wastewater, the capacity of current collection systems is too low and
therefore some parts of the cities are flooded after heavy rains; the
renovation and expansion of the surface (rain) wastewater system will
hence allow to improve the quality of surface water bodies and to
implement the relevant requirements of the directive on urban
wastewater treatment.
Pollution with hazardous substances, whose sources of discharge into
bodies of water have not been identified and quantities unquantified,
remains an acute issue. The impact of this type of pollution on the
changes in the condition of bodies of water has not been investigated
sufficiently yet.
The Curonian Lagoon is the largest internal body of water in
Lithuania, which is very important from an environmental perspective.
Its ecosystem is highly dependent on the inflow of pollutants from
river basins with the Nemunas being the major one. After the
evaluation of the monitoring data, it can be stated that the inflow of
pollutants to the Curonian Lagoon is gradually reducing. It can be
related to the implementation of environmental measures in
agriculture, industries and, in particular, the renovation of
wastewater treatment plants in cities. In 2011, the inflow of sea
water into the Curonian Lagoon was lower than the average of the last
decade.
The Baltic Sea is considered to be among the most intensively
navigated regions in the world. Marine transport (vessels and the
port) affects all elements of the Baltic Sea environment. The
following are the main risks of pollution posed by navigation:
intentional and emergency spill of oil, other hazardous substances and
waste, transfer of alien species of water organisms through ballast
water. Marine transport also significantly contributes to physical
disturbance of the marine environment and underwater noise, as well as
pollution with litter. The risk of pollution is also posed by the
search, extraction and transportation of oil and other carbohydrates
performed by the neighbouring countries in the Baltic Sea.
Given the fact that cooperation among the states of the Baltic Sea
Region is vitally important in order to reduce adverse environmental
impacts made by marine transport and ensure monitoring of sea
pollution and thus contribute to the implementation of the sub-object
‘Clean and safe shipping’ of the EUSBSR ‘Save the Sea’.
Groundwater is the main source of drinking water in Lithuania and its
resources are abundant. Currently, only 12% of the Lithuanian
groundwater resources are used. The condition of most groundwater
reservoirs in Lithuania is good, with the exception of four reservoirs
(of 20) with the natural risk of mineralised water inflow: the
chloride and sulphate concentration exceeds the threshold limit values
allowed for drinking water. A naturally increased concentration of
fluorine is characteristic of groundwater in Western Lithuania, and
high levels of iron are common practically in the entire country.
Security zones have been planned around reservoirs, however, not all
of them have been practically set up. Around 77% of the Lithuanian
population are connected to public supply of drinking water.
In the water management sector consistent efforts are made to secure
practical implementation of the cost recovery principle. The
possibility to push up operational indicators of the companies by
means of cross-subsidising has been in principle eliminated because
water supply companies are allowed to engage exceptionally in water
supply and waste water treatment activities. The economic analysis
carried on the level of river basin regions shows that cost recovery
principle has been fully implemented in the industrial sector, while
the cost recovery level in relation to supply of water to households
varies from 96% in Nemunas basin to 87% in Lielupė basin. Such
situation is to a large extent a consequence of suboptimal corporate
management, delayed implementation of decisions concerning changes of
tariffs. The new Law on Drinking Water Supply and Waste Water
Management specifies that the tariffs shall be set exclusively by the
National Control Commission for Prices and Energy for a period of
three years with the reserved possibility to revise them annually.
Therefore, in the new programming period efforts will be made to
improve the management of water supply companies, to increase the
efficiency of their operations in order to secure the cost recovery
principle established in the regulatory documents is fully
implemented.
The following are the key challenges in the area of water protection:
maintaining the potential of this resource by reducing the
contamination of bodies of water and ensuring that all the country’s
population is supplied with drinking water that is compliant with
safety and quality requirements and provided wastewater collection and
management services.
Land resources, landscape and biodiversity. Utilised agricultural land
takes up the area of 3.36 million ha (51% of the total area of the
country and around 85% of the total area of agricultural land). The
area of utilised agricultural land declared in 2012 was 2.78 million
ha. Although Lithuanian natural resources are favourable for growing
and producing various agricultural products, a number of natural
barriers exist. Less-favoured areas account for 42.3% of the utilised
agricultural land (1.4 million ha). From 2007 to 2012, support was
provided to 1.12 million ha of less-favoured areas, of which 0.18 ha
were in highly disadvantaged areas and 0.94 million ha in less
disadvantaged areas. Lithuania has flat and hilly areas. Plains
(slopes up to 2o) account for 48.1% of the utilised agricultural land,
wavy surface (2o-5o) 31.6%, hilly surface (5o-12o) 16.9%, and very
hilly surface 3.4%. Thus, a hilly and very hilly surface with
intensive erosion of soil accounts for only 4.14% of the utilised
agricultural land and therefore there is no need for separate soil
erosion control measures. In Lithuania, the average annual soil loss
due to water erosion is 0.81 t/ha. Besides, the soil structure in
Lithuania is very diverse. It is particularly diverse in hilly areas.
A number of soil types and varieties form even in a small territory.
The territory of Lithuania distinguishes by a specific soil structure,
the soil ratio forming it, the relief and other natural conditions
that determine conditions for agricultural production. A third of the
soil is acid due to natural conditions and must be limed periodically.
Liming of acid soil is the key improvement measure for acid soil that
allows for growing productive plants.
Although the overall geohygienic condition of Lithuanian natural soil
is good (the soil of the fields and forests is clean, its chemical
features are determined by environmental factors only), the surface
layer of the soil in the cities and territories of individual
enterprises within those cities often exceed the maximum permitted
concentrations of pollutants. In Lithuania, the soil and surface layer
in the territories of industrial enterprises and sides of the highways
are still contaminated therefore they have to be cleaned in order to
reduce impact on the environment and human health.
According to the data of the Lithuanian Geology Service under the
Ministry of the Environment, there are more than 11,000 potential
point pollution sources in Lithuania. The inventory of pollution
sources of geological environment has revealed that the area of
territories potentially contaminated with chemicals might constitute
280 km or 0.43% of the Lithuanian territory. About 49% of the
contaminated Lithuanian territories are classified as of particularly
high risk, 41% – of high risk. Lithuania also has many exhausted
quarries and peatlands which need to be re-cultivated by restoring
previous use of the land or re-cultivated into ecosystems more
valuable than the previous ones.
Lithuania is located in the area of excessive humidity, the amount of
precipitation exceeds the amount of evaporated water by around 1.48
times. As a result, favourable conditions for agriculture can be
created only by draining soil when excessive humidity is removed and
the water regime in the soil is regulated. According to the Statistics
Lithuania, 2.9 million hectares of land, that is around 90% of the
area of utilised agricultural land, are subject to reclamation. It is
notable that the average age of reclamation machinery is around 40
years. Most of it has never been renovated, resulting in a 57% wear
and tear. 222,000 ha of utilised agricultural land is in extremely
poor reclamation condition is (around 7% of the total area of utilised
agricultural land).
Since 2012, State Enterprise State Land Fund has been identifying in a
distance manner the area of temporarily unused land which is not taken
care of regularly and gradually deteriorates in quality. This is done
to ensure the proper use of land according to its purpose. In 2013,
the area of such land was 193,600 ha and accounted for 5.4% of the
total area of utilised agricultural land. That is why it is important
to promote the rational use of land resources by returning land to
farming or converting it into another type of land suitable for
alternative economic activities.
The landscape status of Lithuania is in principle stabile, however,
individual types of the landscape are changing due to different
reasons. The most significant changes are related to the sprawling
urbanisation at the peripheries of the major cities replacing
agricultural land; ecologically sensitive territories near water
bodies are used for recreation and construction of residential
buildings with increasing intensity. The developments inside the urban
territories are also accelerating, therefore the area of natural or
semi-natural territories is shrinking, ecosystems are fragmentised,
the structure of natural landscape is changing. The general plans of
the municipalities identify natural framework territories, which in a
broad sense comply with the green infrastructure concept defined by
the EU, however the municipal planning documents lack more specific
identification of the ecosystems and their functions, the need for
maintaining or restoring the green infrastructure has not been
specifically assessed, no measures in this area have been planned.
Natural and semi-natural ecosystems take up more than a third of the
Lithuanian territory. Currently there are about 20.500 species of
animals, 1.800 species of plans and 6.100 species of mushrooms in
Lithuania, of which 767 species are protected, on a verge of
extinction, rare or rapidly dyeing out. Some of the species strictly
protected in Lithuania can be found merely in 2-3 sites and their
conservation requires urgent actions.
Lithuania has built legal and institutional framework for
identification, accumulation and protection of national genetic
resources of the plants. Lithuanian science institutions involved in
the conservation of genetic resources of the plants have identified a
large number of species of wild plants growing in Lithuania and plant
species created in Lithuania which need to be preserved due to their
actual or potentially valuable features (about 3 300 species and
forms), however, there is a lack of institutional and infrastructural
capacity for the conservation works to be properly completed.
In Lithuania, the assessment of the status of natural habitats with EC
significance conducted in 2013 produced the following findings: out of
54 types of natural habitats found on the terrestrial part and in the
marine environment of the country, the conservation status was taken
as favourable with regard to 19%, poor/ insufficient – with regard to
52%, poor/bad – with regard to 24%, unknown – with regard to 5% of
natural habitats. Out of 106 types of natural habitats with EU
significance found in Lithuania, the conservation status was taken as
favourable with regard to 33%, poor/insufficient – 54%, poor/bad – 4%,
unknown – 9% of natural habitats. To compare with the assessments
conducted in 2007, there is a minor positive tendency, however, the
majority of changes found by the assessments are associated with the
use of more accurate inventory data or monitoring methods.
With the changing of the agricultural traditions certain types of
habitats with Community significance are vanishing as do the species
of Community significance or other protected species associated with
these habitats whose status depends on constant non-intensive farming,
for instance, natural or semi-natural grasslands, open wetlands, that
get covered with shrubs and low value forest when not mowed or
pastured. In some regions of the country agricultural technologies
have progressed significantly and the farming activities have become
more active to compare with the period before accession to the EU,
therefore natural habitats and the habitats of species face larger
impact of pollution, a bigger fragmentation of these habitats is
observed.
High Nature Value (HNV) territories (including Natura 2000 sites) in
Lithuania comprise 1.52 million ha (HNV utilised agricultural areas
comprise 0.91 million ha, forests 0.61 million ha) or 23.3 % of the
country's territory. The share of the utilised agricultural areas
where High Nature Value farming is being pursued accounts for 20.8% of
the total utilised agricultural areas. In 2012, 58.020 ha of utilised
agricultural areas were declared as pursuing HNV farming the inherent
features of which contribute to the conservation of biodiversity or
preservation of the protected species and habitats. HNV farming must
be supported more actively to enable the areas of such farming reach
1/5 of the total UAA area in Lithuania and remain at least in the
level that would help to ensure conservation of the landscape,
biodiversity and the balance of agricultural ecosystems.
The system of protected territories created in Lithuania to preserve
landscape and biodiversity covers 15.7% of the country’s land with a
larger part included in the European ecological network Natura 2000.
Natura 2000 territories account for 13% of the country’s total area,
4.6% of the total area of the utilised agricultural land. In the
period 2007–2012, 10.8% (147,000 ha) of the total area of utilised
agricultural land included in the Natura 2000 network was supported
under RDP measures.
The main problems currently faced in relation to conservation of
biodiversity are as follows:
- vanishing of natural habitats and habitats of species, deterioration
of their characteristics and fragmentation caused by exploitation of
grown forest, changes in agricultural and forestry technologies (more
intensive operations, expansion of mono-cultural agriculture,
replacement of grasslands with arable land, abandoning of grasslands
not suitable for animal production purposes or planting them with
forest), interference with the natural hydrologic regime of forests
and wetlands, rapid expansion of construction, industry and
infrastructure, interfering with the migration paths of the animals,
developments on the banks of water bodies, environmental pollution,
irrational consumption of natural resources.
- occupation of the habitats of local species or destruction of the
balance in the ecosystems by the invasive plants and animals (in
Lithuania, there area 35 new species spreading which have been
assessed as very dangerous invasive species due to the speed of their
growth, ability to adapt and occupy new habitats and the resulting
large negative impact on the economy);
- climate change induces changes in the ranges and habitats of the
species, causes new extreme phenomena and distribution of new
hazardous organisms, and is the cause of many other changes dangerous
to the biodiversity;
- society’s consumerist attitude towards the nature. The society is
insufficiently informed about the cumulative impact of the humans on
the ecosystems, the benefits produced by the intact ecosystems and the
price of their future losses, therefore the biodiversity is
insufficiently valued by the society.
In addition to these core problems, organisational difficulties in
relation to conservation of the landscape and the biodiversity are
also faced: Lithuania does not have a sufficiently developed system
for monitoring the status of the biodiversity; there is no single
institution or organisation with the national level responsibility for
the ongoing gathering, analysis of the biodiversity data, assessment
of impact on the landscape, biodiversity, ecosystems and on their
functions.
An efficient method for the protection of the biodiversity is the
establishment of the protected territories in the most valuable sites
and organisation of appropriate activities in these sites; building
and developing of Natura 2000 network; implementing measures for
protection of the natural habitats and species, including measures to
increase the society’s awareness about the importance of conservation
of the landscape, the biodiversity, the ecosystems and their
functions. In the framework of support from EAFRD, the activities
dealing with the conservation of the biodiversity should be
coordinated with the management of agricultural land and forests
facilitating conservation of natural characteristic (natural,
recreational resources, landscape) of the potential of the country's
territory and shaping of a balanced landscape.
The traditional production methods are changing in the agricultural
sector, the areas of certified ecological production are increasing
(in 2007–2012 the such areas increased by 28%, i.e. from 125,457 ha
(2007) to 162,700 ha, and accounted for 4.8% of the total area of
utilised agricultural land in 2012). One of the aims of the RDP
2007–2013 was to improve the environment and the landscape, to stop
reduction of biodiversity by securing rational use of the land
resources, supporting sustainable development of agriculture and
forestry. The area of the country supported under the ecologic farming
programme increased over the period 2007–2012: In 2007 it comprised
22.900 ha, in 2012 – as much as 155.600 ha. The areas certified under
the ‘Organic Farming Scheme’ of ‘Agro-Environmental Payments’ measure
of the RDP in 2012–2013 comprised 4.100 ha (0.12% of the total area of
utilised agricultural area).
In order to mitigate shrinking of biodiversity the ‘Rare Breeds
Scheme’ and the ‘Landscape Stewardship Scheme’ covered by the
‘Agro-environmental Payments’ measure were implemented. The number of
animals and poultry of rare breeds in 2007-2012 increased 11 times: in
2008 this number included 676 units, 2012 – 7316 units. The area
covered by landscape stewardship and biodiversity protection
activities in 2007-2012 increased by almost 10 times: in 2007 it
comprised 12.960 ha, in 2012 – as much as 128.260 ha. The total area
supported by the agro-environmental schemes of the RDP in 2007-2012
comprised 308,000 ha (9.2% of the total area of the utilised
agricultural land).
The Lithuanian farmers and in particular beekeepers are against
genetically modified organisms (GMO). Lithuania is not cultivating
genetically modified plants, however there exists a potential risk of
spontaneous spread of the GMOs. Until 2012, there were no unauthorised
GMOs and cases of GMO spreading in the environment in Lithuania,
however, people can bring GMOs from other countries, cultivate and
spread them without being aware of that; GMOs may be released in the
environment during the process of their transportation. Lithuania is
monitoring accidental spreads of genetically modified crops, the
supply of genetically modified products into the market is under
strict control; however, the nature and the scope of the risk inherent
to using of GMOs is not fully and precisely known yet. Risk assessment
criteria must be reviewed and updated respectively, the potential
environmental impact of GMOs must be performed, plans and
methodologies for GMO monitoring must be prepared.
In the fisheries sector, the principle of sustainable development is
implemented through processes that ensure the efficient use of natural
resources and the sustainable use of resources: supporting protection
measures aimed at investments into selective fishing methods and
equipment which reduce physical and biological environmental impacts
of fishing, ensure the preservation of landscape and biodiversity, the
improvement of their condition, including the biodiversity of water
ecosystems and their functioning.
Forests. In 2012, forest land covered the area of 217,300 ha or 33.3%
of the country’s territory. Over the last ten years, the area of
forest land has increased by 53,100 ha and a number of new forests
were planted in private and state land in the same period (22,500 ha,
accounting for 42% of the increased area of forest land, were
afforested).
The resources of forests have been constantly increasing over the
recent 50 years. As of 1 January 2012 the total volume of forest
stands in all forests amounted to 501 million m3. The scope of timber
cutting below the timber increment level allows for a sufficiently
efficient functioning of the country’s forestry sector, meeting of the
balanced timber needs of the industry, energy sectors and other
consumers. Annual scope of timber cutting should continue to be
maintained below the timber increment level in all forests in
Lithuania in the future.
The general condition of Lithuanian forests is relatively good. Over
two decades, the share of trees damaged by various factors ranged from
6.7 to 33.3%, and during the last five years it has been 15.5% on
average. It is notable that the number of damaged trees has been
increasing in the recent years and accounted for 21.1% in 2010.
Although the general sanitary forest protection system covering
private and state forests is in place in Lithuania, constantly
repeating natural and increasingly more intensive natural disasters
related to climate change, as well as invasions of disease causative
agents and pests in forests pose a threat to the preservation of
forest potential. The sanitary condition of stands is quite good due
to well-organised sanitary forest protection, but widely spread pests
and diseases sometimes cause a lot of damage.
The network of forest tracks as the core element of forest
infrastructure is dense in Lithuania, however, the status of the
tracks is not really suitable for securing stewardship of the forests.
Moreover, there is a lack of suitably constructed forest paths in
excessively wet cultivated forests. Unsuitable or insufficiently
developed forestry infrastructure leads to higher costs of timber
production and bigger negative impact on forests and their ecosystems.
Lithuanian forests distinguish by a high natural flammability rate:
40% of all the forests have a high flammability rate, 23% medium and
37% a low natural flammability rate. Despite the form of forest
ownership, a general national system of fire safety measures covering
monitoring, preventive and fire safety measures has been developed and
implemented in the country’s forests (625 fires broke out on average
in the country’s forests every year between 2001 and 2010, 328 ha of
forest areas were affected by fires per year on average).
Forestry activities are supported from EAFRD under the RDP 2007–2013.
The largest amount of support was granted for the establishment of the
forests; the support was also provided for increasing of economic
value of the private forests, including support for purchasing of the
machinery for preparation of timber biofuel, for the recovery of
forestry potential and preventive measures, non-profit investments in
the forests, improvement of forest infrastructure, etc. That was a
significant contribution to the expansion of Lithuanian forestry
resources and improvement of their quality as well as to the
increasing of efficiency of the forestry activities. Forests oriented
environmental measures and non-profit investments into forests are
supported from EAFRD under the RDP 2007–2013. In 2007–2013 programming
period the measures supporting the establishment of forests have lead
to the establishment of 17.200 ha of forests, which constitutes 32% of
the increase in the forestry land over the recent 10 years. However,
given that there are about 210,000 ha (data of 2011) of land which is
not suitable for agricultural activities or is not productive and with
the view to a more rational exploitation of these lands, the need for
establishment of forests and increasing of their economic value will
persist in 2014–2020 as well.
The main objective related to the conservation of the landscape,
biodiversity, ecosystems, their functions and territorial complexes of
cultural heritage, will be to balance household and economic
activities of the people with the need to ensure long-term
preservation and restoration of the landscape, biodiversity,
ecosystems and their functions. The above will be pursued in line with
sustainable development principles.
Municipal waste accounts for around 25% of the waste generated in
Lithuania. In 2011, 1.24 million tonnes of municipal waste were
collected in Lithuania, and taking into account individually collected
municipal packaging waste, around 1.37 million tonnes of household
waste were collected in total (408 kg per capita and 448 kg per capita
respectively, taking into account municipal packaging waste). Around
21% of the municipal waste is sorted and recycled or otherwise used in
Lithuania, and the remaining 79% goes to landfills.
In the recent years, the legal base for waste management has been
improved constantly, a National Waste Prevention Programme was
adopted; the Programme promotes sustainable consumption, reuse of
products and preparation of products for reusing. Particular attention
in the Waste Prevention Programme is attached to the raising of public
awareness, communication, qualification enhancement of the system
participants. The national Waste Management Plan 2014–2020 was
prepared setting strategic waste management goals, objectives and
implementing measures. The application of the principle of the
producers’ responsibility was being constantly tightened, in
particular with regard to the management of packaging and product
waste generated in the flow of municipal waste, has been reinforced,
legal prerequisites for the improvement of pricing for municipal waste
management services have been created and other important waste
management issues have been solved.
To ensure the strategic waste management goals are achieved, the
following economic instruments are envisaged: to introduce a tax for
waste disposed in landfills; to consider the introduction of a tax for
waste processing in mechanical biologic processing facilities and of a
tax for use of waste for energy generation purposes; consider the
introduction of a tax on the using of imported waste and solid
recovered fuel produced from that waste; apply differentiated taxation
on the treatment of household waste; and to introduce a system of
deposits on recyclable packages of beverages.
In order to properly meet the requirements of the environmental acquis,
challenges related to management of nuclear waste generated by
medicine establishment, industrial and research centres will also be
addressed.
Ten regional waste management systems have been designed in Lithuania.
The design of the regional waste management infrastructure, including
equipment for mechanical biological processing of household waste,
large-size waste collection facilities, biodegradable waste composting
facilities, etc., has reached its final stage. However, the share of
recycled or otherwise used municipal waste was growing slowly and
started gaining pace only in 2011. Inefficient application of the
‘polluter pays’ principle and the principle of the producer’s
responsibility to waste management threatens the functioning of the
effective waste management system and the implementation of the tasks
set by the EU.
The main trend of 2014–2020 programming period in the area of waste
management is to consistently reduce the amount of municipal waste
disposed of landfills and increase the share of recycled municipal
waste. This will be done by efficient use of the existing elements of
the collection system of separated waste (at least paper, glass,
metals and plastic), promoting waste sorting at source and using
non-recyclable energy containing municipal waste for energy recovery
with due respect to the principles of waste management hierarchy.
Lithuania saw a rapid growth of energy efficiency over the last decade
(from 2000 to 2010). In 2010, the end-use energy intensity in
Lithuania was 21.5% lower than in 2000, despite the economic downturn
and a marginal increase in energy intensity during that period.
Despite positive changes in energy intensity, the consumption of
energy in Lithuania is much higher than on average in the EU or
respective old EU Member States. Energy intensity is directly related
to energy efficiency because it shows energy consumption per GDP unit.
Energy intensity amounted to 311.05 kg of oil equivalent per EUR 1,000
in Lithuania in 2010 (the EU average was 152.08 kg of oil equivalent
per EUR 1,000). Compared to other EU Member States, Lithuania is among
the states with the most inefficient energy consumption (energy
intensity is higher only in Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Latvia,
Estonia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria). The above data show that the
potential for energy saving is not used in our country.56 If these
indicators are recalculated by the purchasing power parity method,
Lithuania gets closer to the EU average.
Most possibilities for energy end-use efficiency are available in the
sector of buildings and to a lower extend – in the transport sector.
According to the data provided in the First Energy Efficiency Action
Plan, around 40% of the total costs of energy end-use are used by
buildings. It has been established that residential, as well as trade
and services sectors feature the highest energy efficiency potential
and account for 80% of the total energy efficiency potential.
66% of the Lithuanian population live in multi-apartment buildings
(around 60% of the multi-apartment buildings were constructed during
the last four decades of the last century). The average designed
consumption of thermal energy expressed in kilowatt-hours per one
square meter of the useful area of the premises in these buildings
amounts to 160-180 kWh/square meter, whereas they make up
80-90 kWh/square meter per year in newly constructed buildings built
after 1993. The average consumption of thermal energy in
multi-apartment buildings, constructed in accordance with technical
standards in force till 1993, amount to around 5,000 GWh per year
(calculations based on the statistical data on thermal energy
consumption over the last three years).
The necessity to improve energy efficiency in buildings is illustrated
by the public spending on compensations for heating of housing, as
well as hot and drinking water which increases every year. In 2012, it
amounted to LTL 169.5 million. According to a study, the comparison of
expenses on heating and income received by consumers shows that the
Lithuanian population spend probably the largest share of their income
on heating of their housing. The EU standards stipulate that the
population that spends more than 10% of their income on energy
resources are under the energy poverty line. According to the results
of surveys, a fairly large share of Lithuanian households, especially
in cities where the majority of housing is supplied with district
heating, spend 30-55% of their income on heating during the heating
season. Average household expenses on heating in Lithuania (like in
Latvia) are the highest in the EU and account for 9% of GDP per
capita, whereas in Finland and Denmark they are as low as 4%, in
Sweden – 3%.
504 multi-apartment buildings were renovated under the Programme for
Renovation (Modernisation) of Multi-Apartment Buildings for 2005–2012,
saving around 40% of thermal energy on average in renovated buildings.
To implement one of the Council’s country-specific recommendations
2014 on energy efficiency in buildings, the aim is to reduce thermal
energy consumption in multi-apartment buildings constructed under
technical construction standards in force till 1993 by at least 20% by
the end of 2020. The NRA 2013 mainly provides for regulatory measures
to address problems that are halting the renovation of the housing
sector.
In unrenovated public buildings, the comparative energy end-use ranges
from 160 to 300 kWh/m2 per year, depending on the type and purpose of
the building.
According to the State Energy Efficiency Report 2012, the calculated
amount of energy end-use efficiency was 1,602.84 GWh by the end of
2012. This corresponds to 3.8% of the national indicative energy
saving target of 9% set within the scope of Directive 2006/32/EC (the
target is to save 3,797 GWh by 2016). The contribution of the services
sector in the achievement of this target was 13.3% (213 GWh),
households – 13.8% (221 GWh), energy – 27.6% (442 GWh). Other savings
were made after the assessment of the horizontal energy efficiency
measures implemented.
The monitoring of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds measures for
the 2007–2013 programming period intended for the renovation of public
buildings established that after the implementation of energy
efficiency measures in 230 buildings, more than 110 GWh of energy are
saved every year. This accounts for over 40% of the energy used before
the implementation of building renovation measures.
According to the statistics, from 1996 to 2012 heat losses in heating
lines reduced more than twofold (from 32.3% down to 16.1%). Studies on
the condition of district heating transfer networks established that
it is technically possible to reduce heat losses in heating lines from
current 16.1% down to 12% in Lithuania, like in Scandinavian
countries. It is estimated that in this case the population would save
around LTL 63 million every year, but average payments for heating
would go down only by around LTL 10-15/month in case of a flat with
the area of 60 m2. It is expected to reduce the losses down to 14%
using the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds in the 2014–2020
programming period.
Energy efficiency in enterprises. Industrial enterprises consume 2-3
times more energy in their production compared to the enterprises of
other EU Member States. This directly leads to a lower competitiveness
of enterprises in the market and a higher cost price of their
products. Therefore Lithuania is going to encourage installation of
energy generation facilities using RES energy sources, introduction of
new technologies for more efficient use of RES in industrial companies
to meet the internal needs of a single or a few industrial companies
without supplying it into the national energy grids. Consumption of
RES will be a direct contribution to increasing of competitiveness of
the Lithuanian industrial enterprises.
Alternative electricity generation initiatives are not very popular
with Lithuanian enterprises due to too high costs of investments in
micro-generation and a long payback period. In the EU, 45% of the
enterprises have introduced at least one environmental protection
technology in the last two years, whereas in Lithuania the share of
such enterprises accounted only for 34%. Insufficient funds were
indicated by 74% of the enterprises as one of greatest obstacles for
the introduction of energy saving technologies, and 70% of the
enterprise representatives stated that the reduction of the use of
energy resources was not a priority objective.57
Following the Directive 2004/8/EC of the European Parliament and of
the Council of 11 February 2004 on the promotion of cogeneration based
on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending
Directive 92/42/EEC, Lithuania is making efforts to promote
introduction of highly productive (saving at least 10% of primary
fuel) cogeneration in industrial enterprises based on useful heat
demand, i.e. producing such amount of electricity that ensures that
the secondary product (heat) is fully consumed, saving primary energy
sources, avoiding losses due to supply via networks and reducing
emission of pollutants, in particular GHG and in the meanwhile
contributing to a more efficient use of energy and resources in all
sectors of the economy, including industrial. The planned highly
efficient cogeneration of heat and electricity will promote efficiency
of energy and resources as well as the competitiveness of the
Lithuanian industry.
As to the agriculture and forestry, during the recent decade
(2001–2011) efficiency of direct energy consumption has been
increased. Energy intensity measured by the ratio of energy input and
the Gross Value Added dropped by almost one third (31 percentage
points, i.e. from 150.5 to 103.7 kgne/1000 EU) and in 2011 was by 18%
smaller compared to EU-27 average. Even larger progress with regard to
increase of efficiency of direct energy consumption over the recent
decade has been achieved in Lithuanian food industry (production of
food, beverages and tobacco). Over 2001-2011 energy intensity fell by
47 percentage points (i.e. from 271.7 to 143.9 kgne/1000 EU); the
progress was much bigger than that achieved by the EU-27 where the
reduction over the same period accounted for 23%.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, the key challenge will be to
boost energy efficiency in fighting against energy poverty. To this
end, final energy saving reserves in the public and housing sectors
must be fully used and measures that have already proved to be working
and new advanced measures must be applied.
The development of RES will limit relative environmental pollution and
increase energy security. The target of the National Energy
Independence Strategy is to achieve that by 2020 the share of RES in
the final energy consumption is at least 23%. The share of district
heating generated from RES (biofuel) should be increased at least up
to 60% in individual sectors; the share of electricity generated from
RES (compared to total electricity costs) should be increased up to
20%.; in the transport sector, 10% of fuel should be produced from
RES.
In 2014 the share of RES in the final energy consumption accounted for
23,86 percent. In 2014 RES accounted for about 46 percent in the heat
production fuel balance in the district heating sector. Almost 47
percent of the heat production fuel balance is still covered by
expensive imported natural gas. In Vilnius the share of RES in fuel
balance for generation of heat is insufficient, in 2014 was about 32
percent. Imported natural gas, which is more than 2.5 times more
expensive than local biofuel, accounts for the major share in the
balance. The Government has set a very ambitious goal for solving this
problem – to replace a large share of the imported gas for production
of district heating with local biofuel. The greatest potential for the
use of high efficiently cogeneration is in district heating systems of
Vilnius. New cogeneration capacities using waste, which is unsuitable
for recycling or reuse but contains energy value, and RES would help
to reduce energy poverty of residents in the country, because volumes
of imported natural gas would significantly decrease, as they would be
replaced by cheaper renewable and other local energy sources.
The largest share of this energy is generated from biomass which will
remain the major RES in future. However, the potential of biomass is
not fully used in Lithuania.
Although the demand for local renewable fuel in Lithuania is growing,
the use of the timber cutting waste for the production of biofuel is
not entirely efficient. Lithuanian forests store about 80% of the
total biomass. Given the requirements for ensuring of biodiversity and
environmental protection as well as the technological aspects, energy
generation could potentially consume up to 750,000 m3 of timber
cutting waste per year. For the time being, only a smaller part of
that amount is consumed (for instance, in 2012 forest directorates
have sold only about 169,000 m3 of timber cutting waste). During the
2007–2013 programming period support was provided for the construction
of timber grain facilities the installed capacity of which will reach
150,000 tons per year, however, only about 20% of timber cutting waste
can be used for the production of timber grain.
Based on expert judgement, about 0.5–0.7 million tons of straw can
also be used for the production of biofuel. Using the support from the
RDP 2007–2013 measures, by the end of the current programming period
straw grains production facilities with installed capacity of up to
200,000 tons, are going to be constructed in rural areas, i.e. only
about 30% of straw potential will be used for the production of
biofuel.
The successful development of biofuel energy is related to a
consistent growth of two sectors: consumption of biofuel to generate
heat and electricity and the promotion of biofuel supply. Whereas the
development of biofuel consumption market (construction and expansion
of new biofuel boilers and cogeneration power plans) to a large extent
depends on the EU structural support of 2007–2013 and the planned
funding from 2014–2020 ESI funds, in the supply side of local biofuel,
biofuel producers face difficulties in relation to acquisition of
facilities for collection, mobilisation, production of biofuel and
improving of warehousing capacities. To avoid potential adverse impact
on the environment, biofuel development in energy sector will be
pursued in a sustainable and balanced way.
Another problem – inefficient consumption of biomass for generation of
heat in households not connected to the centralized heating system.
Replacement of old boilers with new individual boilers would enable to
reduce the currently consumed amount of biofuel by 40%.
Lithuania is exploiting a relatively old power distribution network
which was created and developed having a different market structure in
mind (centralised power generation, competition-free environment,
limited possibilities for the consumers). To tackle the problem of
distributed manufacturing, in particular mainstreaming of a large
amount of RES into low and medium voltage power distribution networks,
smart energy grid technologies will be installed.
As to agricultural sector, the largest amount of energy can be
generated from biogas, however this potential is not sufficiently
exploited either. In 2013, there were only 5 biogas power stations
operating in the agricultural sector, only one of them was functioning
in an animal production complex. Total power capacity of these power
stations amounts to only 6.5 MW. The country has a big potential for
biogas production. The Lithuanian agricultural sector generates about
13 million tons of manure which might be used for the production of
biogas. Large pig complexes alone (there are 27 pig complexes in
Lithuania) generate more than 1.5 million tons of liquid manure per
year. The waste biomass could be used to produce about 20 million m3
of biogas; power generation capacity of biogas power plants would
amount to about 20 MW, they could generate about 85 GWh of electricity
and contribute to the goal identified in the National Energy
Independence Strategy to increase the share of energy generated from
biomass to up to 1940 GWh until 2020. Generation of biogas from animal
manure and other waste of animal origin and organic waste would
contribute to the diversification of energy sources and add to the
security, competitiveness and sustainability of energy supply. That
would constitute an additional source of income for the farmers and
agricultural companies and would also help to tackle the problems of
environmental pollution.
The challenge of the upcoming programming period is to increase the
share of RES in the fuel balance of district heating, install new RES
capacities giving priority to high efficiency cogeneration, the
operation whereof would ensure reliable and quality supply of energy
to consumers at the lowest cost as well as to ensure that this policy
is in line with the Environmental policy objectives.
Climate change, which has been increasingly obvious over the recent
decades, poses a threat to the environment, economic activities and
economic development. Human economic activities increase thermal
pollution in the atmosphere: a growing concentration of greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions reinforces the natural greenhouse effect and makes a
crucial impact on the rise in the average global air temperature. Most
GHGs are generated by burning fossil fuel in the processes of
industrial and agricultural production; they are also emitted by
waste. In the last decade (2000–2010), CO2 emissions increased,
however, Lithuania managed to implement one of the sustainable
development principles – ‘decoupling’: The rate of GDP growth was
faster than the CO2 emission growth and the quantity of the latter per
GDP unit reduced by a quarter. Although Lithuania currently meets
requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, it is committed to ensure that
greenhouse gas emissions in Lithuania will increase no more than by 15
% by 2020, i.e. during this decade (2011–2020) the growth rate of
emissions must be halved compared to the last decade.
Lithuania’s climate change management policy is shaped and short-term
(by 2020), indicative medium-term (by 2030 and 2040) and long-term (by
2050) goals and objectives with regard to climate change mitigation
and adaptation to climate change consequences are set by the Strategy
for National Climate Change Management Policy. In order to implement
the goals and objectives set in the Strategy, the Government of the
Republic of Lithuania approved the Inter-Institutional Action Plan
(IAP) for the Implementation of the Goals and Objectives of the
Strategy for the National Climate Change Management Policy for
2013–2020. The Strategy and the IAP stipulate that ministries and
other public institutions will integrate the goals and objectives of
climate change mitigation and adaptation set by the Strategy,
determine their implementation measures and ensure close
inter-institutional cooperation in drafting the strategies for the
country’s economy sectors (energy, industry, development of
residential territories, agriculture, transport, healthcare, etc.),
their implementation plans and programmes.
Out of all Lithuanian regions, the Baltic Sea region is the most
sensitive to climate change due to the projected rise in water levels
and flood risks. More frequent hurricane storms reduce sand resources
on the Baltic Sea coast and the coastal zone, as well as erode the
shores. There is a possible risk that extreme natural events, which
become more frequent, will require more costly coastline protection
measures. They may also affect the landscape of the coastline and
river valleys in western Lithuania. It is notable that coordinated
actions and cooperation between the countries in the Baltic Sea Region
within the framework of EUSBSR would allow for more efficient
protection of the Baltic Sea coast, mitigation of climate change and
reduction of expenses on coastline protection measures.
By contributing to the EU Climate Change Policy and implementing
climate change mitigation measures, it is aimed at reducing GHG
emissions, increasing the use of RES and improving energy efficiency
as well as air quality in cities. Lithuania has prepared the National
Risk Analysis intended for the assessment of potential threats.
According to the analysis, 11 of 19 potential threats were identified
as having high risk, including dangerous climate change-induced
natural events: floods, natural disasters and catastrophic
meteorological events (hurricanes, heavy snowfall, windstorms),
droughts, heat, etc. The recent years have seen a trend of more
intense climate change-induced natural disasters, in particular floods
(for instance, floods last longer – in the period 2000–2009 summer
floods in the Nemunas lowland used to last for 1.5-2 months, while in
the recent years they last for around 3 months), which results in
increasing pecuniary damages to residents, business and the State, and
make an adverse impact on the security of the population.
Lithuanian rescue services are not sufficiently prepared for extreme
natural events. Specialised equipment and means available at rescue
services (for instance, the average operation of fire engines by state
fire and rescue services was 16 years in 2012) do not always ensure a
rapid response to climate change-induced disasters and the elimination
of disaster consequences. Moreover, currently, the population and
economic entities are warned and informed about impending disasters by
an outdated audio system (a P-16 system installed more than 40 years
ago) and text messages through the network infrastructure of public
mobile telephone service providers.
Currently, Lithuania does not have enough information and research
data on climate change, its impacts and possible consequences, while
the available information is insufficiently systemised and
inaccessible to different interest groups. The Council recommended
Lithuania to reduce specific risks by developing monitoring,
identification, early warning and danger alerting measures,
strengthening abilities to manage emergencies, improving crises
communication and investing in respective response resources.
Agriculture is among the most important sectors determining the
increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In Lithuania, greenhouse gas
emissions in agriculture amounted to 4,980 of total net emission per
1,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2011 (GHG produced in agricultural
production processes is the second largest source of atmospheric
thermal pollution in Lithuania and accounted for 54,6% of the total
national amount of GHG in 2011 (EU average – 11 %)). It is therefore
purposeful to take measures to stabilise these emissions and ensure
their slower growth. Increasingly intensive livestock farming is a
direct source of greenhouse gases. It also makes an impact indirectly
through such factors as reduction of biodiversity, water and air
pollution. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by
livestock farming can be achieved by the modernisation of livestock
farming facilities and appropriate manure management58.
The reduction of greenhouse effect is significantly affected by forest
establishment measures whereby the area of forests is increased and
the amount of CO2 consequently reduced. The measures of the 2007–2013
programming period supporting forest establishment have been
successfully implemented in Lithuania; it is expected that the support
provided under these measures will lead to the establishment of 17.200
ha of forests.
Climate change causes greater fluctuations in air temperatures, which
more often results in natural events, such as droughts, plant
freezing, etc., and outbreaks of plant and animal diseases destroying
over 30% of the farm produce. In the recent years, unfavourable
conditions for winter crops as well as summer downpours and hail have
prompted farmers more often to insure their crops against risks
conditioned by meteorological events (for instance, in 2011 compared
to 2010, the area of insured plants increased 3.5 times, the number of
entities having insured their crops went up 2.2 times). Damages caused
by such events pose a serious threat to economic activities of
agricultural entities and may result in the farmer’s failure to fulfil
produce sales contracts, which in turn may lead to the farmer’s
bankruptcy. As risks in agriculture usually cover a large number of
farms, they turn into a systemic risk. The market of agricultural
insurance is not well-developed in the country and therefore it is
crucial to encourage farmers to insure their plants and animals
against the consequences of dangerous meteorological events and
outbreaks of diseases more actively.
In the coming years, climate change targets will be related to the
appropriate monitoring of high risk threats identified by the National
Risks Analysis (including the risk of climate change) and timely
climate change adaptation and prevention measures.
The achievements of sustainable transport in terms of sustainable
development aspects are to be regarded as positive: the amount of
pollution per unit of generated Gross Value Added in 2010 was by 3.4
times smaller than in 2000. The efficiency of fuel consumption was
improved – the amount of consumed fuel per unit of Gross Value Added
generated by the sector in 2010 was by 35.3% smaller than in 2000.
Nevertheless, the level of automobilisation is still growing, using of
public transport services is falling: comparing the data of 2011 and
2005, the share of people travelling by personal cars within the
travelling structure increased by 12.3 percentage points from 48.1% to
60.4%. This share is the largest in the EU. In Lithuania, travels by
bicycles comprise only 0.5% of the total commuting to work (EU average
– 5%). The systems promoting sustainable mobility (pedestrian and
bicycle transport infrastructure) are poorly developed. Due to
unattractive public transport system the automobilisation level in
2012 reached 541 personal cars per 1000 individuals; in the major
cities of the country this number is approaching 600. In the recent
five years (2006–2011), the number of cars increased by 19.87
percentage points.
In the transport sector, problems of pollution and traffic safety are
caused by worn out infrastructure or lack of it, transport congestions
(in particular, in the cities), lack of interoperability between
different transport modes, the issue of internalisation of external
transport costs (where national regulation measures are applied to
make impact originators compensate the damage made or losses caused),
the car fleet which is one of the oldest in Europe (official average
age of the car fleet in Lithuania is 15 years, in Europe – 8.5 years).
Another consequence of high degree of automobilisation is large number
of fatalities caused by traffic accidents which is one of the highest
in EU. Therefore in the 2014–2020 programming period more attention
should be paid to the development of environment-friendly public
transport, increasing of traffic safety and security.
Based on the National Transport Development Programme 2014–2020, in
order to reduce CO2 amount and to promote motorless transport and
travelling by foot, the cities with the population of at least 25,000
and the resorts will be required to prepare sustainable urban mobility
plans (SUMP) which will have to properly reflect the projection of
modular distribution in the long-term perspective, specifics of
universal design in transport, policy of traffic safety and
intelligent urban transport systems, and would facilitate systemic
planning of transport and urban mobility policy in line with good EU
practices.
Inefficient urban transport systems not matching the needs of modern
people, insufficient quality of suburban transport and low
accessibility of transport services for rural population leads to a
very poor attractiveness of the public transport. The majority of
public transport means (2319 out of 2847) are older than 10 years,
therefore they are not attractive for people with higher income and
are poorly adapted to the people with mobility disabilities. The
majority of bus fleets are owned by municipalities that have no
financial resources to renovate their fleets. Due to lack of
coordination between suburban and urban transport, people living in
suburbs prefer to use personal transport for everyday trips. The
number of cars is increasing, the traffic conditions are
deteriorating, the capacity of streets is limited, working hours of
establishments are not flexible, the organisation of traffic is not
coordinated – all this leads to congestions both in central parts of
the cities and in the main road transport arteries, in the peripheries
of the cities. Not all major cities of the country have bypasses,
therefore flows of transit personal and freight transport has to cross
the cities. Park&Ride systems as well as other solutions for the
integration of intercity and urban transport (interconnection of
intercity railways and buses and connections with urban transport) are
insufficiently developed. If the organisation of the traffic of the
public road transport and the status of the public transport is not
improved, there will be no stimulus for the society to change their
urban mobility habits and the consequently increasing road transport
flows might significantly worsen the ambient air quality of Lithuanian
cities, increase adverse environmental impact, speed up deterioration
of the conditions on the roads.
Mitigation of adverse environmental impact of the transport can be
achieved through introduction of alternative less polluting transport.
However, the current measures promoting development of alternative and
less polluting transport (for instance, electro mobiles) are not
sufficient. To ensure development of electro mobiles, the network of
electro mobiles charging stations needs to be expanded. The cars of
the governmental and public sectors must be consistently replaced with
electricity - or alternative fuel - driven transport.
As of the data of 2012, RES energy accounted for only 4,6% of the
total energy consumption by the Lithuanian transport sector. The
majority of RES energy consumed in the transport sector (4.4%)
comprised biofuel, the production of which in 2012 amounted to 110
TNE. Lithuania is providing support to manufacturers of biofuel by
compensating purchases of raw materials, while biofuel consumers have
to comply with the provisions of the law on excise duty and tax on
environmental pollution. Compared to foreign practices, Lithuania does
not have many transport related taxes the exemptions of which might
provide incentives to the biofuel sector. In Lithuania, only the first
generation biofuel is manufactured, the majority of which (78%) is
exported. The second generation biofuel is not manufactured for
industrial purposes, i.e. production of second generation bioethanol
and biodiesel is being researched. The gases treated as second
generation biofuel are extracted in landfills, waste treatment plants,
agricultural farms. The biogas extracted in Lithuania is consumed by
energy and heating sectors and is not supplied to or used by the
transport sector. However, it could be used by the public buses in the
major cities that are currently using natural gas.
A study commissioned by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of
Lithuania59 has revealed that in the framework of development of the
second generation biofuel production, an optimal solution would be to
use lignocellulosic biomass (straw, timber waste, unused grass) as a
raw material and to produce the second generation bioethanol drawing
on the experience of and technologies developed by foreign (Danish and
German) pilot plants. The analysis has revealed that once EC adopts
ILUC directive60, the consumption of a larger share of second
generation biofuel will be beneficial because its hare in the total
consumption package will be doubled or even quadruplicated (compared
to first generation biofuel). A global tendency is emerging –
promotion of biofuel consumption rather than production, because such
support is more efficient. To this end, the mix of biofuel consumption
promotion measures should include different measures, such as:
incentives for biofuel consumption; incentives for purchases of
biofuel equipment and transport means driven by biofuel; consumption
of biogas in public buses; increasing of biofuel supply; raising
consumers’ awareness.
The key challenge of the new programming period – to tackle problems
in relation to sustainable transport by mitigating adverse
environmental impact of transport systems, increasing traffic safety
and security, encouraging use of public transport, developing systems
that promote sustainable mobility, and ensuring interoperability of
different transport modes.
The following sustainable development priorities are also important
for Lithuania: the reduction of danger to human health and public
health, its strengthening and maintenance. Although significant
changes have been made in the area of public health and healthcare in
the country in the recent years (longer life expectancy among men and
women; increasingly more focus on modern public health based on
cooperation of social partners and its strengthening; the population
receives more information about healthcare and disease prevention,
they are more interested in environmental impacts on health and
healthy lifestyle), the analysis of the statistics on public health in
the country shows great demographic, territorial and social
inequalities in health which reveal that the development of economic
sectors is insufficiently coordinated with the requirements on the
preservation of a healthy environment, and in certain cases decisions
on the sectoral policy become an additional burden for healthcare.
The key challenge in the new programming period will be to focus
efforts of the public sector and all other sectors on the reduction of
adverse impacts of environmental, social and economic factors on
health.
1.1.2.3. Challenges to inclusive growth – promotion of employment and
reduction of poverty and social exclusion through their alignment with
social and territorial cohesion targets
1.1.2.3.1. Promotion of employment
During the economic recession, Lithuania faced a strong increase in
unemployment with the record high unemployment rate of 17.8% in 2011.
Although it reduced between 2011 and 2012, it still remains high and
above the EU average (in 2012, the Lithuanian unemployment rate
reached 13.3%, the EU-27 average was 10.5%). The situation of
unskilled workers and the disabled in the labour market, as well as
their unemployment rates are even worse than the country’s average.
The unemployment rate of low-skilled workers was the second largest in
the EU and reached 36.2% in 2012 (the EU-27 average was 18.6%); the
level of integration of the disabled into the labour market is low –
only a few percent of the registered unemployed with disabilities
participate in vocational rehabilitation programmes. The problem of
unemployment is particularly exacerbated by the fact that long-term
unemployment and the unemployment rate of low-skilled workers
increased during the economic downturn. More than half of the
Lithuanian unemployed are long-term unemployed, i.e. they look for a
job longer than for a year. In 2012, the long-term unemployment rate
was 6.5% in the country (the EU average was 4.5%). According to the
Lithuanian Labour Exchange, there were 195,000 registered unemployed
in Lithuania in 2012. Only every tenth of them returned to work faster
than in a month, whereas even half of all the unemployed were jobless
for a year or longer. In 2012, around 41% of the persons who applied
to the Lithuanian Labour Exchange did not have any vocational
education.
In 2012, the labour force participation rate reached 72% in Lithuania,
i.e. 28% of the country’s working-age population were unemployed and
did not look for a job, while in individual regions the share of this
population was even higher – up to 35%. One of the major problems is
that the qualification and abilities of jobseekers or inactive persons
do not meet the needs of the labour market, and they lack suitable
work experience. Difficulties in the labour market are very often
faced by persons with low education, young people (due to limited work
experience), older people and people with disabilities.
According to the data of Statistics Lithuania, the number of people
employed in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors was
consistently dropping from 2001: In 2001 the sector employed 209.300,
while in 2012 – 98.800 people. The number of the unemployed in rural
areas, including the long-term unemployed who have been jobless for a
year and longer, account for over 50% of the total number of the
unemployed. The number of the jobless in rural areas slightly reduced
in the period of 2011–2012 (from 87,600 to 83,200). However,
considering a longer period, since 2000 (the number of the unemployed
in rural areas was 74,700) this indicator increased by 8,500 (2012).
In 2007, the number of the unemployed in rural areas reduced down to
22,700. Thus, comparing 2007 and 2012, the number of the unemployed
increased by 60,500.
The reduction of employment was observed in the fisheries sector
between 2006 and 2008 (22%). However, the number of workers in the
fishing subsector stabilised over the period of 2009–2012 and started
to grow in aquaculture and fish processing subsectors in particular.
On the other hand, the trend of skilled workers’ ageing in the
Lithuanian fishing fleet has been observed in recent years. Both the
increased number of the employed and the reduction of the labour force
caused by emigration lead to these changes in the labour market.
Expansion of employability opportunities (including improved
employability opportunities for the youth by promoting high quality
apprenticeship programmes) will help to better target active labour
market policy measures towards low-skilled or long-term unemployed
people, as highlighted in a Council Recommendation 2014 for Lithuania
in relation to application of active labour market measures.
In 2012, the unemployment rate of youth aged between 15 and 29 in
Lithuania was higher compared to the general unemployment rate.
Between 2009 and 2012, the unemployment rate of young people aged
between 15 and 24 was the highest. Nearly every third young person
aged between 15 and 24 is unemployed in Lithuania. Although the
unemployment rate of young people (aged between 15 and 24) in 2012
reduced compared to 2011, it remains rather high and amounts for 26.4%
(the EU average is 22.8%). The unemployment rate of young people aged
between 25 and 29 was lower and made up 14.3%. The participation and
employment rate among the population aged between 55 and 64 in
Lithuania exceeds the overall indicator for all age groups in
Lithuania (in 2012, it was 58.8% and 51.8%, respectively). Poor links
between the qualifications of young people and the needs of the labour
market, limited experience and skills due to which the transition from
the education system to the labour market often is not smooth are
identified as the major causes for a low youth unemployment rate61.
The situation of certain individual groups is much worse in the labour
market. The participation rate among women aged between 55 and 65 was
only 54.1% in 2012 (65% among men). The employment rate of older
people (aged between 55 and 64) with primary and basic education was
merely 20% in 2012 (71.8% with higher education). A lower
participation rate of some older people has an impact on the length of
the working life, i.e. one of the indicators of the Europe 2020
Strategy in the area of employment, which was 34 years in Lithuania in
2012 (the EU average was 35 years).
Following the restructuring of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange in 2010
(leaving 10 of 45 territorial labour exchange units), it is necessary
to adapt the infrastructure of territorial labour exchange units to
provide adequate services. In the 2007–2013 programming period,
investments were allocated to the construction, reconstruction and
equipment of territorial labour exchange buildings in 16 cities
(Lazdijai, Vilkaviškis, Visaginas, Švenčionys, Kaišiadoriai, Kelmė,
Palanga, Plungė, Varėna, Zarasai, Šalčininkai, Biržai, Joniškis,
Kaunas, Mažeikiai ir Telšiai). Consequently, the access to services
improved and conditions were created for providing better quality
services. The Vilnius branch, which is the largest territorial labour
exchange unit in Lithuania in terms of the services provided, was not
renovated and is still using buildings that are not properly adapted
to its activities: there are no premises for individual and
confidential meetings with customers or meetings of a larger group,
premises are not adapted to individuals with disabilities. It causes a
great discomfort for labour exchange customers and workers as well as
limits opportunities for high-quality services for jobseekers,
employers, etc.
A large share of the projects implemented by the Lithuanian Labour
Exchange was aimed at the implementation of active labour market
policy (ALMP) measures. Nonetheless, the scope of ALMP measures was
not very broad. According to the statistics published by the Labour
Market Exchange, only one fifth of the unemployed registered within a
year are subject to ALMP measures.
A low level of entrepreneurship and self-employment are among the most
important causes of employment and unemployment problems. In 2012, the
employment rate in Lithuania (among the population aged between 20 and
64) accounted for 68.7%, in rural areas it stood at 60% (the EU
average was 68.5%). Current policy measures do not sufficiently
promote self-employment or the establishment of job-creating
businesses. Over the last five years, the number of the self-employed
(including those who hire workers) reduced by nearly 32% and 9.1% of
the population was self-employed in 2011 (the EU average was 15%). In
2012, the share of the self-employed increased and amounted to 9.7%.
Thanks to the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund established with the ESF
funds for 2007–2013 (LTL 50 million (EUR 14.48 million), conditions
were created for micro and small enterprises and natural persons to
start business, and for social enterprises to develop business. As a
result of activities of the Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund, i.e.
micro credits (up to LTL 86,000 (EUR 24,910) in parallel with training
and consultations for persons starting business, assistance in
drafting and implementing business plans, over 500 persons who started
business created over 1,000 jobs and over 3,000 potential
entrepreneurs participated in entrepreneurship training and
consultations. In the framework of the EAFRD funded RDP 2007–2013
measures promoting non-agricultural activities, support was granted to
463 self-employed people by 2014.
The experience from the implementation of the Entrepreneurship
Promotion Fund and the achieved results in 2007–2013 signal the
necessity to continue provision of socially oriented support for
business start-ups and the need to continuity the financial instrument
in 2014–2020 as well. In order to encourage people facing difficulties
in the labour market to more actively engage in self-employment
activities, a set of aid measures supporting starting up and
development of business in the first stages of operation are needed.
Repayable (loans) and non-repayable support (interest grants, partial
compensation of payroll costs, training of entrepreneurship and
consulting) for those who will start business in 2014–2020 will be
financially more significant and will be more oriented to encouraging
people facing difficulties to start and develop their business, and to
create new jobs.
The analysis of the labour market and demographic statistics shows the
formation of unfavourable conditions for increasing employment in
Lithuania. Nevertheless, it is necessary to look for insufficiently
used opportunities to increase the coverage of customised ALMP
measures, apply new measures promoting self-employment and business
start-ups.
1.1.2.3.2. Reduction of poverty and social exclusion
Demographic trends. Net migration in Lithuania increased in particular
during the financial and economic crisis and is one of the biggest in
the EU. Compared to 2010 downward tendencies of migration have been
recorded: in 2010 net emigration almost reached the level of 78,000
Lithuania citizens, in 2012 – 21.200 (or 13.7 persons per thousand of
people). A larger problem is the structure of emigration. 79.6% of
emigrants were people of 20-64 years of age claiming that they were
unemployed for at least one year recently. Every second Lithuanian
emigrant leaving the country was younger than 30, consequently,
Lithuanian emigrants are among the youngest in the EU and with the
highest education. Young emigrants usually return less frequently.
Surveys of young emigrants show that the most important factor which
may encourage their return is probably a better economic situation in
the country, capable of offering adequate employment prospects. Young
people account for just one fifth of all returning. The state’s policy
is the weakest factor stimulating emigrants’ return to Lithuania. With
the decreasing birth rate and increasing average life expectancy, the
trend of ageing population is observed. At the start of 2013, there
were 905,200 people aged 55, which is 30.5% of the total population.
In 2012 alone, the number of people of this age increased by 7,700
(0.9%).62 Polimorbidity is characteristic of older people; the
majority of them suffer from chronic non-infectious diseases; most of
their mental health deteriorates, and all these factors affect both
the growth in demand for healthcare services and older people’s
quality of life, their integration into the society, capacity for work
and independence. In future, adverse impacts of ageing and demographic
consequences may be reinforced by the fact that the share of the
country’s population whose usual activities and active participation
in the labour market are restricted by chronic diseases or long-term
health disorders is rather large: 29% of the persons aged 16 or older
had health disorders that lasted at least for six months in 2012, and
25% of the population aged 16 or older were restricted for at least
six months due to a disease or long-term health disorders.63 The
shrinking duration of productive and healthy life is influenced by
limited knowledge about healthy lifestyle (low physical activity of
the population (as many as 44% of the population do not exercise or do
sports), bad eating habits64, other factors damaging health and
related to unhealthy lifestyle (excessive alcohol consumption,
smoking), insufficient use of health education, disease prevention
services, insufficient availability of specialised healthcare, and
this results in a high morbidity rate and high numbers of early deaths
and disabilities caused by chronic non-infectious diseases (related to
the circulatory system, malicious tumours), traumas and other external
causes (the above diseases accounted for 85.1% of the death causes in
201265).
Lithuania is at the bottom among the EU Member States in terms of the
headline well-being indicator – the average life expectancy (73.98
years in 2012)66. The mortality rate among the population aged between
30 and 44 and the working age category (between 15 and 64) is the
highest in the EU67. This shows that Lithuania looses large numbers of
the working age population.
Due to emigration, lower attractiveness of rural areas (the
deteriorating social infrastructure – healthcare, cultural,
educational institutions, financial services, etc.) and migration to
major cities, the number of young and working age people declines in
rural areas, therefore, agriculture is already facing shortages of the
labour force.
It is forecasted that these trends will lead to longer life expectancy
and depopulation in Lithuania by 18% by 2060. The burden of
demographic problems, therefore, will be particularly felt in the
healthcare and social services sectors.
In the context of the ageing population, one of the key challenges is
to ensure healthy ageing among members of the productive society, the
older population in particular, in order to reduce adverse impacts of
health conditions on the quality of life, independence and capacity
for work, as well as alternatively prevent from the risk of social
exclusion and poverty.
According to the data of a 2012 study on the population’s income and
living conditions, a risk of poverty or social exclusion was
experienced by 975,000 of the Lithuanian population (32.5%). Lithuania
was the fifth poorest country in the EU (the EU average is 24.8%) by
this indicator. A particularly high risk of poverty and social
exclusion is posed to the most vulnerable social groups, such as the
long-term unemployed, disabled, people with addictive disorders, Roma
community members, persons released from imprisonment institutions,
etc. Nevertheless, Lithuania was among the seven EU Member States that
showed a declining trend in the number of individuals at risk of
poverty or social exclusion. The number of social beneficiaries went
up by 3%, from 9.2% in 2010 to 12.6% in 2011. In 2012, the number of
the population living in households with very low work intensity
slightly reduced and was 11.3%.
Nearly a third of the Lithuanian population is at risk of poverty,
material deprivation or live in families with unemployed family
members. Income of the majority of the above population is at least
7-8 times lower than the income of a fifth of the most successful
society members. Around 20% of the Lithuanian population live below
the poverty line. Despite numerous investments in this area, this
indicator has not significantly changed since 2005.
By status of employment, the following social groups are considered
the most vulnerable in terms of poverty: the unemployed with every
second member in the group being at risk of poverty (53.1%) and other
economically inactive persons (29.1%.); by household type – one adult
person with children (42.4%), families with three or more children
(33%) and single persons (26.9%). Although the difference between the
poverty rate in urban and rural areas has decreased since 2005, it
remains quite evident: in rural areas the poverty rate is twice as
high as in cities and made up 30.7% in 2011. A gap between the income
of the rural and urban populations narrowed since 2008, but widened
again in 2011. The reduction in the difference was mainly the result
of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The analysis of the statistical at-the-risk-of-poverty rates shows
that the problem of poverty risk posed to children (aged under 18) is
of particular relevance to Lithuania. In 2012, the
at-the-risk-of-poverty rate among the population in this age group was
20.8%. Children living in families at social risk account for 3.8% of
all the Lithuanian children, children deprived of parental care
account for 2%. Modern families face a number of problems – parental
occupational engagement is growing, generation solidarity is
declining, the culture of mutual relations is inadequately developed.
It is difficult for a harmonious family to develop under such
conditions. As many as 3.7% of the children grow in families at social
risk. It is observed that families with children often are in a more
difficult economic situation than people without children. Families
with children can allocate only 5.7% of their household income to
education, recreation and culture, which results in limited
possibilities to develop a fully-fledged personality.
The issue of child poverty is rooted in the family structure, i.e.
single-parent families and large families are at the risk of poverty
more often. The majority of the population with children face the
problem of balancing obligations to the family and work. In 2010, only
around 15% of the employed Lithuanian population thought that they are
provided with possibilities at work to balance their working hours
with family-related circumstances. In 2011, child care was provided
only to 65% of the children from the age of 3 to the mandatory school
age in Lithuania.
Social services are still unevenly developed in different
municipalities of Lithuania. The level of social services in some of
the municipalities does not meet the social services development
standards adopted in 2007. The investments of the 2007–2013 EU
structural funds made a significant contribution to the development of
social services, however the demographic tendencies of the country are
further leading to the growth of demand for such services. In the
previous period the main focus was placed on the development of
out-patient social services infrastructure to ensure that people who
need certain social services could enjoy them at or near their homes
to a maximum extent and could avoid placement in in-patient
establishments. The EU support was used to expand and modernise the
infrastructure of daily social support or social care centres, homes
of independent living, homes of temporary stay or establishments of
mixed social services for the disabled, old people, families and
persons at social risk. The supported activities included adapting of
establishments of in-patient social services providing long-term
social care for the provision of out-patient social services. In
addition to that, at the end of the period a new measure was initiated
supporting the development of small establishments providing long-term
care services that are by their nature categorized as community
services. The funding of the measure was used to support small
establishments providing care to elderly people, homes of group living
for the disabled, child care homes operating on the basis of a model
similar to a family environment. In 2014–2020 social services
infrastructure will be further developed with the major investments
being channelled for transition from institutional care to
community-based services: it is planned to implement pilot projects
for transition to community-based services and to assess their
efficiency. In order to move from institutional to community-based
care, it is essential to deal with housing issues. The availability of
social housing is very problematic in Lithuania. At the moment, a
small part of the demand for social housing is satisfied. In 2012,
more than 31,000 people (families) were included in lists for renting
social housing. In total, these families accommodated around 70,000
persons. In 2012, social housing was leased to 1,086 persons
(families), i.e. 3% of the people in the waiting lists. The social
housing issue is most acute in the largest cities of Lithuania, i.e.
Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda.
Social activism is also reflected by involvement in the community life.
The Lithuanian society, young people in particular, can be called
relatively passive. 34% of the population participate in activities of
local communities. Only 11% of the population are involved in
activities of NGOs and movements, and only 45% of the young people
aged between 16 and 24 are active (involved in activities of local
organisations or self-government institutions). On the other hand, a
considerable increase in the activity of organisations of rural
communities, which is linked to the successful implementation of the
LEADER method, is observed. In the 2007–2013 programming period, the
number of local action groups (LAGs) increased twofold, the number of
local development strategies (LDSs) whose application territory
covered 99% of the rural areas in 2007–2013 went up fivefold compared
to 2004-2006. The needs of rural communities, other NGOs and
participants in LEADER are related to social and organisational
innovation (social entrepreneurship in particular, which was not
widely spread in rural communities by 2014 and was implemented in a
fragmented manner), the solution of problems faced by socially
excluded persons, the necessity for community efforts to fight against
poverty; the promotion of non-agricultural and agricultural business;
the promotion of the use of RES; the promotion of environmental
protection, including green infrastructure; the preservation of
biodiversity; the increase in the number of community members using
IT; the promotion of lifelong learning. Taking into account the fact
that in the 2007–2013 programming period LEADER investments were
focussed on the modernisation of rural areas (70% of the funds
allocated to local projects under the LEADER programme), the
renovation of community premises, cultural centres and other buildings
in particular, the target to promote job creation in rural areas,
provide the population with the necessary services is clear in the
2014–2020 programming period. It is intended to expand this initiative
into cities in the coming programming period.
According to the study data68, there are territorial inequalities in
the availability of healthcare. In 2012, most of the country’s
population older than 16 who did not receive medical advice or
treatment when necessary stated long periods of waiting for medical
services as the main reason (48%). Every third (36%) rural resident
who did not use the required medical advice hoped that the condition
will disappear by itself. The failure to afford the service was more
often indicated as the reason by small town and rural residents, as
well as persons from quintile groups of the population with the lowest
income. The study data also show that the population with low income
find it difficult to afford dental care and sanatorium treatment
services. It has been established that it is more complicated and it
takes longer for children residing in certain regions (municipalities)
to receive the required high quality preventive, out-patient and
in-patient services than for children living in the country’s major
cities. Differences in the use of healthcare services are undoubtedly
influenced by uneven distribution of healthcare professionals, in some
areas shortage of physicians in specific fields is increased by
mobility both within the country and within the EU Member States. The
largest share of physicians, over 73%, works in cities, whereas in
districts 60% of the district population are provided with the
required healthcare services.69 Uneven distribution of general
practitioners (GPs) in municipalities results in different
availability of healthcare services provided by these healthcare
professionals to the population in different municipalities, uneven
population’s enrolment, uneven work loads for GPs, longer queues.
According to a study, there are significant inequalities in the
distribution of specialist physicians and the number of specialised
out-patient consultations in municipalities70. The number of nurses is
reducing compared with the EU average – there were 793.6 nurses per
100,000 population in Lithuania in 2012, whereas the EU average was
835.5 nurses. Uneven distribution of nurses has been established in
municipalities. Rapid ageing of physicians which will result in high
retirement by 2025 is also observed in the country.
Studies show that economically inactive people with low income and
social status experience psychological and social security-related
problems, have less favourable opportunities for developing healthy
lifestyle habits and health improvement, as well as are exposed to a
higher risk of diseases and early death71. In 2012, the majority of
the people at risk of poverty and in social exclusion (40.7%) lived in
rural areas, and 30% in urban areas (except for the largest cities).72
The standardised mortality rate among the rural population was 1.2
times higher than among the urban population in 201273, and the
average life expectancy was 2.9 years shorter than in the urban
population.74 In 2012, the population of urban municipalities had
doctor appointments more often (10.2 appointments per capita) than
residents of district municipalities (6.2 appointments per capita).75
In public surveys, the population of rural and district municipalities
evaluate their health much worse than the population of major cities.76
This is particularly relevant in the periphery of Lithuania which is
the most remote from the major cities and territories located at the
country’s major highways, etc., where the standardised mortality rate
(SMR) by basic death causes (circulatory system disorders, malicious
tumours and external death causes) significantly exceeds the
Lithuanian average, for instance, in 2012 SMR related to circulatory
system disorders was higher than the Lithuanian average by more 20% in
24 municipalities.
The tuberculosis morbidity rate which is related to social issues
(unemployment, poverty, alcohol and drug abuse, etc.) is high and its
prevalence is also caused by psychological reasons (reluctance to be
treated, violations of the treatment regime), insufficient prevention
and late diagnosis. In the recent years, increasing numbers of persons
with a good social status and even children have been diagnosed with
tuberculosis.
Support from the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds in the 2007–2013
programming period has induced fairly obvious positive changes in the
quality and availability of certain healthcare services in Lithuania,
creating the infrastructure of trauma centres; providing healthcare
institutions that offer comprehensive cancer assistance with
facilities for early diagnosis and efficient treatment, developing a
network of mental healthcare institutions, providing the necessary
equipment for cardiovascular diseases and renovating premises for
high-quality provision of services by covering three service provision
levels. That being said, the focus should remain on the efforts to
reduce morbidity and early mortality rates related to major
non-infectious diseases as these rates are still among the highest in
the EU. They are conditioned by large inequalities in health and
healthcare availability among the country’s regions and different
social and economic groups.
Better availability and quality of healthcare services through a
special focus on the preservation of the population’s health, disease
prevention and early diagnosis, the optimisation of the healthcare
system by focusing and reorganising it remain the most important
challenges for Lithuania. They must be addressed to minimise the
existing large health gap between the population living in
municipalities of major cities and the population in district
municipalities, between the population with high stable income and the
population with irregular and low income, between the population
living in a family and single persons.
In 2014, the Council published a recommendation for Lithuania stating
that Lithuania should increase work incentives and strengthen the
links between cash social assistance reform and activation measures,
in particular for the most vulnerable. Lithuania has committed in the
NRP to reduce the poverty risk level from 984,000 persons (2008) to
814,000 persons (2020).
Unemployment and low pay are the main reasons for poverty in
Lithuania. However, this phenomenon is also preconditioned by such
factors as deficiencies in the social security system, availability
and quality of public social services, social business, availability
of housing, inefficient healthcare system, etc.
To deal with the poverty issue, efforts will be made to ensure the
compatibility and synergy of economic, ALMP and social inclusion
measures, as well as equal availability of adequate social and
healthcare services to all residents, in particular by promoting a
shift towards community-based services.
1.1.2.3.3. Territorial development
Great differences in the level of territorial development in Lithuania
are determined by a wide gap between the capital and other regions in
terms of a number of social, economic and demographic indicators. The
average differences in GDP per capita among regions have slightly
reduced in the recent years (by 2.5% since 2007), but still remain
considerable. This rate exceeds country’s average 1.5 times in the
Vilnius County.
In Lithuania, rural areas refer to villages, towns and cities with the
population below 6,000 (except for municipal centres). Rural areas
comprise 97% of Lithuania's territory or 63.300 km2. They host one
third of all the population of the country. The density of population
in rural areas accounts for just one third of average national level
and comprise 15.7 persons/km2 (in EU-27, the average density of
population is 51 persons/km2).
Depopulation is the major challenge faced by territorial development.
Over the recent years, Lithuania has been among the fastest ageing EU
Member States from a demographic perspective. Negative demographic
processes are fastest in small and medium-sized cities. Between 2007
and 2012, the depopulation rate in the category of small and
medium-sized cities reached 13.3% and where these cities are situated
50 km and further away from the major cities – 13.8%. During the same
period, the rural population decreased by 11.2%, and the population in
large cities by 9.7%. Depopulation increases relative maintenance
costs of small urban infrastructure and reduces the number of
available public services. A considerable industrial potential focused
in cities is lost with the decreasing numbers of the population with
required qualifications.
Although the population is contracting in the entire country, this
process progresses most rapidly in urban areas:77 the urban population
reduced by 14.3% from the 2001 population census to 2013, whereas the
rural population went down by 9.5%. A slightly better demographic
situation is observed in the capital city of Vilnius, where the
population went down by only around 3% (mainly due to migration and a
relatively higher birth rate). Quite a few industrial enterprises
which loose their competitiveness due to the reduction of the
population with the required qualifications are concentrated in and
around small and medium-sized cities, whereas the labour-intensive
services sector is underdeveloped in the territory of the entire
country, except for resorts and major cities. In the major cities and
resort municipalities, 70.4% of the employed works in the trade and
services sectors78 (in Vilnius – 77%), while in the rest of the
country’s territory – only 52.3%.
Narrow specialisation, high dependence on specific sectors and
enterprises is characteristic of the labour market in smaller
municipalities. For instance, 31% of the employees in enterprises in
the Radviliškis District Municipality worked in transport and security
enterprises, in the Vilnius District Municipality this share accounted
for 24%. The share of the employed in the mining and manufacturing
industry exceeds 33% in 13 municipalities (Švenčionys District
Municipality – 47%, Kazlų Rūda Municipality – 54%). Construction
prevails in Molėtai and Telšiai District Municipalities, as well as
Rietavas Municipality (from 26 to 29%). Therefore, sufficient
employment of the population without specific qualifications or young
people is not ensured. Greater diversity of activities, which allows
for employment of the population with a greater range of competences,
is available only in major cities and resort territories. As a result,
territories with a high unemployment rate where structural and
long-term unemployment prevails formed in the regions with traditional
industry and agriculture, in particular rural parts. This problem is
extremely acute in borderline territories and sparsely populated
regions and becomes more obvious as the cyclical unemployment caused
by the economic downturn shrinks in the entire country.
Due to demographic differences and inconsistencies in labour force
resources, economic activities are concentrated in five major cities.
In 2011, five major cities generated 65.5% of the total value-added
created in the country (excluding agricultural production), they had
63.8% of the SMEs at the start of 2013 and around 40.2% of the
country’s population. In 2011, the number of hired employees in
economic entities of the Vilnius City Municipality was higher by 11%
than the number of the working age population in the municipality.
As a result, active commuting areas with a relatively low unemployment
rate and a small number of the long-term unemployed in small and
medium-sized cities (with a well-developed transport system connecting
to the major city) form around Vilnius, Klaipėda and partially Kaunas,
as well as between Šiauliai and Panevėžys.
As the country’s economic potential is concentrated in five major
cities, they attract large migration flows leading to additional
social problems. One of them is the foci of social pathologies and
crime emerging in unattractive or abandoned parts (neighbourhoods) of
the major cities which have significant implications for the urban
environment as a whole and make these territories unattractive for
living, visiting or investing. 35% of all the young unemployed
registered in the country reside in these cities. Another evident
process is linked with active migration towards suburban territories –
the deformation of compact urban structures.
Territories located at centre of the major cities (within the radius
from 5 to 7 km) lose their population even more rapidly than the
majority of small and medium-sized cities. Attractive residential
territories are more often concentrated in urban outskirts, i.e. 15-20
kilometres away form the city centre; new economic activities also
concentrate and new SMEs are established there. However, such
development has an adverse environmental impact as built-up
territories expand and the transport infrastructure is developed,
while the population is shrinking. Using already urbanised territories
for urban development would save 20-40% of the land resources and
15-25% of the transport infrastructure; it would reduce the demand for
water supply and water management facilities by 7-15%.
As city centres become increasingly emptier, the economic potential of
built-up territories with the available network of infrastructure in
the central parts of the major cities is not fully used. The potential
of conversion (including liquidation o pollution, cleaning and reuse
of previously polluted territories) available in industrial
territories and centres of attraction, as well as the investment
potential of the city centre itself in case of city subcentres,
pericentres, and smaller metropolitan centres, like Panevėžys or
Šiauliai, which makes it possible to create jobs for the population of
the city and its surrounding territories, are not used. Using already
existing territories for urban development could minimise adverse
environmental impacts and exploit the existing infrastructure more
efficiently.
In particular, the target territories need tackling of economic and
social problems by efficiently exploiting their economic potential as
well as their cultural resources. Better quality and availability of
cultural services create conditions for active participation, promote
community engagement and social responsibility, and develop
socialisation skills in socially vulnerable groups and their
motivation to integrate into the full social and economic life,
thereby making target territories more attractive for investments,
business and job creation. Therefore, it is important to promote
investments that boosts the economic and social viability of the
territory, generates new visitor flows, shapes a demand for local
business, boosts the attractiveness for investments, business
development and job creation. It is important to assess maintenance
costs of the infrastructure being created along with the need for
investments when performing a cost-benefit analysis, as well as
economic and social benefits of each investment project.
Demographic, territorial employment and workforce redistribution
tendencies, shrinking cities and urban sprawl, shortages of common
local or regional (including both regional centres and surrounding
territories) connections and lack of or inaccessible public transport
lead to communication problems and growing level of automobilisation.
Uneven transport flows induce environmental problems such as
environmental pollution, noise around the main urban arteries, and
does not facilitate closer integration of urban and rural territories.
There is no clear strategy or conception available on how to ensure
connection between cities and suburbs, rural areas and regional
centres, no integrated measures are applied to encourage consumers to
integrate different modes of public transport.
The lagging behind of small and medium towns (both physical and
economical) and their low attractiveness is partially due to their
insufficient integration into national transport networks,
insufficient exploitation of alternative, different transport modes
and their synergy, impact on business diversification. Significant
disparities of accessibility of transport services deepen social
divide and exclude vulnerable groups (for instance, residents of
remote rural areas) from the labour market. This is in particular
relevant given the fact that Lithuania (as indicated in the EC
recommendations) ranks fourth in worst social exclusion indictors and
worst indicators of income inequality among the EU Member States.
Therefore, promotion of sustainable mobility and better transport
integration might be one of the decisive factors to improve
territorial, economic and social cohesion in Lithuania and to
efficiently tackle problems on the regional level.
In Lithuania, the at-the-risk-of-poverty rate accounted for 28.5% in
Lithuanian rural areas in 2012 and was 2.5 higher than in the major
cities. The category of small and medium-sized cities is in a slightly
better, yet complicated situation with a 17.9% at-the-poverty-risk
rate. The population facing great material deprivation is increasing
in rural areas. If in 2010 the share of the population facing four of
more than nine deprivation elements did not differ much in urban and
rural areas (in urban areas – 19.3%, in rural areas – 19.9%), in 2011
the gap widened and the population facing great material deprivation
in urban areas reduced down to 16.9%, but went and up to 21.7% in
rural areas.
In 2012, the unemployment rate in rural areas was 19.5%, which is 6.3%
higher than the country’s average. The employment situation in rural
areas, even located close to the major cities, is often more
complicated than in urban areas. The registered unemployment rate in
bordering rural territories is often 1.5-1.7 times higher than in the
city (for instance, in Vilnius District Municipality, Trakai District
Municipality or Šalčininkai District Municipality bordering Vilnius
City, by Kaunas – in Kazlų Rūda Municipality, Jonava District
Municipality).
A large share of the employed rural population works in agriculture
and forestry. The diversification of rural economic activities is
still insufficient and together with sluggish job creation leads to a
slow employment growth among the rural population.
Due to a lower purchasing power of the rural population and a smaller
variety of available services, most of the expenditure was on basic
needs (mainly food – 39.2%) in rural areas in 2012, whereas in urban
areas expenditure in such areas as recreation, culture, education, was
twice as high as in rural areas. For instance, on average, one rural
resident spent LTL 26.1 (EUR 7.5) per month or 3.6% of the total
income on recreation and culture, LTL 5.1 (EUR 1.5) per month or 0.7%
of the total income on education in 2012.
Some rural areas are subject to large migration flows due to urban
development into outskirts (usually around the major cities). However,
such development does not make any positive impact on the rest of the
rural areas, and when new settlements are formed in the ‘middle of
nowhere’, the costs for the creation of communications and transport
infrastructure are much higher than they would be when developing the
existing villages and cities. A lot of public and private services are
not provided in such settlements either. The differences in the level
of territorial development are partially natural and determined by
obvious economic and social processes characteristic of a number of
countries, primarily by the phenomenon of the capital as the focus of
economic and social activities. On the other hand, they also show that
opportunities provided by individual territories are not sufficiently
used. Demographic and social challenges, such as the ageing population
and emigration, which are captured on a different scale in various
regions, make it necessary to solve specific problems to ensure at
least similar standards of the living environment and the quality of
public services in the entire Lithuanian territory. It is crucial to
ensure consistent and sustainable regional development, deal with
specific problems of individual residential areas which determine
current or emerging differences in the level of territorial
development.
A low level of education and entrepreneurship are among the major
causes of unemployment of the population in remote, usually rural
areas. In rural areas, SMEs account for 15% of the total number of
SMEs operating in Lithuania. This shows that business is developed
mainly in cities with a larger market, more focus on the development
of infrastructure, more favourable conditions for the development of
entrepreneurship than in rural areas, higher qualification of human
resources, greater range and better quality business consultation
services. Besides, faster ageing of the rural population than that of
the urban population boosts the demand for healthcare professionals
and other social services in rural areas in particular. Rural areas
lack water management, sewage disposal and waste management
infrastructure. The comparison of urban and rural territories reveal
marked differences between wastewater treatment systems – wastewater
treatment services are available to 91% of population in the major
cities and to just 16% of population in rural areas79. It should be
noted that Lithuanian rural areas are rarely populated (density – 15.7
persons/km2) and that more than 63% of the territories with population
less than 1,000 are settlements with less than 50 residents. Moreover,
the absence of quality drinking water supply and wastewater treatment
services leads to contamination of underground water bodies and
consequently worsens their ecologic status. Therefore particular
attention should be focused on remoter, rarer populated rural areas
where no drinking water supply and wastewater treatment services are
available or where such services are of poor quality. In order to keep
people in rural areas, to revitalise nonviable areas, to ensure
appropriate living conditions and to promote sustainable development,
having in mind the low density of population in rural areas, rural
residential areas with less than 200 residents need investments into
installation or renovation of local water supply and wastewater
treatment plants and systems, improvement of water quality,
installation or renovation of iron removal systems.
On the other hand, due to residential and recreational attractiveness
of rural areas, which is based on strong community relations, an
opportunity to live in the refuge of nature, have a much larger
private space, provide oneself with naturally grown food products, and
due to the change in social values and expanding green movement, a
trend to move from the to rural areas, especially rural areas close to
the major cities, has been increasingly more evident in Lithuania in
the recent years. In 2012, 84% of the population that moved to rural
areas was former urban population80. A survey of residents from the
major cities shows that as many as a fourth would like to live in a
rural area. Young people’s attitude to life in rural areas is even
more positive as 36% of the students and pupils surveyed would like to
live there81. To achieve sustainable regional development in rural
areas, it is purposeful to continue the initiatives aimed at the
renovation of rural areas and craft development, as well as LEADER
initiatives, promote activities in the area agricultural and
non-agricultural business.
Social problems faced in the fisheries sector, i.e. increasing
unemployment, lowering standard of living, insufficient engagement and
motivation of young fishermen, are more characteristic of coastal
communities where no opportunities for fishing business development
have been available due to the requirements for efficient use and
capacity reduction. Therefore, it is important to promote social
cohesion in fisheries areas by focussing on the tackling problems in
coastal communities.
The challenge of the national regional policy is to identify
specialised investments that meet the needs and potential of each
territory. Comprehensive and timely implementation of such investments
would ensure the best achievement of objectives and priorities set in
the policy through the use of new implementation mechanisms as per the
EU cohesion policy regulations, as well as the experience gained while
implementing LEADER measures in Lithuanian rural areas.
1.2. Summary of the ex ante evaluation
--------------------------------------
The findings of the ex ante evaluation of the Operational Programme
for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 have served as a basis for
proposals and recommendations to drafters of the programme concerning
the key aspects of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds planning.
Throughout the 2014–2020 programming period, a particular focus will
be placed on the result-oriented approach and the concentration of
efforts towards addressing the main challenges faced by the country.
The justification of the thematic objectives provided in the
Partnership Agreement, as well as the analysis of the needs and
challenges performed as part of the ex ante evaluation have revealed
that the choice of all the eleven thematic objectives to be pursued in
the context of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments
in 2014–2020 is well justified. Although the fragmentation of the
policy has raised certain doubts concerning the choice of the thematic
objective on combating climate change, it was concluded that so far
Lithuania has not been providing sufficient attention to this
important area. The investments planned in this area will hence
contribute to a consistent shaping of the climate change adaptation
policy as well as the implementation of climate change mitigation
measures and prevention of climate change-related risks. Although
priorities and specific objectives of the Operational Programme for
the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 are in line with the Common
Provisions Regulation and the Partnership Agreement, the Council’s
country-specific recommendations for Lithuania concerning the further
implementation of public policy reforms (state-owned enterprises and
pension reform) were not fully taken into consideration at the initial
programming stage. Consequently, one of the recommendations made as
part of the ex ante evaluation was to mainstream the relevant
activities into specific objectives of priority 10 ‘Advanced public
administration meeting the society’s needs’ as defined in the
Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020.
Despite the right choice of the thematic objectives, the specific
objectives of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments
in 2014–2020 at the initial investment planning stage covered most of
the investment priorities of the ESF, the European Regional
Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund. To strengthen the
result-oriented approach in the area of the EU Structural Funds, the
ex ante evaluation has recommended reducing the number of the
investment priorities selected and identifying clear specific
objectives reflecting the pursued developments. This recommendation
was taken into consideration and the number of the investment
objectives of the draft Operational Programme for the EU Funds’
Investments in 2014–2020 was reduced by half, thereby improving the
rationale of interventions and creating pre-conditions to meet the
thematic concentration requirement. The reduced number of the specific
objectives and a more detailed rationale of interventions also
contributed to a greater internal and external coherence of the
operational programme. The drafters of the Operational Programme for
the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 took into account the majority
of the ex ante recommendations for drawing a clear line between the
investments of a similar type (for instance, between promoting
entrepreneurship, support to SMEs and encouraging self-employment to
promote entrepreneurship) and ensuring the consistency and
complementarity of ESF and ERDF investments that pursue for similar
developments (for instance, ESF and ERDF investments into education
and training). The recommendations concerning the compatibility of the
planned investments and possible overlapping with other EU (for
instance, RDP 2014-2010, Horizon 2010, European Networking Facility,
etc.) and national programmes intended for investments in R&D and
innovation, transport and the major network infrastructure,
environmental protection, energy and other areas were aimed at better
external coherence of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’
Investments in 2014–2020.
The breakdown of financing between the priorities of the Operational
Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 is in line with
specific objectives and can be expected to lead to target results. The
plans to allocate relatively more financing to research and
innovation, as well as to investments into greater energy efficiency
and the promotion and use of RES production in the 2014–2020
programming period are in line with the Commission’s position and
demonstrate the importance of these Operational Programme priorities
to Lithuania. Another priority investment area is human resources:
nearly a third of the total support from the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds 2014–2020 is planned for education and training, the
promotion of social inclusion and employment. The funding foreseen for
the above priority areas is in line with Lithuania’s commitments to
implement smart, sustainable and inclusive strategy Europe 2020 and
achieve the quantitative objectives identified in the NRA. Ambitious
goals of the country to increase the spending on research and
innovation more than twice, improve energy efficiency, significantly
reduce the risk of poverty and social exclusion and improve employment
require particular attention to and clear identification of priorities
when planning the allocation of the EU Structural Funds, forms of
support and implementation models. Macroeconomic simulation of impacts
of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds performed as part of the ex ante
evaluation has revealed that the planned breakdown of investments
between such areas as research and innovation, human resources and
infrastructure, etc. is quite optimal. The simulation has led to a
conclusion that the greatest return to Lithuania is expected to come
from the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds directed towards research
and innovation. However, to use support of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds efficiently, recommendations for a wider use of
financial instruments in promoting R&D and innovation, supporting
entrepreneurship and business development, as well as considering an
opportunity to apply financial instruments in water supply and
wastewater treatment infrastructure projects have been provided as
part of the ex ante evaluation. Forms of support other than
non-refundable grants (refundable grants, prizes) were recommended for
the promotion of some investments in R&D and education infrastructure.
The ex ante evaluation has revealed that the identification of output
and result indicators for the purpose of the Operational Programme for
the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 is in line with the
Commission’s guidelines: general indicators are used and a limited
number of specific indicators is set. Following the analysis of the
monitoring indicators proposed, it was recommended to use all
appropriate general indicators and clarify specific indicators so that
they are clearly understandable and properly reflect the nature of
interventions. The fact that the experience gained or assessments
conducted in the period of 2007–2013 were used for the identification
of output indicator values to calculate the ratio between the funds
allocated and the products developed in the draft operational
programme was viewed positively. On the other hand, the values of
assessment criteria set in the national strategic documents were used
for the identification of result indicators in ERDF and Cohesion Fund
intervention areas, therefore, a gap between the values of output
indicators planned for a specific objective and the expected results
is observed in individual cases. This shows that the achievement of
result indicators planned in the draft operational programme will also
be influenced by other factors, such as changes in regulation,
demographic trends and the economic situation. Therefore,
recommendations specifying what actions under other priorities and
external factors will contribute to the expected result in the
descriptions of specific objectives set in the operational programme
have been provided as part of the ex ante evaluation.
The evaluation of the efficiency of the administration system for the
EU Structural and Cohesion Funds 2007–2013 has showed that the
existing administration system and its participants’ competences
should be maintained in the new programming period by developing the
partnership between participants of the management and control system
(MCS) and specialised institutions, making administration practices
uniform and including new institutions into the MCS only after their
administrative competences are assessed in advance. The measures
provided for in the Partnership Agreement and intended for the
reduction of the administrative burden for applicants are in line with
the recommendations provided as part of the above evaluation, and the
planned technical assistance to the administration of the operational
programme creates preconditions for the implementation of these
measures. The analysis of drafted legal acts performed as part of the
ex ante evaluation has also showed that the submitted Action Plan on
the Implementation of the Precondition Concerning Availability and
Sufficiency of Statistical Data creates conditions for the design of
an appropriate system for the monitoring of the Operational Programme
for the EU Funds’ Investments and collecting the data required for the
evaluation.
As part of drafting of RDP 2014–2020, ex ante evaluators provided
recommendations the majority of which were taken into consideration.
Social-economic, sectoral and environmental analysis was performed;
the assessment of SWOT factors identified on the basis of that
analysis and the basic development needs has revealed that the choice
of all six rural development priorities and many focus areas (16 focus
areas identified in the Regulation 9EU) No 1305/2013 and one
additional focus area) in the strategy was justified; RDP does not
include energy and water efficiency focus areas, this choice is
justified by the current situation, positive tendencies and relatively
good results in the EU context. Taking into consideration the
importance of data availability and relevance for the initial analysis
and further assessments, the ex ante evaluators have emphasised that
publicly available national statistical data by type of rural
residential areas is inconsistent with the scope of rural areas
considered in the RDP and recommended to refer to the typology of
rural regions approved by the EC. Nevertheless, the choice was to use
the national statistical data for the purposes of specific context
indicators as better revealing national rural specifics, although not
entirely consistent with the scope of rural areas referred to in the
RDP.
The logical framework of the RDP in principle follows-up the measures
implemented in the current period. The major focus and financial
weight in the RDP is placed on the objectives and measures related to
increasing of competitiveness (about 40% of support). This is
determined by relative large importance of the sector on the economy
and on a large part of the population and persisting gap of
productivity and labour productivity compared with other EU Member
States. This orientation is also in line with the needs of the main
social economic partners. The efforts to focus support by giving
priority to animal production, fruit and vegetables sectors and
competitiveness of small and medium farms have been positively
assessed.
Taking into consideration the recommendation of the ex ante
evaluators, new activities (so far not implemented) were included: to
increase competitiveness of agricultural activities, actions were
planned to promote introduction of innovations and cooperation between
the science and the producers; to safeguard better opportunities for
small and medium farms to invest and develop products generating
higher value added, horizontal and vertical cooperation of small
entities was envisaged. Mandatory minimum 30% funding for
environmental measures has been secured.
Improvement of social situation in rural areas is pursued through
priority 6 aimed at increasing of social inclusion, combating poverty
and stimulating economic development. Although unemployment, poverty
and other social problems are very significant in rural areas, these
activities have lesser portion of support earmarked than other
objectives (less than 20% of support). Ex ante evaluators consider
this choice to be justified because RDP funding and instruments for
tackling of social problems are rather limited since the main measures
address promotion of workforce demand, i.e. creating of new jobs in
rural areas, and supply of small scale social services (through LEADER
projects). In order to tackle employment and social exclusion problems
in rural areas, compatibility and complementarity with ESI funds and
with national social security policy measures guaranteeing workforce
supply, adequate qualification, provision of the necessary social
services, must be ensured.
Taking into consideration the recommendations of the evaluators RDP
2014–2020 provides for a possibility to expand the use of the
financial instruments - to apply more diverse forms of financial
instruments and apply them for a wider spectrum of investments (not
just for agricultural activities but for processing of agricultural
products and other activities as well).
The assessment of the chosen priorities, focus areas and their
financial breakdown set forth in the RDP 2014–2020 has led to a
conclusion that the RDP 2014–2020 will contribute to the
implementation of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy
Europe 2020. The largest portion of support under RDP 2014–2020 will
be channelled to the priority dealing with increasing of
competitiveness of agriculture with particular focus on the
introduction of innovations. The RDP 2014–2020 can contribute to one
of the quantitative objectives of smart growth, i.e. increase
investments into research and innovations. It is expected that the
investments into increasing of the share of energy generated by RES
(through promotion of production and consumption of biomass and biogas
raw materials) and reduction of GHG (by introducing and applying
climate friendly farming methods and forestry measures) will grow. RDP
2014–2020 may have a rather significant impact on the achievement of
inclusive growth objectives. The possibility to create new farms,
develop and expand non-agricultural businesses will generate new jobs
in rural areas which will contribute to higher employment level of the
people. Direct impact on reduction of the number of people facing risk
of poverty or exclusion will be made by local projects based in LEADER
approach whereby social enterprises will be supported and social
services will be provided. LEADER measures are likely to make a larger
impact on this objective in 2014–2020 period because they will be
oriented towards implementation of activities rather than
infrastructure (which was the main focus on 2007–2013 period).
The ex ante evaluation of the Operational Programme for the Lithuanian
Fisheries Sector 2014–2020 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Fisheries
Operational Programme’) has found that the measures selected for the
Fisheries Operational Programme are oriented towards the
implementation of the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive
growth Europe 2020 through the achievement of the relevant thematic
objectives listed in the Common Provisions Regulation. EU level
documents stipulate that investments of the European Maritime and
Fisheries Fund (the EMFF) will pursue increasing of the viability and
competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, support to
their environmental sustainability, social cohesion and job creation
in the fishing-dependent communities. Taking into consideration that
most of the specific objectives proposed by the Commission have been
chosen for the development of the fisheries sector in the 2014–2020
programming period, it should be assumed that the thematic objectives
listed in the Common Provisions Regulation along with the targets of
the Europe 2020 Strategy are properly reflected at the planning level.
It is planned to implement the objective to renounce discards of
unwanted catches and the maximum allowable catch targets set in the
reformed Common Fisheries Policy (the CFP) by using the measures of
the Fisheries Operational Programme determined according to the
selected specific objective aimed at the reduction of the impact of
fisheries on marine and internal waters environment.
The strategic target of the Lithuanian fisheries sector in relation to
climate change mitigation and adaptation is to reduce the
vulnerability of natural ecosystems and the country’s fisheries
sector. This target will be implemented through the introduction of
measures which allow for the preservation and increasing of resilience
to climate change-induced developments and ensuring favourable
conditions for the society’s life and economic activities, as well as
the promotion of support to the shift towards low-carbon technologies
in the fisheries sector.
The ex ante evaluation has come to a conclusion that the identified
areas of development in the fisheries sector, the objectives and the
measures for their implementation chosen in the Fisheries Operational
Programme are suitable and in line with the national and EU strategic
agenda for the fisheries sector. The selected areas of development and
measures are in line with the SWOT analysis of the fisheries sector,
as well as with the needs identified as part of that analysis and are
directed towards addressing the main problems and challenges in the
sector.
Although the measures selected are suitable in terms of the needs and
challenges of the fisheries sector, the number of these measures is
relatively large and may complicate their implementation and increase
the implementation costs. Since financing with regard to some of the
measures will not comprise a relatively large share and the number of
applicants is low, it is necessary to consider joining similar
measures into groups, for instance, by investment theme, sector or
type. Such an approach would make the administration of the measures
easier and would allow for the reduction of the administration costs.
That would help to achieve greater clarity of the measures and their
targets, as well as help potential applicants to better understand
them.
To ensure proper planning and efficient monitoring of the Fisheries
Operational Programme during its implementation, it has been
emphasised that a rational and realistic framework of result
indicators with regard to the programme objectives and target values
to be achieved has to be ensured taking into consideration the
evaluation of the achievements of the Lithuanian Fisheries Operational
Programme for the 2007–2013 programming period and proper assessment
of the kick-off situation. It is also important to consider
possibilities to ensure the measurability of the indicators selected,
therefore, the ex ante evaluator recommends developing the methodology
for the calculation of the result indicators.
The financial resources of the Fisheries Operational Programme
2014–2020 have been allocated on the basis of investment proportions
of the 2007–2013 programming period by sectoral areas. As seen from
the problem analysis and the comparison of two programming periods
made by the evaluators, the basic problems and challenges of the
fisheries sector in 2014–2020 will mainly remain the same as in the
2007–2013 programming period and therefore a similar breakdown of
financial resources is seen as reasonable. Minor changes in the
proportions of the financial resources have resulted from changes in
the sector’s strategic agenda. A larger share, compared to the
previous period, has been earmarked for the priority addressing
employment and territorial cohesion in fisheries areas. The above
approach hence takes into consideration the importance and involvement
of communities as emphasised by the EU. Another important aspect
emphasised by the EU that should be supported with larger financial
resources is the promotion of sectoral innovation. The promotion of
innovation is stressed both in the context of the EMFF and the overall
EU strategic agenda. The Fisheries Operational Programme envisages
granting the largest share of the financial resources for the purpose
of Union priorities whose measures are aimed at the promotion of
innovative and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Based on the
list of the measures to be implemented, the investments planned will
be directed towards the implementation of new, innovative solutions
with part of the investments made in traditional solutions. The
implementation stage should include additional mechanisms to ensure
the implementation of innovative elements.
1.3. Summary of the results of each thematic objective in respect of
each fund
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Lithuania’s main investment priority areas in the 2014–2020
programming period have been established to address major structural
socio-economic challenges identified in Section 1.1 of the Partnership
Agreement. This section elaborates on how these investment priorities
will be implemented through thematic objectives, presents arguments
for the selection of the thematic objectives and defines the expected
results.
1.3.1. Strengthening research, technological development and
innovation
This thematic objective is relevant in respect of the commitment
according to which the R&D expenditure in Lithuania should account for
at least 1.9% GDP by 2020. Accordingly, the result to be achieved by
this thematic objective is to significantly increase business
investment in R&D and innovation because the share of business
investment in R&D compared to other sources of funding was
disproportionately low (in 2012 it accounted for 26.6% of the total
R&D expenditure) and is not growing. A breakthrough is needed to
prompt the change by pooling the potential of the scientific sector
and strengthening research capacities in areas relevant to the needs
of the economy and the society, by enhancing the spread of knowledge
and technology and by putting a strong emphasis on stronger business
innovation and active support for commercialisation of
science-business cooperation results. Moreover, investments in the
effectiveness and added-value of R&D should be boosted. Such effect
could be achieved through active synergies of the EU Programme for
Research Horizon 2020, the integration into the international research
infrastructure and advantages of cooperation with international
partners, optimising the R&D system (creating a favourable legal
framework for innovation and to reform the institutional structure).
Investments based on this thematic objective will be made only in
accordance with the smart specialisation strategy.
This thematic objective is also relevant in respect of the goal
envisaged in the Lithuania’s Innovation Strategy 2010-2020, i.e. for
Lithuania’s total innovation index to reach the EU average by 2020.
The result for this objective and for the previous objective, i.e. to
increase total R&D spending, is only possible through a significant
progress in the promotion of commercialisation of R&D findings, the
development of new products (experimental development) and innovation.
For the purpose of implementation of the thematic objectives,
cooperation between business and science should be promoted, the
establishment of knowledge-intensive innovative enterprises should be
encouraged, knowledge and technology transfer capacities enhanced and
the protection and management of intellectual property improved. In
all these areas Lithuania’s results remain among the poorest.
For the implementation of smart specialisation priorities there are
plans to strengthen cooperation between research and business by means
of joint and coordinated efforts and tools that support joint
scientific-business initiatives based on thematic approach and having
the ability to pool the capacity and infrastructure existing in
different areas. Such education-business cooperation initiatives
should ensure active engagement of academic and research institutions,
economic operators, and other public and private entities in tackling
important socio-economic problems and joint efforts to overcome the
challenges. The desired result for joint academic-business initiatives
is to create a technology, process, product, or method, and adapt it
to the public needs.
Along with the update and acquisition of additional scientific
equipment, technological centres and centres of excellence meeting the
needs of science-intensive business and involving the infrastructure
for experimental development will be set up. There are plans to
support the development of new products by supporting the development
of necessary infrastructure and experimental development, including
the preparation of new products for the market (standardisation,
certification, metrology, validation, etc.). There will be efforts to
activate open access-based R&D infrastructure; commercialisation of
results of R&D activities will be encouraged; incentives for effective
public-private and private-private cooperation in clusters and other
innovation networks will be provided. Other plans include
strengthening scientific and technological parks, introducing
innovation services, stimulating joint R&D projects through the use of
the existing and further reinforced R&D infrastructure in open-access
centres, putting an emphasis on the commercialisation of R&D findings,
the transfer of knowledge and technologies and the protection of
intellectual property rights. Incentives mitigating the risk of
private investments in innovation will be continued. There will also
be targeted measures stimulating the demand for innovation
(innovative, pre-commercial procurement, etc.). The establishment and
development of innovative enterprises, incentives for international
cooperation in the field of RDI is promoted with special attention to
interregional cooperation possibilities provided by the EUSBSR.
In addition to the measures listed above, consolidation and
optimisation of infrastructure of research and higher education
institutions will be continued taking into consideration the progress
of the smart specialisation process, i.e. higher education
infrastructure will be mobilised in the territories with significant
potential for research and knowledge intensive business (‘valleys’)
pursuing strong and uninterrupted synergy between higher education,
research and business.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
Enhanced capacities of higher education and research institutions to
reflect the economic needs. A share of the Lithuanian enterprises
implementing technological innovation and cooperating with
universities will increase from 9.8 to 12.8% by 2023. This increase
will be reflected in private sector investments in RDI: the share of
R&D expenditure of higher education and research institutions funded
by economic entities is expected to increase from 3.5 to 7%; revenue
of higher education and research institutions received from economic
operators and external users of research infrastructure will increase.
This will be achieved through the activation of R&D infrastructure
developed in 2007–2013; funding the modernisation and development of
centres of excellence, centres of development and transfer of
technology and innovation centres, taking care of the
commercialisation of RDI results and the provision of RDI services to
the private sector; through support to the acquisition of RDI-related
resources; support to joint R&D activities, the commercialisation of
research findings, etc.
Improved engagement in international R&D infrastructures and networks.
The National Programme for the (Social, Cultural) Development of
Studies, Research and Development for 2013-2020 outlines that
Lithuania will promote the integration of Lithuania’s research
infrastructures into international research infrastructures by
becoming a member of four international research infrastructures. This
will be achieved in line with the Roadmap for Research Infrastructure
in Lithuania and by integrating into the infrastructures of ESFRI that
match Lithuania’s areas of smart specialisation best and are developed
at the national and EU level.
Enhanced capacities and capabilities of higher education and research
institutions to commercialise R&D findings. The creation and
development of new products (from the concept to the entry to the
market) may start in higher education and research institutions when
students or researchers and their teams generate R&D-based but
business-oriented ideas that are in line with the market needs and
have a great commercial potential. In order to promote the generation
and development of such R&D-based ideas in higher education and
research institutions, initiatives of those institutions to develop in
science-intensive enterprises will be encouraged and other tools for
the development of use of the R&D results will be used.
Enhanced RDI capabilities and innovativeness of businesses. The
promotion measures will enable businesses to channel more investments
into RDI, the share of innovative enterprises deploying new products
and non-technological innovations will be increased. To achieve this,
the development of new products in enterprises at all RDI stages will
be supported. The development of RDI infrastructure in enterprises and
clusters will be funded, especially the experimental phase of the
development: the layout and prototyping, testing them, demonstrations,
pilot production and preparation for market (certification,
standardisation, metrology and validation). Funding will be provided
to the development, protection and licensing of corporate intellectual
property, the promotion of innovation partnerships, the search for
technology, the evaluation and transfer of technology, the setting-up
of innovative businesses and other measures.
New instruments to boost demand for innovation will be developed. The
aim is to strengthen the demand for innovation by introducing
innovative public procurement and pre-commercial public procurement.
New R&D-based innovation deployment networks will be created and the
existing ones reinforced. This will be achieved through funding
public-private and private-private cooperation; the development and
upgrading of enabling structures in the field of RDI (for example,
science and technology parks, centres of excellence and technology
centres); building innovation networks (clusters of thematic research
and business networks and other partnerships); support to joint RDI
projects using the potential of creative industries and benefits of
intersectoral collaboration.
Enhanced system of support for innovation. In order to raise the
number of new innovative enterprises, the establishment of young
innovative enterprises (spin-offs, start-ups) will be supported,
start-ups and young, fast-growing enterprises will be encouraged.
There are plans to support the promotion of technological progress and
innovation, the promotion of innovation partnerships, the search for
technology, the evaluation and transfer of technology, the protection
of intellectual property rights, and advice on the development of new
products and entry to the market, etc.
Attracted direct foreign investment (DFI) in areas of smart
specialisation. DFI into smart specialisation will be supported to
accelerate the modernisation of the Lithuanian economy and the spread
of non-technological innovation. The development of infrastructure and
the marketing of free economic areas and industrial parks will also be
supported.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
Taking into account priority 1 of the EU rural development policy82,
closer links between business and science will be promoted and efforts
to ensure their durability and better commercialisation of research
findings made. Support will be focused on the dissemination of
research findings and the promotion of private investments into
experimental (technological) development and innovation. Cooperation
of research institutions, consultancy companies and agricultural
producers will be enhanced to address topical farming issues.
Cooperation among entities will be fostered by supporting the
establishment of European Innovation Partnership groups, involving
researchers, consultants and farmers, and the implementation of joint
projects, pilot projects for the development of new products,
practices and technology. The quality and effectiveness of advisory
services provided to farmers, forest managers, SMEs and micro
enterprises operating in rural areas will play a significant role in
promoting the transfer of latest research findings and the spread of
innovation in agriculture, forestry, rural areas. In 2014–2020,
Lithuania will face challenges in the promotion of agricultural and
rural development innovation and science-business partnerships, namely
related to raising the competitiveness of agricultural entities and
adding value to products produced in farms, increasing employment in
rural areas, preservation of biodiversity and landscape, increase and
preservation of the value of forest ecosystems, adaptation to climate
change and promotion of social inclusion. Over 3,000 farmers and
forest managers, SMEs and micro enterprises operating in rural areas
are estimated to use advisory services by 2020.
Technological and organisational innovation will increase
productivity, accelerate the modernisation of small and medium-sized
farms, build direct links between consumers and producers, contribute
to the development of environment-friendly and resource-efficient
production technology in agricultural and forestry sectors. EAFRD
investments into innovation should meet the objectives and priorities
of the Lithuanian Smart Specialisation Strategy.
In order to address RDI challenges more effectively, cooperation with
foreign countries will be promoted, first of all, by using the
interregional cooperation platform provided by the EUSBSR and thus
contributing to the increased competitiveness of the country and the
Baltic Sea Region.
1.3.2. Enhancing access, use and quality of ICT
This thematic objective was selected in order achieve goals set by
Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Digital Agenda for Europe ensuring
that by 2020 entire Lithuania is covered by broadband above 30Mbps, at
least 50% of the households are subscribed to broadband above 100Mbps,
and 85% of the population regularly uses the internet.
The overall result sought by the thematic objective is reduced digital
division and increased demand for internet and other ICT among the
population (increasing the availability of high-speed broadband
internet access to all residents and households; encouraging people to
use the internet and providing assistance on the use of the internet);
effective and comprehensive use of ICT in the public sector and the
provision of services (by providing technologically advanced,
consumer-oriented electronic services; ensuring effective re-use of
public information for the needs of business and society; ensuring
optimal management and effective protection of the national
information infrastructure and resources).
First of all, sufficient availability and utilisation of the broadband
infrastructure will be ensured through: (1) direct contribution of the
State to the development of infrastructure without distorting
competition (i.e. in the areas where the development of this
infrastructure and provision of services can not be safeguarded by
market participants); (2) support measures to promote private sector
investment in the ‘last mile’ solutions of the broadband
infrastructure; and (3) measures to boost demand and encourage
potential customers to start using the broadband internet connection.
In order to plan the optimal actions a comprehensive analysis of the
broadband (fixed and wireless) network infrastructure and its use in
Lithuania is carried out. It analyses alternative options for further
actions to promote the development of the broadband infrastructure.
This analysis will serve as a basis for a model of sustainable
investment in the broadband infrastructure where optimal combination
of different actors and action plans is ensured. In order to optimise
the public sector ICT base, measures safeguarding the
interoperability, security and efficient management of information
resources and infrastructure and technological solutions for the
protection of critical public ICT infrastructure will be implemented.
This optimisation is a prerequisite for lower costs of higher quality
electronic services and solutions for residents and businesses. In
order to plan the optimal actions, the Assessment of Trends and
Prospects of the Public IT Infrastructure, to be funded from the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds for the 2014–2020 programming period, is
carried out. The aim of the assessment is to create an architecture
model for a national information resources infrastructure, transition
scenarios and an action plan for the optimisation of the management
and development of the public IT infrastructure.
Transparent, effective and convenient opening up of public sector
information for re-use and encouraging business to actively use it for
the development and provision of information society services is
relevant in order to increase the demand for ICT. The demand for ICT
products and services will be boosted through the maintenance and
development of public internet access infrastructure, as public
internet access provides people with an opportunity to try the
internet and see its benefits, thus attracting new internet users.
There are also plans to further deploy smart advanced public and
administrative electronic services for the public and business to
ensure accessibility, convenience and benefits to users of public
services provided in different fields, such as administration, health
and social security, environmental protection, culture, language,
transport, etc. The Model for the Description, Typing and Evaluation
of Public and Administrative Electronic Services, that aims to
comprehensively evaluate the electronic services developed, identify
priority areas for the development of electronic services and to set
the requirements for electronic services development projects, is
developed in order to properly prepare for the investments planned for
the 2014–2020 programming period.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
Increased availability of high-speed broadband internet access: direct
investments and support will be focused on achieving that all
households in the country have 30Mbps and faster broadband internet
connection by 2023.
Optimal management of public information infrastructure and resources:
there are plans to introduce solutions to ensure efficient use of the
available public ICT base, already developed IT tools and accumulated
information resources. It is expected that by 2023, 50% of the public
and municipal authorities and institutions will be using the services
of the platform securing interoperability of public information
resources for developing and providing their own electronic services.
Effective protection of public information infrastructure and
resources: in 2023, 98% of the information infrastructure should be
identified as critical infrastructure and this entire infrastructure,
including all public information resources, should meet the necessary
safety requirements.
Efficient re-use of public sector information for the needs of
business and society: the Digital Agenda for Europe highlights the
opening up of public data for re-use as one of the major activities
for the development of the digital single market; Lithuania will put
efforts to ensure that at least 85% of the enterprises uses public
information for their commercial activities by 2023.
Increased permanent use of the internet: the aim is to ensure that
public internet access points are used not only as free internet
access points for people, but also as places where IRT projects and
initiatives promoting such using are implemented and where people can
acquire skills for smart use of the internet in order to achieve
objective of 87% of the population regularly using the internet by
2023.
Technologically advanced and consumer-oriented electronic public and
administrative services: by 2023, all basic public and administrative
services for residents and businesses will be provided via the
internet, and consumers will be able to use all EU-level electronic
services. It is also estimated that 63% of the Lithuanian population
will be using electronic public and administrative services. The
target is to achieve that 40% of the population uses electronic health
services, 80% of the population has access to their medical records
and 20% of the population uses electronic heritage services by 2023.
At least 15% of the population is expected to get involved in
electronic democracy processes by taking part in the legislative
process online by 2023.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
Taking into account priority 6 of the EU rural development policy83,
this priority area will be further developed and improved in rural
areas. EAFRD funding is primarily planned for the expansion the new
generation broadband connection (30Mbps and faster) infrastructure and
its accessibility to improve the quality of life among the rural
population, social inclusion, modern administration and productivity
of SMEs in remote rural areas, and the economic potential in rural
areas. The aim is to ensure a better internet access and encourage
internet usage in under-populated rural areas where it is rarely used.
In the 2014–2020 programming period it is planned to use EAFRD
financing to connect about 400 agricultural objects (points), i. e.
agricultural institutions and organisations, production and processing
enterprises, rural communities, major farms, to the broadband
infrastructure and to construct 400 km of fibre-based infrastructure.
Under thematic objective 2, the EAFRD support will be provides on a
national level for investments into infrastructure based on fixed,
mobile or other technologies. In addition to that, as part of LEADER
'bottom-up’ initiatives EAFRD support can be provided for increasing
of computer literacy of rural population, including farmers.
EAFRD funds will contribute to the achievement of the national goal of
increasing the internet penetration in rural areas (i.e. increasing
the number of households with digital internet subscription) up to 98%
(it was 49% in 2013).
1.3.3. Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs, the agricultural sector (for
the EAFRD) and fisheries and aquaculture sector (for the EMFF)
In order to ensure the accessibility of SMEs to funding resources, in
the 2014–2020 programming period Lithuania will develop and implement
various business funding models with special attention to new
businesses and enterprises with a high potential for growth.
Activities to be supported and promoted include setting-up new
enterprises and entrepreneurship initiatives; ensuring the provision
and accessibility of high-quality public services meeting the needs of
entrepreneurs by implementing new models and schemes of public
services for business start-up and development; applying funding
models in line with the needs of business; modernising incubators
infrastructure to facilitate the promotion of entrepreneurship and
setting-up of new SMEs.
To enhance the international dimension of SMEs, support will be
provided to the international networking of enterprises or groups of
enterprises (i.e. joining clusters or associations), international
expansion strategies, the participation in international fairs and
other events where enterprises will be able to present their products.
Support will also be provided to the certification of products and
services of enterprises planning to export their products; funding
models will be offered to facilitate international payments.
The EUBSBR, which also aims at promoting entrepreneurship and growth
of SMEs in the region, serves as a platform for strengthening the
internationalisation of enterprises and boosting their
competitiveness.
Economic growth will be stimulated through support to SMEs
productivity-enhancing initiatives (the implementation of modern
technology, e-commerce solutions and innovation (including
non-technological) solutions), which will contribute to the
competitiveness of SMEs and job creation (which will have a positive
impact on businesses established in less developed regions of the
country).
To maintain and enhance the competitiveness of enterprises and to
promote green technologies, Lithuania will increase investments into
the sustainable use of resources during the 2014–2020 programming
period. Support is planned to the introduction of eco-innovation
(environmental technologies) and resource-efficient technologies in
enterprises, as well as industrial symbiosis and the implementation of
enabling technologies in traditional industrial production processes.
This will strengthen the capacity of SMEs to engage in growth and
innovation processes.
Investments into promotion of entrepreneurship, business
internationalisation, productivity and ecological innovation in
companies will also contribute to the implementation of integrated
marine policy and Blue Growth initiative. Better access to financing
for business start-up and development and to business services will
facilitate creation of new jobs and more rapid growth of the blue
economy.
These investments will stimulate the growth of productivity and enable
enterprises to use the saved time, financial and other resources for
the development of new products and services with a higher added-value
or for the improvement of the existing ones. Investments based on this
thematic objective will be in line with the smart specialisation
priorities.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
Increased number of SMEs and ensured availability and variety of
financial resources. The indicator of the level of entrepreneurship
will be raised to 48 companies per 1,000 people by 2023. This target
will be achieved by promoting business creation and development,
providing assistance, increasing the accessibility of services for
start-ups, shaping a positive public opinion on business and
entrepreneurship, creating infrastructure for business incubation,
etc. Wider use of financial instruments will ensure the availability
of funding for start-ups and expansions.
Companies will be given better opportunities to enter international
markets and discover new niche markets. Enterprises will be encouraged
to merge and form clusters, implement synergy-based activities
directed towards the search for new export markets, manufacturing and
supply of goods and services. The ratio of SME export and GDP will
accordingly improve from 77.9% in 2011 to 100% in 2023.
Lithuanian business entrepreneurship indicators will be improved.
Higher productivity indicators will be achieved by promoting
businesses (including those in the target territories) to introduce
modern technologies that ensure capacities for the production of new
products or the provision of services. New e-business solutions,
management methods and other organisational processes will contribute
to the optimisation of production and service provision and the
creation of new innovative jobs.
The number of Lithuanian enterprises investing in eco-innovation and
other resource-efficient technologies is expected to grow. Companies
will be encouraged to implement process (e.g. eco-friendly design),
product, organisational (e.g. management system development) and other
(e.g. waste-free or re-use technologies) eco-innovation and promote
investments in the sustainable use of resources. Eco-industry will
grow, there will be increasing numbers of traditional industrial
companies using green technologies, technologies for industrial
innovation and enabling technologies for economic growth, which in
turn will increase the supply of eco-friendly products and services in
the market and create more green jobs. Consequently, the sustainable
growth of Lithuania’s economy and the long-term competitiveness of
enterprises will be ensured.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
Taking into account priorities 2 and 3 of the EU rural development
policy84, in the 2014–2020 programming period EAFRD resources will be
earmarked for the strengthening of competitiveness in agricultural and
food sectors (especially the expansion of animal production, fruits
and vegetables sectors) by channelling the investments and by
providing investment support and/or using the financial instruments to
support the modernisation of production and/or processing of
agricultural products, introduction of innovations and new
technologies, boosting of labour productivity and efficiency of
resources.
To promote the competitiveness of producers of primary agricultural
production, they will be encouraged to better integrate into the
agricultural and food chain; the production of exceptional quality
products will be supported.
The local market for agricultural and food products will be expanded
through the stimulation of direct sales and the integration of
producers (especially the small ones) into the food supply chain.
Participation in food quality schemes recognised at the national and
EU level, establishment of producer groups and organisations in the
agricultural sector will be supported with an aim to encourage
Lithuanian farmers to produce agricultural and food products with a
higher value-added and to provide consumers with a variety of
high-quality food.
The restructuring of semi-subsistence farms will be facilitated and
the performance potential of the agricultural sector increased through
the promotion of the development of new products, technologies and
organisational systems at all levels of the supply chain.
Competitive conditions for agricultural activities will be built on
rational land use, upgraded reclamation systems, land consolidation,
construction and improvement of local farm roads. In order to cut down
losses suffered by the farmers, the farmers will be encouraged to
insure plants and animals against consequences of dangerous
meteorological events, outbreaks of diseases.
In order to improve the forestry infrastructure, investments related
to construction and improvement of forest tracks, installation or
renovation of forest drainage systems will be supported.
Stronger competitiveness of Lithuanian agriculture should result in an
annual rise in the export value of agricultural and food products. The
aim is to increase the export value of agricultural and food products
by a quarter by 2020 compared to 2012 (in 2012, it amounted to LTL
14.6 billion).
Improved structure of agricultural holdings, upgraded machinery and
implemented new technologies will ensure the production of higher
value-added, qualitative products and higher productivity. The
value-added per full-time equivalent should reach EUR 7,200, up from
EUR 3,800 EUR in 2009. The share of farms engaged in diversification
activities should rise from 1 to 4%.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EMFF investments:
The implementation of this thematic objective using EMFF investments
will create more favourable conditions for economic activities through
the use of new ideas. The promotion of SME involvement in economic
growth and innovation processes will also create better conditions for
the establishment of new enterprises and growth of SME capacities.
Taking into account the specifics of individual fisheries subsectors
(fishing, aquaculture and processing), the EMFF resources will be used
to achieve tangible results in each specific field.
Competitive fishing will be encouraged (the improvement of products,
processes, management, processing and trade will be supported
innovation and advisory services, support will also be provided to the
diversification of activities, investments in vessels to improve
working conditions as regards to health, safety and hygiene, and the
quality of fishery products). Adding value to fishery products,
gradual transition to maximum allowable catch and phasing out of
discards will be supported as well as measures to reduce the impact of
fishing on the marine environment (by implementing environmental
measures and innovation related to the protection of marine bio
resources; by adapting the adequate fishing gear, by improving the
infrastructure of fishing ports and landing locations, by implementing
measures intended to protect and enrich water fauna and flora) and
climate change mitigation and energy efficiency measures (by means of
adequate investments into vessels and equipment, by modernising the
infrastructure of fishing ports and landing locations (including
fishing in inland waters).
There are plans to promote sustainable aquaculture, including
biodiversity (by means of investment into the reduction of adverse
environmental impacts or increasing positive impacts through the
introduction of environment-friendly production methods and protective
aquaculture); promote competitive aquaculture (by developing and
implementing technological innovation, using advisory services,
disseminating good practices and information, investing in profitable
aquaculture activities, adding value and diversifying activities
through the implementation of industrial innovation aimed at more
economically efficient and environment-friendly aquaculture
activities, including support to the development of closed systems of
aquaculture). Primary processing of fishery and aquaculture products
will be supported in both fishing and aquaculture subsectors with an
aim to achieve better coordination of the sector; marketing measures,
production and marketing plans implemented by producer organisations
will be supported.
To stimulate progress in processing, funding will be allocated to the
processing of fishery and aquaculture products, the improvement of
products, processes or management and organisational systems. Climate
change mitigation and adaptation measures and energy efficiency
measures will also be encouraged in the processing of fishery and
aquaculture products, which contribute to energy savings, the
minimisation of environmental impacts and the processing of organic
aquaculture products.
These investments are expected to add value to products of fishing
enterprises operating in the Baltic Sea, near shores of the Baltic Sea
and inland waters, raise the profitability of fishing enterprises
operating in the Baltic Sea, near shores of the Baltic Sea and inland
waters, and contribute to reducing numbers of accidents at work in the
marine and internal fishing sector.
As to the competitiveness of aquaculture in the Lithuanian fisheries
sector, in 2014–2020 it is expected to see an increase in aquaculture
production and its value (including processing), as well as in new
jobs in the sector.
It is also expected to see an increase in the value of fishery and
aquaculture processed products and new jobs in supported enterprises
operating fisheries and aquaculture sectors. This should raise the
number of new or materially improved products in the market, and
promote new or improved processes, management and organisational
systems. The value-added of production in the sector is likely to
increase as well.
1.3.4. Supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all
sectors
Although Lithuania currently meets requirements of the Kyoto Protocol,
it is committed to ensure that GHG emissions in Lithuania will
increase no more than by 15% by 2020, i.e. during this decade
(2011–2020) the growth rate of emissions must be halved compared to
the last decade. This target may be successfully achieved through
tasks of environmental and energy policies formulated in Europe’s
growth strategy Europe 2020: reducing GHG emissions by at least 20%
compared to 1990 levels, increasing the share of RES in the final
energy consumption to 20%, and increasing energy efficiency by 20%.
The National Energy Independence Strategy sets an ambitious objective
as to the development of RES, namely to increase the share of RES in
the final energy consumption to 23%.
Looking sector wise, the share of district heating generated from RES
(biofuel) must be increased at lease up to 60%, the share of
electricity generated from RES up to 20%, as compared to the total
power consumption. At least 10% of the fuel used in the transport
sector must be generated from RES.
In 2013, the Lithuanian energy sector increased the share of biofuel
to 32%. Rapid installation of biofuel combustion capacities allows for
realistic expectations that in 2014 this indicator will rise to 35%.
Supporting these activities will contribute to the implementation of
the national (National Energy Independence Strategy, National RES
Action Plan) and EU strategic documents (EU Energy Roadmap 2050 and
Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan) in Lithuania. Industrial
companies need to increase their use of RES due to the increasing
price of industrial production, which is mostly determined by the high
price of energy consumed for production.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
The renovation (modernisation) of multi-apartment buildings and public
buildings, i.e. modernisation of building envelopes as well as
internal heating and power installation systems, can result in the
economic potential for energy efficiency from 30 to 50%. Most of the
measures intended for improving energy efficiency, therefore, will be
focused on the funding of projects aimed to improve energy efficiency
in old multi-apartment buildings, residential buildings and public
buildings.
Further success in the renovation of multi-apartment buildings
requires a wider use of management and social innovation in this area
– district-wide renovation, renovation under the Energy Service
Company (ESCO) model, more inventive promotion and management of
complex renovation.
Investments are planned for the installation of electricity production
capacity using RES, the creation and introduction of new technologies
for more efficient use of RES: the installation of combined heat and
power, the implementation of equipment and technology (technological
solutions) enabling large industrial enterprises to increase energy
efficiency, and energy audits.
In order to increase energy efficiency of transport sector and to
achieve the objective set in the National RES Development Strategy: to
ensure that by 2020, 10% of the fuel consumed in the transport sector
were generated from RES, and to use more alternative and less
polluting fuel thereby reducing environmental pollution, investments
will be channelled into the development of coordinated, integral and
sustainable public transport system in the major cities. SUMP will be
prepared and sustainable mobility measures envisaged in them will be
implemented in the municipalities. In addition to that, investments
will be made into measures promoting sustainable mobility (i.e.
lifting dependence on cars): pedestrian and bicycle transport
infrastructure, integrated multimodal public transport, combined
transport travel systems P+R (Park&Ride) and B+R (Bike&Ride). The
envisaged measures will also include promotion of use of electro
mobiles, plug-in hybrid and other alternative fuel driven transport
means for public purposes.
The following results are expected to be achieved by investments from
the Cohesion Fund:
To ensure the sustainable development of the energy sector and the
reduction of energy poverty, support will be aimed at the expansion of
RES in the production of heat and cogeneration, replacing energy
production facilities that use fossil fuels with the effective
biofuel-powered ones. The share of RES in the district heating fuel
balance must account for at least 60% (it is around 26% at the
moment). In the electricity sector this share must be 20% (it is 10.9%
at the moment). To this end, it is crucial to ensure the development
of a balanced biofuel collection and processing infrastructure. The
efficient use of local biofuel will also be promoted by support to the
replacement of outdated and inefficient biofuel-powered boilers in
individual houses.
Moreover, power distribution networks will be upgraded with advanced
network technologies. Grid substations and lines will be renovated,
transformers replaced with more efficient ones. Also, it is planned to
renew district heating routes, thereby cutting losses and heat prices
for consumers.
Investments will be allocated to the modernisation of lighting systems
in urban public spaces/streets to limit power consumption.
Possibilities will be considered for the development of smart networks
and other innovative technologies, looking for ways to save costs both
in the private and the public sector. These measures will facilitate
the alleviation of poverty and have a positive effect on environmental
protection and public welfare.
Public transport means that make smaller adverse environmental impact
will be purchased. That will help to reduce the pollution generated by
the public transport means and the amount of CO2 emitted by the
transport sector, and to improve the attractiveness of the public
transport.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
The available natural emission abatement methods will be expanded and
new ones introduced under priority 5 of the EU rural development
policy85. Afforestation, sustainable management of soil, forests and
grasslands will hep cut nitrogen oxide, ammonia and methane emissions
in the agricultural sector by improving cattle keeping practices,
manure storage conditions, ensuring the implementation of rotation,
the promotion of the use of residual biomass for electricity
production, the production and use of biogas.
By 2020, it is planned to produce 20 million m3 of biogas in the
agricultural sector. EAFRD support for production of bio energy will
be granted in line with the sustainability criteria set forth in the
EU legislation (directives on RES and on improvement of fuel quality).
The measures foreseen for 2014–2020 address consumption of timber
cutting waste (their amount constitute about 1 million m3) for the
production of biofuel. The implementation of the support measures
should lead to the increase of annual scope of consumption of timber
cutting waste and small scale illiquid timber for the production of
biofuel up to 500,000 m3 by 2020. The support of investments into
timber cutting must be based on forest management project which would
ensure consistency of the scope of timber preparation with sustainable
forestry development principles, facilitating efficient functioning of
the country’s forestry sector.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EMFF investments
EMFF investments will also promote the use of RES and energy
efficiency in fisheries enterprises, enabling them to choose
technological solutions boosting their competitiveness, also encourage
enterprises to use energy resources in a sustainable manner, implement
energy efficiency promotion programmes in fisheries enterprises and
promote investments targeted at reducing emissions of pollutants or
GHG and increasing energy efficiency in fishing vessels. For the sake
of fuel efficiency, efforts are also made to employ the systems for
redistribution of fishing capacities. It is expected that the ratio
between the fuel consumption and the landed catches (l/kg) in the
supported fishing companies will improve.
1.3.5. Promoting climate change adaptation and risk prevention and
management
The strategic objective of the Lithuanian Policy for Adaptation to
Environmental Changes Resulting from Climate Change is to reduce the
vulnerability of natural ecosystems and national economic sectors
through measures that will maintain and increase their resilience to
climate change as well as favourable conditions of life and economic
activities. Achieving this objective requires, first of all,
monitoring, studying and assessing impacts of climate within the
Lithuanian territory and in separate regions. It also crucial to
intensify the coordination and dissemination of information on
adaptation to climate change by carrying out qualified and systematic
storage and management of GIS-based information on climate change, and
the communication of such information to different interest groups
(scientists, public authorities, society). Lithuania must pay more
attention and assets to the optimisation of technical capacities of
environmental monitoring, assessment and control, the expansion of
climate change-related knowledge, the strengthening of the preparation
of rescue services for climate change-induced disaster management, the
systematic implementation of coastal management measures, and the
development of an efficient flood risk assessment and management
system.
Mitigating consequences of disasters will include gradual increasing
of resilience of the ecosystems and urbanised areas to the threats
provoked by climate, and strengthening of capacities to manage
disasters caused by climate change related natural calamities. In
terms of climate change, the most vulnerable area is the coast of the
Baltic Sea (due to gradual raising of the sea level) and the Lower
Nemunas River area, where the risk of floods is relatively bigger than
in other parts of the country. To increase resilience to climate
change, the sand dunes of he Baltic Sea will be further reinforced and
the beaches will be nourished in those sections where the erosion is
the largest. The plans also include gradual restoration of previously
drained wetlands which in the long term would serve as a natural
buffer mitigating adverse effects of the floods to people, nature and
agriculture. Investing into the development of disaster management
systems, the strengthening of capacities and resources required for
timely disaster management will help implement the Council’s
recommendation for Lithuania as to the minimisation of certain risks,
namely to develop monitoring, detection, early warning and alert
tools, enhance emergency management capacities, improve crisis
communication and invest into appropriate response resources.
Investments into the reinforcement of the environmental monitoring
assessment and control systems and into the sea shore protection
measures are closely related to the actions of the Integrated Marine
Policy, because these interventions will contribute to the
establishment of new knowledge about the sea status and systemizing of
the available knowledge, and will improve the conditions for living
and investing in the coastal region.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
Improving the readiness of rescue services to respond to climate
change-induced disasters and liquidate their consequences, cutting
arrival time of rescue forces responding to possible floods at the
scene;
Increasing the share of individuals warned about climate
change-induced disasters. For this purpose, investments will be made
to improve the system for warning residents and economic entities
about dangers in flood areas through sound devices;
The following results are expected to be achieved by Cohesion Fund
investments:
Ensuring qualified and continuous collection, storage, management of
information on the state of environment and climate change, also its
communication to different interest groups;
Developing a strong basis of knowledge on impacts and consequences of
climate change;
Developing and renovating surface (rain) wastewater treatment
facilities;
Enhancing environmental resilience in those parts of Lithuanian
territories that are the most sensitive to climate change, reducing
significant negative impacts of threats caused by climate change to
the environment, human health and life, cultural heritage, economic
activities and infrastructure;
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
Considering priority 4 of the EU rural development policy, the aim is
to ensure adaptation to climate change, promote compliance with
environmental requirements and resource efficiency, support a shift to
a low carbon economy in all sectors.
The greenhouse effect will be minimised by afforestation measures,
increasing forest areas and cutting CO2 emissions. EAFRD support for
afforestation will contribute to the national objective of at least
35% of the country’s forest cover.
Keeping and breeding endangered old breeds of livestock and poultry
will be promoted to halt the loss of biodiversity and to create
favourable surviving and breeding conditions for rare local breeds of
livestock and poultry.
Even though EAFRD resources will be used for developing the livestock
sector, this activity will focus on modern, cost-effective, clean and
environment-friendly livestock technologies that allow for resource
efficiency, limitation of possible pollution, climate change
mitigation and adaptation. In addition to that, environmental
requirements will also be followed.
Land consolidation, agricultural water management measures which will
allow for a more rational farming and soil improvement will also add
to mitigation of climate change. To achieve the climate change
adaptation goals and objectives, a few farming management measures are
envisaged which will contribute to the improvement of soil quality
(for instance, planting of arable land with winter cultures,
undersowing of multi-annual grass, promotion of cultivation of
leguminous plants, etc.). Where appropriate, the implementation of the
above activities will include cooperation with other countries thereby
contributing to the EUSBSR objective ‘Increase prosperity’,
sub-objective ‘Climate change adaptation’.
1.3.6. Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency
By 2016, the development of the municipal waste management system is
aimed achieving that at least 45% of generated waste was recycled,
reused or used otherwise (for heat production), and at least 65% – by
2020. By 2020 it is aimed to reuse and recycle 50% of paper, plastic,
metal and from municipal waste (based on the 2nd calculation method).
The strategic goal is to gradually reduce the disposal of municipal
waste in landfills by 2030, by ceasing disposal of biodegradable waste
and waste which is unsuitable for recycling but contains energy value.
In order to achieve these goals, economic and regulatory measures will
be approved, and this will allow for proper implementation of the
sequence of waste management priorities and guaranteed access to waste
collection service to all residents.
The above-listed goals will be pursued by building on accomplishments
of previous periods in creating and developing the municipal waste
management system. The plan is to launch 9 mechanical biological and 1
mechanical waste treatment facility in 2015–2016 in various regions of
the country. To ensure the rational (by avoiding disposing of in
landfills) use of waste remaining after mechanical biological
treatment process, which is unsuitable for recycling but contains
energy value, the investments for development of municipal waste
incineration capacities are planned. This will allow for significant
reduction in amounts of landfilled waste. Such investments will be
planned so as not to undermine further investments in infrastructure
to attain the objectives to separately collect paper, metal, glass,
plastic and, where possible, bio-waste and to increase recycling. In
particular, the feasibility to develop additional capacities for
municipal waste incineration with energy recovery first of all will
need to be considered in the light of the EU Circular Economy Package
adopted by the EC and, in particular, depending on the outcome of the
legislative process for the amendment of Directives 2008/98/EC,
1999/31/EC, 94/62/EC. In order to continue improving possibilities for
residents to sort waste at source, additional investments into
municipal waste collection infrastructure and equipment (collection
containers (boxes), recyclables and waste collection lots) densifying
their network, also, equipment for the preparation for recycling or
other use (sorting lines, presses, mechanical treatment facilities)
are planned. This will allow for preparing of at least 50% (evaluating
in terms of waste weight) of paper and cardboard, metal, plastic and
glass waste contained in the municipal waste stream for reuse and
recycling by 2020.
A deposit-refund system for disposable packages installed by the
private sector (producers and importers), took effect in February
2016, and also will contribute to achieving the above mentioned goal.
Also, granting the support to companies intending to recycle waste,
apply the rational resource use and waste prevention methods and
waste-free production is envisaged in the third thematic objective.
As the economy is recovering after the crisis, amounts of construction
waste and ashes may grow considerably. Flexible application of legal
and economic regulatory measures will help ensure that by 2020 a
minimum of 70% of non-toxic construction and demolition waste is
prepared for recycling, reuse or other use.
With the view to proper implementation of the environmental acquis
requirements, developing of administrative and methodological
framework of the waste management system, and improving of waste
accounting, support will be provided for: acquisition of laboratory
equipment for identification of waste contents; modernisation of waste
accounting information system; studies and workshops in relation to
identification of types of waste and methods of waste management;
liquidation of the storage of radioactive waste where the waste
generated by medical institutions, industry, research centres is kept;
implementation of measures promoting waste prevention; publicity
measures.
While contributing to priority objective 1 of the General Union
Environment Action Programme to 2020 – to protect, conserve and
enhance the EU’s natural capital – will significantly reduce negative
effects on resources of fresh, transitional and coastal waters, while
maintaining good or improved ecological and chemical status of surface
waters as defined by the Water Framework Directive as well as
significantly reduce negative effects on marine waters, whilst
achieving or maintaining good environmental status as required by the
Marine Strategy Framework Directive. To avoid threats to the
environmental and human health and to improve the quality of the soil,
in particular in the abandoned former industrial or military
territories, extensive geochemical investigations have to be conduced,
the territories have to be refurbished and opened for new activities.
Damaged territories of exhausted quarries and peat extraction
facilities will be also re-cultivated.
Contributing to the EUSBSR objective “Save the Sea”, the aim is to
reduce marine pollution from coasts up to the acceptable level,
mitigate negative effects of toxic substances in the sea, ensure clean
shipping and create a marine pollution monitoring system. Where
necessary, higher effectiveness of measures will also be achieved
through cooperation with other countries in the region, especially
emphasising HELCOM context. These activities will focus on the
strategic objective set in the Baltic Sea Environment Protection
Strategy, namely to achieve and/or maintain good environmental status
of the Baltic Sea by 2020. The activities aimed at the improvement of
the monitoring and the status of the Baltic Sea and of other water
bodies and to reinforce the capacities of the pollution control and
liquidation system are in line with the priorities of the Integrated
Maritime Policy because the implementation of the activities will
allow to build up the available knowledge about the status of the Sea
and to use this knowledge in the decision making process as well as
will help to better protect the biodiversity and the Baltic Sea
environment.
Lithuania’s aim as to the protection of air quality is to ensure that
emissions do not exceed the volumes set out in international and EU
law, and the concentration of air pollutants in the ambient air does
not exceed environmental contamination levels that are not hazardous
for human health and environment. Seasonal air pollution in cities
will be addressed by measures aimed to reduce air pollution by
particulate matter.
Effective environmental air pollution and quality management must be
in place to meet the increasing stringency of international protocols
of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution and
requirements of other conventions regulating emissions to the ambient
air as well as the emission reduction targets set in the EU Thematic
Strategy on Air Pollution for 2020. EU funding will be allocated to
the improvement of air quality control in cities, thereby enabling
municipalities to monitor air quality, plan and apply effective
measures to ensure that air quality meets requirements as prescribed
by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Protection of Air.
Investments will be earmarked for the water management sector
(including mud treatment), paying special attention to rural areas
where people do not have access to high-quality services of drinking
water supply and wastewater treatment. Accordingly, an emphasis will
be placed on the renovation of water supply and wastewater systems,
which, on the one hand, will cut corporate exploitation costs, and on
the other hand, minimise negative environmental impacts.
In the new programming period, special measures are planned for
strengthening functions of the natural framework, managing landscape
habitats of various levels, restoring damaged ecosystems and services
they provide, including the reinforcement of functions of migration
corridors.
To implement target 1 ‘Fully implement the Birds and Habitats
Directives’, target 2 ‘Maintain and restore ecosystems and their
services’ and target 5 ‘Combat invasive alien species’ of the EU
Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, support will be provided to measures
related to protection and restoration of natural habitants and
protected species, regulation of the population of invasive alien
species, maintenance and restoration of green infrastructure (natural
framework), reduction of fragmentation of ecosystems.
Targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 will be achieved by
joint efforts and complementary measures of the LIFE instrument, the
ERDF, the Cohesion Fund and the EAFRD. By 2020, the implementation of
target 1 will show an improved conservation status of all EU natural
habitants and at least 50% more EU species. Implementation of target 2
will ensure that by 2020 ecosystems and their services are maintained
and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at
least 15% of the degraded ecosystems. Priorities for the
implementation of these two interrelated targets are provided for by
the Prioritised Action Framework and the National Environmental
Strategy, which make a provision for further reinforcement of Natura
2000 protection, drafting of nature management plans for Natura 2000
ensuring good conservation status of species and habitats as well as
implementation of the nature management measures provided. These
documents will serve as a basis for ensuring, by 2020, good
conservation status for at least 40% types of natural habitats of EU
importance found in Lithuania and 60% of species of EU importance.
Local species will be enabled to survive, reproduce and migrate, and
important services of ecosystems will be reinforced by special
measures. These measures will preserve and, where necessary, restore
lost elements of the green infrastructure, natural links among Natura
2000 territories, high nature value farming territories and other
territories. Additional forest sanitary protection measures will help
minimise the risk of prevalence of forest diseases and pests.
A biosafety monitoring and control system will be developed to assess
risks posed to biosafety and threats to ecosystems, as well as to
identify management and preventive measures. Necessary legal,
administrative, planning, information, raising awareness and other
preconditions will be created to achieve the objectives of protected
territories; specific conservation and management measures will be
implemented; damaged complexes and objects will be restored and
protected, objects of interest will be maintained with regularity. To
secure the protection of natural and cultural heritage values and to
preserve the landscape diversity, territorial and strategic planning
documentation will be prepared in line with the sustainable
development principles establishing mutually compatible objectives
dealing with conservation of natural and cultural values and economic
development. Fire safety systems will be improved and fire prevention
in forest increased.
Furthermore, measures aimed at raising public awareness about
environmental problems as well as promoting environmental activity
among the population, i.e. projects aimed at environmental awareness
to encourage a greater interest by the public in environmental and
natural protection, will be implemented. While promoting the interest
in nature, it is important to ensure that visits to the natural
setting would cause as little damage to the nature as possible. It is
not enough to build separate objects in national parks (educational
walking and cycling trails, water routes, watchtowers and viewpoints).
It is equally important to join them in a system, i.e. into
appropriate tourism routes that connect sites of interest and
information points in one or several residential areas, in order to
ensure not only the development of cultural and natural objects,
awareness and increasing numbers of visitors, but also regional
collaboration. The investments into cultural and sustainable tourism
infrastructure objects for the development of endogenous potential
will be based on the provisions of Article 3 of the ERDF Regulation,
with particular consideration of Article 3(1)e provisions. In all
cases efforts will be made to ensure that all the restored and
actualised cultural heritage objects are filled with economic, social,
educational and/or cultural activities. The aim is to make these
objects poles of attraction for foreign and domestic tourists and for
local people strengthening entrepreneurship skills and community of
the latter. This will be a contribution to integrated regional growth
through promotion of social and economic activities. The impact of
these investments will be assessed by measuring the increase in the
flows of visitors in the restored objects. While selecting cultural
heritage objects much efforts will be directed towards
comprehensiveness and complementarity of investments by balancing
cultural heritage actualisation with the accessibility of social and
economic services, increasing of competitiveness of target
territories, education of the society, optimisation of urban
infrastructure, ensuring of multifunctionality. Inclusion of certain
local heritage objects into tourism routes will be a particularly
important element of the newly planned measures and follow-up of the
2007–2013 tourism marketing and signing measures.
The following results are expected to be achieved by investments from
the ERDF:
The status of natural heritage values and landscape protection will be
improved; there will be wider opportunities created for the society to
get acquainted with these values, while increasing environmental
participation of the people and their awareness of environmental
problems.
The legacy of the cultural heritage and the number of local people and
tourists visiting it will be increased by creating an additional flow
of visitors.
The following results are expected to be achieved by investments from
the Cohesion Fund:
By 2023 the situation in the waste management sector will
significantly change so that amount of municipal waste disposed of in
landfills will account for 30% (in terms of waste by weight in
particular year). The National authorities will promote waste sorting
at source, separate collection of paper, metal, glass, plastic,
bio-waste, their reuse, recycling and recovery by the priority order.
Subsidies, are planned for regional waste management centres,
municipalities, state-owned enterprises (or their groups) and waste
management companies in order to facilitate the management of entire
system, planning and to ensure the implementation of EU action plan
for the Circular Economy. Raising awareness and information measures
are also planned.
Liquidation of the storage of radioactive waste generated by medical
institutions, industry and research centres.
Bodies of water that are in good condition will account for 72% by
2023, and the share of housings connected to a drinking water supply
and wastewater treatment system will increase up to 90% respectively.
The protection of plants, animal species, habitats and landscape
protected by national and EU law and international treaties will be
reinforced through regulation of populations of invasive plants and
animal species, mitigation of other direct threats to biodiversity and
ensuring the best possible conditions for the preservation of
biodiversity in the country.
Air pollution with solid particulate matter in the cities will be
reduced by improving street cleaning technologies in the major cities
of Lithuania; management of urban air pollution and quality control
will be improved.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
With regard to priority 4 of the EU rural development policy86, in the
2014–2020 programming period EAFRD funds will be used for:
Restoring and preserving ecosystems dependent on agriculture and
forestry, i.e. special measures will promote efficient use of forest
resources, ensure the protection of ecosystems, the restoration of
damaged forests, afforestation, the fostering of young stands and
other initiatives aimed at the preservation of forests and the
efficient development of forestry;
Supporting the restoration and protection of biodiversity and
landscape, including Natura 2000 areas, promoting the introduction of
HNV and environment-friendly farming systems. Agro-environmental,
landscape stewardship and ecological farming measures will contribute
to the improvement of soil quality;
Targeting the main EAFRD actions at fostering carbon sequestration and
reducing emissions in agriculture and forestry. This target area will
be highly dependent on certain farming practices, including the use of
multi-component plants, the application of no-till technology, the
formation and maintenance of pastures, allowing agricultural soil to
absorb and accumulate carbon, which may facilitate climate change
mitigation. Positive effects of forests in Natura 2000 areas on
organic carbon stocks in soil are also viewed as the promotion of
sequestration. Theory-based EAFRD support will focus on efforts to
apply environment-friendly farming and forestry practices, especially
in areas which are threatened by too intensive farming or land
abandoning, i.e. areas which have natural or other specific obstacles;
With a view to achieving good status of bodies of water as established
by Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, Directive 2009/128/EC
establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the
sustainable use of pesticides, and Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the
protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from
agricultural sources, in 2014–2020 programming period the RDP
2007–2013 measures aiming at improvement of water quality, sustainable
use of plant protection products and fertilisers, protection and
improvement of soil quality will be continued.
Promoting organic and environment-friendly farming and its
development. Organic farming will promote more efficient use and
management of resources, help maintain or improve the quality of soil,
reduce water pollution, preserve authentic agrarian landscape, halt
biodiversity loss and mitigate climate change. Organic and
environment-friendly farming will create an attractive product, whilst
creating value-added. Between 2012 and 2020, the value of certified
products with exceptional quality will increase by 80% and the value
of certified organic products by 10%.
Regions and Member States will cooperate for the implementation of the
sub-objective ‘Climate Change Adaptation’ of the EUSBSR objective
‘Increase Prosperity’.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EMFF investments:
Promotion of biodiversity and functions of ecosystems, including
Natura 2000, by enhancing and protecting natural resources of the
fishery regions, including combating climate change, introducing of
aquaculture production methods compatible with specific environmental
needs and special management requirements concerning identification of
Natura 2000 territories, extensive aquaculture forms, including
protection and improvement of the environment and biodiversity, and
management of specific features of the landscape and traditional
aquacultural zones.
To achieve the targets set out in the reformed CFP regarding EU
sustainable fisheries, to minimise the impacts of fishing on the
marine environment and to stop the ongoing depletion of certain fish
stocks as well as understanding the need for immediate protection
measures to restore fish stocks, the EMFF will support measures
promoting a new approach to fishing management and setting a total
allowable catch and a gradual banning of discards in the Lithuanian
fisheries sector. These actions will help maintain or restore the
level of fish stocks leading to sustainable use of living biological
marine resources.
The EU approved programmes for restoration of fish resources will be
implemented; unwanted catches will be reduced and the conditions for
landing and utilisation of the unwanted catches in order to fully
eliminate discards will be improved.
It has been increasingly obvious that seas and coasts are very
sensitive to economic processes. There is also a better understanding
that land and fresh water are limited resources. In this context it is
crucial to find ways how to use 71% of the planet’s surface,
consisting of oceans, more sustainable and to satisfy human needs such
as food and energy. In 2012, the European Commission published a
communication ‘Blue Growth. Opportunities for marine and maritime
sustainable growth’ with the purpose to encourage Member States to use
employment and growth opportunities offered by European oceans, seas
and coasts. Blue economy can help ensure international competitiveness
of the EU and resource efficiency, create jobs and find new sources of
development, while protecting biodiversity and marine environment,
preserving functions that are typical for healthy and resilient marine
and coastal ecosystems. Sustainable blue economic growth and
employment in this field could be based on five value chains:
promotion and growth of blue energy, aquaculture, coastal and cruise
tourism, production of marine mineral resources and blue
biotechnologies.
Measures of the integrated marine policy are closely related to some
of the EUSBSR priority areas: safe shipping, protection from
emergencies at sea and on land; preservation of biodiversity and
natural conditions, including fishy areas (to minimise negative
impacts of fisheries on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea); sustainable
development of fisheries to develop and improve coordination and
cooperation between Member States and participants of the fisheries
sector for smart management of fisheries processes in the Baltic Sea
and to increase the overall impact of EMFF operational programmes of
Member States.
1.3.7. Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key
network infrastructures
The aim of the Lithuanian transport system is to develop a modern,
competitive and balanced multimodal transport system comparable to the
standards of the old EU Member States in terms of its parameters,
safety and quality of services, and generating large value added. A
particular focus will be placed on the integration of the transport
infrastructure into the TEN-T network and efficient transport (railway
and roads) connections with the core logistic nodes to facilitate
freight transportation by combining different modes of transport. A
modern transport infrastructure would provide new opportunities for
the development of the national market, creating of new jobs and
expanding of industrial and service areas.
The flagship initiative ‘A Resource Efficient Europe’ covered by the
sustainable growth priority of Europe 2020 emphasises the importance
of concerted implementation of projects dealing with the development
of the infrastructure that belongs to the core EU networks.
In the context of developing a modern transport system that is in line
with the EU principles, goals and criteria, the highest priority is
given to the improvement of the TEN-T network and expansion of its
connections with national and local transport networks.
Having in mind the main structural challenges faced by the country,
two priority directions for the development of Lithuanian transport
system have been identified, i.e. North-South and East-West corridors.
The goal set forth in the White Paper to shift thirty per cent of road
freight over 300 km to other modes such as rail or waterbone transport
by 2030 and more than 50% by 2050 will be pursued. Another goal set in
the White Paper, by 2050 connect all core network airports to the rail
network, preferably high-speed, will also be sought.
Installation of smart energy networks will enable more efficient
energy use and will facilitate RES integration into the market.
Successful implementation of energy infrastructure projects will allow
Lithuania to become an integral part of the EU Baltic Sea Region and
to enter other geopolitical area based on competition of energy market
participants, equality and transparency. Safeguarding of the most
important interest of energy consumers – to chose energy resources at
the most favourable price – will be facilitated.
It is planned that the development of transport and energy
infrastructure connections with other countries by increasing
efficiency of the transport system will include, where appropriate,
cooperation with other countries of the region thereby contributing to
the EUSBSR objective ‘Connect the Region’.
The following results are expected to be achieved by investments from
the Cohesion Fund:
In order to further improve freight and passenger mobility via
railways, international railway corridors (TEN-T) and connections with
them will be further developed by investing into railway transport
corridor I (‘Rail Baltica’) and constructing second tracks in railway
transport corridor IX, electrifying railway lines and installing ERTMS
systems. The aim of these measures will be to achieve significant
improvement of train speed and quality of services.
The construction of the European gauge high speed rail in the
Northern-Southern railway section (Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw)
connecting the Baltic countries with Poland will enable to meet the
increasing trade and services demands of the EU countries in this
region. The key priority pursued by complementing the investments
sought from ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ will be the creation of the
necessary conditions for interoperability with the EU railway network
through the ‘Rail Baltica’ railway project (this project is identified
in the EUSBSR as a flagship project).
As part of liquidation of barriers in the main parts of the network
infrastructure in line with the relevant technical interoperability
specifications, the railway section running from Polish border to
Kaunas will have railway signalling, communication, power supply and
traffic management systems installed. Investments will also be made
into the development of railway stations with large passenger flows to
improve their accessibility to other transport modes. By connecting
the European railway network into a single 1435 mm gauge system, the
current links with the 1520 mm gauge railway system will be maintained
and reinforced, i.e. the maximum possible efficiency of freight
transition from one system to another will be ensured.
To increase safety of the railway traffic, there will be precautionary
measures installed in the railway level crossings. These measures will
help to save at least three lives per year. Another aim will be to
mitigate adverse impact of the railway transport system on the
environment and the negative impact of noise generated by the
transport system by implementing different measures reinforcing
environmental protection. The expansion of the railway transport will
contribute to increasing the efficiency of energy consumption by
shifting part of freight and passenger transportation from
energetically less efficient roads transport.
To improve passenger and freight mobility via roads transport,
international corridors (TEN-T) North-South (‘Via Baltica’) and
East-West as well as connections with them will be upgraded. The road
sections that do not meet the requirements applicable to the TEN-T
roads will be reconstructed, safe, convenient conditions for transit
and long-distance traffic will be ensured in line with traffic
intensiveness, importance of the road and international standards.
Investments will also be made into construction of by-passes in order
to eliminate barriers and to increase the speed in TEN-T network,
while also reducing negative impact of transit flows to the cities.
Intelligent transport systems will also be installed.
To improve freight and passenger mobility and to ensure safety, the
plans include modernisation and development of border control posts
near the external EU borders in accordance with Schengen requirements,
EU customs legislation and international security requirements,
including through innovative solutions.
As part of modernisation of Klaipėda State Seaport infrastructure, its
interoperability with the railway and roads networks, which are
indispensible components of multimodal transport corridors and a part
of the TEN-T network, will be improved. The expansion of railways
leading to/from Klaipėda State Seaport and modernisation of the
existing railways will widen the Seaport’s capacity, increase the
speed of cargo delivery, mobility and, considering increasing freight
flow perspectives, will reduce potential accidents and environmental
pollution.
For the sake of improved efficiency of the interoperability between
different modes of transport, establishment of container terminals and
technologies in the outskirts to the Klaipėda State Seaport where
flows from all terminals would be consolidated, efficient
interoperability of all transport modes would be ensured and the
concept of shuttle trains implemented, will be promoted.
To ensure safe shipping, the direction of the alignment will be
changed as part of reconstruction of the breakwaters, and the approach
channel of the Klaipėda State Seaport will be deepened and widened.
The aim will be to ensure safety of large-scale vessels in the
approach area of the Port. When the LNG terminal will come into
exploitation and ships carrying LNG will start coming to Klaipėda
Seaport, it will be in particular important. It should be noted that
these investments will be subject to environmental impact assessment.
International air ports are an integral part of the TEN-T network,
ensuring high-speed passenger mobility between geographically remote
destinations that are difficult to access by land. As the number of
tourism, business, diplomatic and other types of journeys has
increased investments in the air transport will be focused on the
major air port of the TEN-T core network with the view to improving
the infrastructure and mitigating the negative environmental impact.
The main focus will be on environmental measures related to aircraft
pollution due to frequent flights and long taxiing, and other actions
aimed at improved environmental efficiency.
Investments into airports and seaports will be made only where the
aims can not be achieved by private funding. Investments will be based
on cost-benefit analysis and will be identified in the transport
strategy.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
The connections between the TEN-T network and regional centres will be
developed. In addition to that, in order to improve road traffic
safety and compliance with the environmental requirements, regional
and municipal roads infrastructure will be modernised, management of
traffic will be improved by installing intelligent transport systems.
Modernisation and development of regional and local roads will be
implemented in accordance with the integrated development programmes
of the target territories; the investments will form only a
proportionate share of the actions envisioned in the strategies,
without exclusively focusing on renovation of regional or local roads
network, and will be based on cost-benefit analysis (taking into
consideration traffic intensity). To improve the safety of the railway
traffic and the compliance with the environmental requirements,
railway infrastructure will be modernised by installing safety and
environmental protection measures. These investments will help to
reduce the number of railway accidents and adverse environmental
impact of the railway system.
In the framework of development of inland waterways of national
significance, passenger and freight transportation infrastructure will
be renovated and the interoperability of inland waterways with other
transport modes will be increased. As an integral part of the
Lithuanian transport system the inland water transport will be
developed with a view to integrating it into the operations of
Klaipėda State Seaport and other logistics and multimodal transport
centres.
In line with the EU Council Recommendation 2014 to Lithuania
concerning improvement of electricity and gas connections and with a
view to contributing to the sub-objective ‘Reliable Energy Markets’
covered by the EUSBSR objective ‘Connect the Region’, as well as to
implement targets identified in BEMIP and to efficiently exploit the
potential offered by the international energy network connections in
the future (NordBalt, LitPol link, GIPL), new smart electricity
transmission lines will be constructed securing technical conditions
for power exchanges through inter-system connections with Poland and
Sweden, the existing electricity transmission lines will be
reconstructed (modernised) making these networks smart and ensuring
safety of energy supply to consumers.
The smart systems of gas transmission and distribution networks that
are required for the integration of LNG terminal into the market and
integration of the Lithuanian gas systems into the internal market of
the European Community will also be renovated.
The renovated infrastructure of electricity and gas networks will
ensure uninterrupted, reliable and safe energy supply at competitive
and economically justified prices.
1.3.8. Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
The Europe 2020 Strategy sets a goal of raising the employment rate to
75% by 2020. The NDP and the NRA establish a national objective of
raising the employment rate to 72.8% (age group 20-64) by 2020. Also,
the NDP defines an objective of reducing the total unemployment rate
down to 7.5%. Lagging behind the targets set in the said documents is
still rather significant and requires both additional long-term
efforts and investments. One of the Council’s country-specific
recommendations 2014 is to better target active labour market policy
measures to the low-skilled and long-term unemployed, address
persistent skills mismatches, consult with social partners concerning
revisions of labour legislation in relation to framework for labour
contracts and for working-time arrangements.
The following results are expected to be achieved by investments from
the ESF:
Individuals who are unemployed or at risk of unemployment will be
provided with more employment opportunities. For this purpose, the
coverage and effectiveness of ALMP measures will be increased
significantly, tailored plans used, new services, especially those
needed for long-term unemployed, provided, etc. Investments will be
allocated to ALMP measures which aim to provide or develop
professional qualifications and competences, improve practical working
skills and promote territorial mobility among the unemployed, thereby
significantly contributing to strengthening their employment
capacities and opportunities. A priority will be given to long-term,
low-skilled unemployed, youth, older people and people with
disabilities. Evaluating the experience in the programming period
2007–2013, adequate safeguards will be improved for persons receiving
support under subsidised employment schemes. Professional
rehabilitation of the disabled will be supported, paying closer
attention to services that facilitate integration into the labour
market after a professional rehabilitation course. It is aimed to
ensure the operation of the European Employment Service (EURES) in
Lithuania. The system of the state employment service will receive
investments to enhance the quality and accessibility of labour market
services, ensure the monitoring and evaluation system for ALMP
measures and sustainable recruitment, upgrade the system for employee
adaptation and improvement of competencies, improve the existing
services and create news ones, etc. If necessary, public works may be
organised and financed from national funds. Better employment
opportunities will tackle high unemployment rates, contribute to
achieving the national employment rate set in the Europe 2020 and help
implement the Council’s recommendation 2014 for Lithuania in relation
to targeted implementation of active labour market measures and
improvement of their efficiency.
It is planned to promote participation of the elderly people (over 54
years old) by encouraging their involvement in the labour market, in
the lifelong learning activities and social life thereby addressing
the EU Council Recommendations 2014 to Lithuania.
Youth up to 30 years of age will be provided better opportunities to
integrate into the labour market. The Youth Guarantee ensures that all
young people get a good-quality and concrete offer for a job,
apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education within 4 months of
them leaving formal education or registering with the Labour Exchange
or joining the Youth Employment Initiative. Early intervention,
activation and integration into the labour market services will help
promote training, socialisation and integration into the labour market
for young people who do not work, study or participate in training
activities. The Youth Employment Initiative will be implemented by
funding measures directly oriented towards young people and envisaged
in the Youth Guarantees implementation plan as approved by Order No
A1-692 of 16 December 2013 of the Minister of Social Security and
Labour. Such investments will contribute to the national objective
(set out in the NDP) of reducing the youth employment rate down to 16%
by 2020 and will help implement the Council’s recommendation 2013 for
Lithuania.
Lithuania will observe increasing numbers of new micro and small
businesses and self-employed persons. Entrepreneurship of the national
population will be increased through a wider supply of business set-up
services, including financial measures, more targeted grants,
consulting and the development of entrepreneurial skills. Due
attention will be paid to the green and blue growth sectors. In
relation to business support services and implementation of financial
(micro credits, guarantees, interest compensation) and non-repayable
instruments to support starting-up and development of new businesses,
the society will be informed about the incentives offered by the state
to legitimate business, therefore the level of self-employment will
grow in Lithuania, while shadow business will be phased-out. That will
help to achieve the national goal set in the NDP to reverse downwards
tendency of self-employment by increasing its share up to 13%.
More high quality jobs and better social and cultural relations with
Lithuania are expected to slow down migration and encourage some
highly-skilled emigrants to return.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
The largest link of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange network, that is
the administration of the Vilnius territorial labour exchange and
Vilnius unit, will be upgraded with regard to the needs of customers
and employees, which will increase the satisfaction with the quality
and conditions of the services provided by the Lithuanian Labour
Exchange.
More diversified economic activities, investments attracted to target
territories creating high value-added, conversion of abandoned
territories and more visitors in urban points of interest will make
cities (target territories) more attractive for investment. An
important role will also be played by balanced migration flows,
stimulation of people to choose the place of living closer to their
place of work (using the existing economic infrastructure more
effectively).
Cities will firstly have their economic activities stimulated. For
this purpose, investments will be targeted at urban redevelopment
(conversion) and territorial development, integrating territories,
improving their accessibility and thereby increasing employment
opportunities in the entire metropolitan area and the region (through
the implementation of sustainable urban development actions).
Small and medium-size cities, especially in more remote regions, will
have a high-quality, clean and safe living environment, which is
necessary for addressing demographical problems, maintaining qualified
labour force (ensuring the development of basic economic sectors in
future), exploiting the potential of sites of attraction for better
investing environment and new jobs, and improving mobility
opportunities for people living in or around these cities.
Better exploitation of the territorial potential (primarily, urban
investment potential) gives more opportunities for integrating
inactive groups into the labour market, which is one of the key
challenges, in order to minimise the impact of demographical processes
on the economy and the labour market.
Small and medium-size cities, especially in more remote regions with
prevailing traditional industry or agricultural commodity production
and rather low economic activity, will be enabled to create new
businesses which require functional, actively visited and utilised
centres of attraction (small trade, catering, leisure services, etc.).
The investments into cultural and sustainable tourism infrastructure
objects for the development of endogenous potential will be based on
the provisions of Article 3 of the ERDF Regulation, with particular
consideration of Article 3(1)e provisions.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
A high unemployment rate will be addressed with regard to priority 6
of the EU rural development policy87. A special emphasis is placed on
the youth who is willing to do business in rural areas.
In the implementation of this thematic objective, the EAFRD will
additionally finance business initiatives financed by other ESI Funds.
To deal with employment and unemployment issues, the EAFRD will
support the setting-up and expansion of micro and small enterprises
that are not related to agricultural activities in rural areas as well
as micro and SMEs in the forest sector. Non-agricultural businesses
are thought to be capable of creating jobs, leading to a better
quality of life in rural areas, reduced social exclusion of the rural
population, the diversification of skills and economic opportunities
in rural areas. The share of the rural population working in
non-agricultural sectors will be 76% of the total rural population
employed by 2020, going up by 4% compared to 2012.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EMFF investments:
EMFF investments will promote economic growth favourable to employment
by creating the inner potential as part of the territorial strategy
for specific areas – promoting innovation and creation of value-added
and jobs in fisheries areas, promoting the diversification of
activities, strengthening the role of fisheries communities in local
development, whilst comprehensively addressing fisheries
areas-specific issues – increasing their competitiveness and promoting
their economic growth. EMFF investments will increase the employment
rate among the most vulnerable participants in the fisheries
sector—the population of fishing-dependent coastal regions—while
creating opportunities and improving conditions that will reduce
social exclusion, promote social well-being and improve the quality of
life of local communities in fisheries areas.
It should be noted that cooperation with other countries in the
framework of the EUSBSR, which is also aimed at increasing employment,
dealing with youth unemployment and promoting entrepreneurship, would
help address employment-related challenges more effectively. It will
be therefore reinforced, where necessary.
1.3.9. Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty
ALMP measures and training-based investments alone cannot solve
problems of unemployment, social security, accessibility and quality
of public social services, social business, housing affordability,
etc. Tangible results require large-scope investments and continuity
rather than short-term sporadic projects. On the other hand, just
economic measures are insufficient to tackle poverty. Investments
targeted at infrastructure in the 2007–2013 programming period will be
backed up by ESF investments in 2014–2020.
The implementation of the ESF objectives will be based on the
principles defined in the Social Investments Package88 which call for
safeguarding adequate and sustainable social care, investing into
development of skills and capacities and helping people during
critical periods of their lives.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ESF investments:
Active inclusion measures will be financed to help individuals who are
most distant from the labour market (including individuals with
addictive disorders, the convicted, individuals released from
imprisonment institutions, the disabled, Roma community members and
other vulnerable groups), so that a person who receives services is
actively working for social integration, is ready to look for a job
and participate in education and training activities as well as ALMP
measures.
It is planned to increase participation of elderly people (above 54
years of age) by involving them into competence enhancement trainings,
volunteering, mentorship and other initiatives promoting participation
in the labour market, life long learning, social activities, and by
applying innovative methods of working with elderly people.
Other activities include creating, testing, implementing and
developing effective and innovative models and solutions for the
provision of personal and public health care services which will
enable to ensure, to the maximum possible extent, smooth access to
high quality public health care services (enhancing and promoting of
public health, disease prevention, early diagnosing, medical
rehabilitation, health restoration, etc.) for the people of the
excluded target territories and target groups.
The funding of awareness raising, education and training of target
groups of the society on the subjects of healthy living, protection
and promotion of health, disease prevention and control will enhance
health literacy of the people in the target groups, build skills in
healthy living, reinforce capacities to control health risks.
The implementation of the projects in the area of healthy aging will
raise the health literacy level among the elderly people and their
motivation to be in good health as long as possible by controlling the
health risks and using health training, precautionary and early
diagnosing services, and by participating in prevention programmes;
all that will make positive impact on the quality of life,
independence and capacity to work of those people. The initiatives
dealing with improving and preserving of health at work will lead to
reinforced prevention of occupational and work related diseases,
ensured accessibility of high quality occupational health care
services thereby enabling to improve both physical and mental health
status of the elderly employees and to prolong their healthy and
productive age.
Specialists from the identified health care areas will enhance their
qualification, skills and competencies and will gain practical skills
that are needed to address the increasing needs of the people for
health promotion and care as a result of ageing of the society.
Support will be directed at the creation and provision of
non-institutional and community-based services to make sure Lithuania
provides care services that are alternative to the institutional ones
(including services that are important for the deinstitutionalisation
process) and services for people looking after their family members so
that caregivers could have better opportunities to acquire or improve
their professional qualification and/or participate in the labour
market.
In order to help families in difficulty or crisis to tackle poverty
and crisis situations, developments will be promoted in relation to
services for families and their children (psychological support,
training, consulting, development of parental skills, self-help
groups; social, health and other services to help parents overcome
their addictions, refuse violence, acquire social skills and integrate
into the society; psychological support and other services (including
after-school education, healthcare, etc.), for children from risk or
vulnerable families, also for children with behavioural, emotional and
mental disorders. To tackle the problem, a system of integrated
services for families will be created in all municipalities; the
services will be better tailored to the individual needs; the coverage
of beneficiaries will increase.
The framework of social services will be reinforced by investing into
the monitoring, planning and forecasting of the service quality,
supply and demand; the promotion of cooperation between budgetary
institutions that organise and provide social services and NGOs; the
improvement of competence among the staff administering and providing
social services both in budgetary institutions and NGOs, etc. The
reinforcement of the social services framework will be pursued
following the common EU quality principles and methodological
guidelines provided in the Voluntary Quality Framework for Social
Services89 facilitating organisation, monitoring and assessment of
social services.
Investments will aim at social enterprises, social business
development, promotion of corporate social responsibility, social
dialogue and employment/social policy partnerships, covering the
public and private sectors, organisations of employers and workers,
NGOs. The ESF supports the implementation of community-led local
development (CLLD).
The following results are expected to be achieved by ERDF investments:
The infrastructure of health, social and educational institutions will
be further upgraded, thereby contributing to the reduction of
national, regional and local development inequalities as to health and
transition from institutional to community-based services. An
important systemic shift will be the deinstitutionalisation of social
services for the disabled in institutional nursing homes and for
children in foster homes by expanding the network of community-based
and/or non-institutional services for these groups.
Deinstitutionalisation will be implemented under the Action Plan
2014–2020 for the Transition from Institutional Care to Family and
Community-Based Services for the Disabled, Children Deprived of
Parental Care, and with regard to the Common European Guidelines on
the Transition from Institutional to Community Based-Care. Investments
will be allocated to the infrastructure which ensures independent
life, integration into the society and high-quality services. In
exceptional cases when community-based services model cannot be
applied, developments are intended for the infrastructure and quality
of bodies that provide specialised institutional nursing and care
services to individuals who are not capable of taking care of
themselves and return to the family/the community.
Some investments will be aimed at increasing the affordability of
social housing, modernising and developing nursing facilities for
elderly people in the community, improving conditions for the
provision of services by municipal child protection services and
municipal workers working with families at social risk, expanding the
infrastructure of non-institutional, community-based services for
vulnerable groups and families that fall outside the
deinstitutionalisation process. Development of social housing is
envisaged in those municipalities of Lithuania, where the number of
people (families) waiting for a social housing per one thousand
residents is larger than the country’s average. Social services (not
covered by deinstitutionalisation) will be developed in the regions,
where inconsistencies of their development still persist.
The supported activities (they will be comprehensively coordinated
with the ESF investments) will help to reduce the territorial divide
in terms of accessibility of public and personal health care services
and differences in health, and will help to develop services relevant
for the people from social and risk groups, will allow for longer and
healthier life, smaller risk of premature deaths, social exclusion and
poverty of the people from the target groups. Infrastructure enabling
to ensure efficient and consistent access to high quality health care
services (health enhancement, disease prevention and early diagnosing,
specialised medical services) for the people of the identified target
territories and target groups will be developed. Investments will also
be channelled into the introduction and development of (infrastructure
and information) models for organisation, provision and management of
health care services and timely help by supporting innovative and
efficient solutions and technologies aimed at raising health literacy,
providing consulting, medical treatment and monitoring of the target
groups of the population and maintaining of their quality of living.
The regions with the highest disparities in terms of health of the
people and accessibility to their health care will include territories
and municipalities where the spread of premature deaths due to basic
health problems (circulation system, cerebrovascular diseases,
malignant tumours, external death causes) is larger than Lithuanian
average. Target groups of the population include: 1) people living in
the municipalities of the country with highest degree of premature
deaths due to basic non-infectious diseases; 2) people of certain
social risk groups who due to social and economic reasons
(unemployment, poverty, etc.) and harmful habits (consumption of
alcohol, etc.) suffer from certain diseases (tuberculosis, drug
addiction) and people with limited access to health care (disabled,
etc.); 3) children (up to 18 years of age) because due the current
economic, social circumstances, such an vulnerable social and economic
situation of the family, employability perspectives, they face larger
risk of social exclusion and adverse impact of these factors on their
heath; 4) elderly people (55 years of age and above), with the view to
maintaining good health of ageing people for as long as possible,
improving the quality of their lives and enabling them to stay active
at work and within the community, and live independently.
Investments into the social and health infrastructure are being
planned drawing on the experience from 2007–2013 period, investments
made, the development needs envisaged for 2014–2020, and on the
assessed demographic tendencies with a view to ensuring accessibility,
efficiency of the social and health care services and the
sustainability of the investments.
Public infrastructure in smaller cities, towns and larger villages
(residential areas with the population from 1,000 to 6,000, except for
municipal centres) will be modernised to increase the accessibility of
the key services (investments target the conversion of inefficiently
used facilities, the improvement of functionality). Rural areas and
small cities will be able to provide more diversified, higher quality
and affordable services (the focus is on community-based services),
reducing inequalities in the quality of living environment, which is
the reason why many rural areas are not able to attract people with
higher income, which, in turn, results in bigger social exclusion.
The following results are expected to be achieved by EAFRD
investments:
With regard to priority 6 of the EU rural development policy52, in the
2014–2020 programming period EAFRD investments will be used for
upgrading small-scale infrastructure, service provision and the
quality of life in rural areas. The EAFRD investments will be
earmarked for the construction and improvement of local public roads,
streets and sections thereof in rural areas, where such investments
contribute to the improvement of local economy and water management;
the creation and improvement of other public infrastructure, including
objects, parks, squares with historical, ethno-cultural and
architectural value, other landscape components, leisure
infrastructure, contribution will be also be made to preservation and
fostering of ethnic heritage of Lithuania.
The EAFRD will continue to support the implementation of LEADER
initiatives, in particular social entrepreneurship of rural
communities, social inclusion through community actions promoting the
transition from institutional to community-based services. More about
the implementation of the LEADER initiative, see Section 3.
1.3.10. Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning
Two of the eight targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy are directly
related to education: reducing school drop-out rates to less than 10%
and increasing the share of 30-34 year-olds with tertiary or
equivalent educational attainment to at least 40%.
Investments into education infrastructure are being planned drawing on
the experience of 2007–2013, investments made, the development needs
envisaged for 2014–2020 and on the basis of the assessed demographic
tendencies to ensure accessibility, efficiency of education services
as well as sustainability of investments.
The Lithuanian NRA sets out a target to ensure that the share of early
leavers of the education system aged 18-24 with only basic education
does not exceed 9% in rural areas. Methodical and targeted efforts of
public institutions, municipalities and school communities to help
students complete general education programmes and/or acquire a
professional qualification will be supported in schools with an
increased drop-out risk.
Another key target in the 2014–2020 period is to ensure more places in
preschool institutions, first of all in municipal institutions, by
adapting unused premises of general education institutions, also by
promoting initiatives of enterprises and other private entities to
organise preschool groups.
Informal education helps preserve students in a formal education
system and complements it. It is therefore important to expand the
accessibility and diversity of informal education, putting an emphasis
on science and technology-based education among children.
A school performance assessment system will help identify students’
needs, adapt the content of education, make results public, provide
assistance to students with difficulties and promote the performance
of educational institutions. Closer attention will be paid to the
development of teachers’ competence. In the coming programming period,
teachers should have more targeted and more individualised
qualification development, forming educational process modernisation
groups to support and implement qualitative changes in their schools.
A priority area of general education remains the development of core
competencies (mother tongue, foreign languages, mathematics and
science, and digital competence) and basic competencies (learning to
learn, social and civic competence, initiative taking and
entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness and expression).90 In
addition to that, drawing on the need to enhance technological
competencies of the teachers, it is planned to implement the Action
Plan for Introduction of Information and Communication Technologies
into General Education and Vocational Training 2014–2016.
The following results are expected to be achieved in preschool,
non-formal and general education:
ERDF investments will be used for improving the accessibility of
high-quality education to all children, irrespective of their place of
living. Support will be provided to state and municipal initiatives
designed to optimise a network of schools implementing general
education programmes and to use resources of preschool education more
rationally. Investments will be targeted at upgrading buildings and
the environment of perspective educational institutions to make the
educational infrastructure complex and completed, including
opportunities for developing competences in technical creativity and
art, sports and science, providing schools with modern learning tools,
while enabling students and teachers or mentors access educational
institutions from remote areas. Investments will be tied to the
commitment by municipalities and schools that receive investments to
announce and improve learning results of their students and cut
drop-out rates. Investments into the quality of scientific and
technological education will contribute to better learning results and
more students who choose programmes of natural, technical or applied
sciences.
ESF investments will be used for improving the competence among
teachers and staff of educational institutions, and the content and
methodology of education, ensuring close links with investments into
teaching facilities.
The quality and openness of higher education will be improved. To
maintain the targets established in the Europe 2020 Strategy and the
NRP, Lithuanian higher education institutions must remain attractive
to Lithuanian and foreign students, the country’s economy and society
must be provided with a skilled labour force capable of adapting to
constant changes and opportunities for continuous self-development
through a lifelong learning system. To this end, cooperation with
other countries will be expanded, primarily through the EUSBSR, the
objective ‘Increase Prosperity’ of which is designed to promote
cooperation among educational institutions from different regions, the
mobility of students and teachers in the region, etc.
Higher employment rates among persons with higher education,
especially graduates, could be achieved through a better quality of
studies as required by the labour market, continuous, systemic and
effective management of the quality of studies, and attraction of more
individuals to higher education, including those who are participating
in lifelong learning. All these results will be achieved with a help
of ESF and ERDF investments.
The following results are expected to be achieved in higher education:
ESF investments will raise the quality of studies and ensure its
proper and efficient management. The accessibility of studies will be
increased and more people will be attracted to higher education. The
employment rate of graduates will be improved, and competencies and
skills of people with higher education will meet the needs of the
labour market and the public. Better quality of studies will be
achieved by adapting studies to the needs of the labour market,
developing innovative teaching methods and technologies, paying close
attention to practical training, ensuring high-quality content of
education and relevant programmes, training teachers and researchers
and improving their professionalism, increasing internationalism of
studies, systemically involving social partners into the formation of
the content and the acquisition of practical skills. Regular
monitoring of what the labour market needs and proper management of
studies would also allow the areas studied (social, natural,
technological, engineering sciences) meet the needs of the labour
market better. To achieve evidence-based study quality management and
performance-oriented studies, support will be provided to
strengthening external assessment (of study programmes and
institutional), performance assessment, self-assessment and
accreditation, monitoring systems. It will help enhance the quality of
studies in a continuous and systemic manner, refine the management of
studies and higher education institutions, cut costs and make higher
education institutions more efficient. This, in turn, will lead to
higher employment rates among alumni, constant refreshing of studies
and adaptation to the needs of the labour market and the public, more
efficient use of public investments allocated to higher education and
increased inclusion into higher education-related lifelong learning.
More people will be attracted to higher education by increasing the
accessibility of studies, especially for underrepresented and
vulnerable groups, and the inclusion of studies into the lifelong
learning system. Better accessibility of studies will be ensured
through flexible modes of studies, adult-friendly modules and studies,
developed studies of social and financial incentives for
underrepresented social groups.
ERDF investments will be targeted at upgrading the learning
environment, installing modern working spaces for teachers,
concentrating and adapting higher education and research facilities
for common use of several higher education institutions and
integrating them into the infrastructure of integrated higher
education, research and business centres (valleys). The aim is to
mobilise investments for the development of university and college
campuses.
As set out in the National Programme for the (Social, Cultural)
Development of Studies, Research and Development for 2013–2020,
extensive development, scattered potential and resources of higher
education and research institutions call for focusing of investments
to enable emergence of new Lithuanian universities meeting the
standards of the best European and global universities. The key
investments therefore will be directed at the concentration of human
capital and other resources to create the necessary higher education
and research infrastructure, integrate it into the infrastructure of
scientific centres, form campuses by specialisation of higher
education institutions, develop complex infrastructure and
infrastructure of general use (for several higher education
institutions or together with vocational education and training
institutions), set up working spaces for teachers.
The following results are expected to be achieved in R&D by ESF
investments:
The potential of human resources will be reinforced and more
concentrated in R&D, increasing the number of individuals with a
doctoral degree in science and the number of researchers who have
improved their skills and are using them in their activities. Other
factors that will have a major role include financing training and
qualification development of young researchers, promoting
interinstitutional, intersectoral and international mobility among
scientists and other researchers, developing general capacities of
researchers, allocating support to R&D activities that contribute to
capacities, skills and competencies of researchers and R&D personnel.
R&D human resources will build stronger relations with the private
sector, higher education institutions and other research institutions
abroad. It will be facilitated by activities promoting the creation
and operation of academic community-based and thematic networks,
investments into professional development of scientists and other
researchers through hands-on experience in R&D activities performed
together with local or foreign partners both in the private and public
sector, the stimulation of multidirectional (outgoing and incoming)
and multi-purpose (interinstitutional, intersectoral and
international) mobility among researchers.
Improvements will be made to working conditions of scientists and
other researchers. Measures implemented in an integrated way will
increase the attractiveness of doctoral studies in Lithuanian higher
education institutions, ensure adequate student grants and the
possibility to carry out doctoral activities in knowledge-intensive
enterprises, facilitate financing of research and internships abroad,
etc., the access to such opportunities for all Lithuanian researchers.
The measures dealing with training of researchers, enhancement of
qualification and competences are going to be coordinated with the
smart specialization process, i.e. much focus will be placed on the
researchers and on the training of doctoral students of specific areas
able to contribute to the achievement of the RDI priorities. Measures
for the reinforcement of international cooperation of researchers and
improvement of their skills to participate in international RDI
programmes have also been envisaged. Lithuania is also facing a lack
of qualified researchers in certain science sectors significant to the
economy; this problems is to be addressed by both supporting doctoral
students able to solve problems in the relevant science areas and by
attracting high level international researchers from abroad for
short-term and long-term stays. These activities will be undertaken
following the Commission Recommendation of 11 March 2005 on the
European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the
Recruitment of Researchers.
The following results are to be achieved in vocational education and
training:
ERDF investments into further modernisation of sectoral practical
training centres in regions with unmet high demand for high-quality
training for certain professions will increase the availability and
coverage of vocational and adult training.
Other activities in the 2014–2020 programming period include
developing sectoral practical training centres, renovating dormitories
of vocational education and training institutions with centres will be
renovated to accommodate students from other institutions and
participants of continuing training, and upgrading other related
learning spaces in such centres. Sectoral practical training centres
will be used by vocational education and training institutions from
all over Lithuania, also by some of the higher education institutions
that are implementing technological study programmes. The
infrastructure required for high-quality basic professional training
in other vocational education and training institutions which do not
have a sectoral practical training centre will be expanded in
parallel. In this way young people and adults will be offered
high-quality learning opportunities close to their place of living,
with mobility opportunities for completing their practical training at
a highly-technological sectoral practical training centre. After
completing practical training modules, students will be ready for
integration into the labour market and final practical training at a
specific employer.
The network of centres for adult education is well-developed, but
learning spaces and means are outdated and unattractive for students
and those who are thinking about completing the general education
programme. For this reason, some of the centres for adult education
will be modernised in the 2014–2020 programming period so that more
adults opt for completing the general education programme.
ESF investments will increase the attractiveness and quality of
vocational training and adult education as well as their conformity to
the needs of the labour market. They will also increase the
flexibility of the vocational and adult education system and ensure
conformity of vocational and adult education and qualifications
acquired to the needs of the labour market. Support will also be
provided to the finalisation of the Lithuanian Qualifications
Framework and the formation of a modern educational content (by
drafting vocational training standards, vocational training modular
programmes and teaching tools); the development of a system for the
assessment and recognition of competences and qualifications acquired
by various means; the monitoring and research of vocational training
and adult education; the introduction of innovation in the management
and tools of vocational training and adult education. In the 2014–2020
programming period, professional qualifications will be developed
among pedagogical workers from vocational education and training
institutions in Lithuanian and foreign higher education institutions;
they will also have more mobility opportunities for practical training
at employers. As a result of these measures implemented in cooperation
with social partners, the vocational training system will be better
adjusted to the needs of the labour market. To address EU Council
Recommendation 2014 to Lithuania to tackle large unemployment of
low-skilled and long-term unemployed people, investments will be
directed towards development of apprenticeship programmes to improve
their quality and expand their coverage.
The training supply will be increased by improving children’s learning
motivation and changing the conviction of adults that it is too late
for learning. ESF investments will raise awareness on the latest
learning objectives, opportunities and benefits. Investments will be
targeted at the provision of high-quality career services at all
levels of education, the promotion of lifelong learning in cooperation
with social partners.
To create conditions and incentives for lifelong learning, adults will
have better opportunities for participating in different learning
activities, and participants of formal educational programmes for
acquiring good practical skills.
The new programming period will see investments into activities that
encourage inactive adult groups (unskilled or lower-qualification
individuals) to participate in lifelong learning, improve competences
and qualifications of public service workers. In addition to that more
opportunities will be granted for the elderly people to acquire the
first higher education degree; learning opportunities for the elderly
people will be expanded with a view to ensuring their involvement in
the life long learning activities.
Since advertisements very often job require practical skills, one of
the aims is to provide those who are participating in formal
educational programmes with a better access to high-quality practical
training. Funding allocated to the acquisition of practical skills for
those who are participating in formal education programmes will have
the opportunity to carry out some of their practical training at
highly-technological sectoral training centres, and complete their
preparation for the labour market doing traineeships.
The following results are expected to be achieved in vocational
training by EAFRD investments:
With regard to priority 1 of the EU rural development policy, EAFRD
investments will be used for developing lifelong learning activities
and continuous vocational training in agriculture, forestry and rural
areas, in particular by refreshing and acquiring skills to face new
challenges related to the introduction of innovation and the
development of sustainable agricultural and forestry sectors. They
will also help the rural population to engage in non-agricultural
activities, thereby reducing social and economic exclusion in rural
areas.
Support to training of individuals who are working in the agricultural
and forestry sectors on business organisation and environmental
protection as well as to training of young farmers while they are
settling down will increase the competitiveness of holdings, improve
their environmental functions, contribute to a smoother generational
renewal in the agricultural and forestry sectors. Around 78,000
participants are expended in training activities within the 2014–2020
programming period.
As part of training and knowledge transfer and provision of consulting
services in agricultural and forestry sectors, support will be
provided to farmers and owners of forests to enable them adapt to the
changing farming requirements; complementarity with regard to
sustainable development will be ensured.
Representatives from the Lithuanian fisheries sector will have a
better access to opportunities offered by the lifelong learning and
professional development system. The ESF-funded adult training system
as well as the existing training centres with the methodological and
subject material, competent adult teachers for adult training and the
voucher system will be used for this purpose.
As to the development of human resources in the 2014–2020 programming
period, continuous promotion of professional qualification,
professional mobility and ability to switch rapidly to other economic
activities will be ensured through the improvement of professional
qualifications and competence of human resources in new
technology-driven enterprises and SMEs. For this purpose, a voucher
system will be created. Also, support will be provided to projects
aimed at raising expertise and developing sectoral competence of human
resources.
Lithuania intends to create and implement a forecasting system that
predicts medium-term needs for human resources. This system will help
identify the main gaps between the supply of and demand for the labour
force as well as forecast medium-term (from 5 to 7 years) needs of the
labour market. The results will be used for professional orientation
and the creation of professional orientation products for target
groups.
Moreover, a fully-fledged instrument will be created based on the
expanded version of the Lithuanian Classification of Occupations
(based on ISCO-08). This instrument will compare the professional
structure of the labour market at the international and national
level. A monitoring system for links between qualifications of human
resources and vacant positions is also in plans.
The following results are expected to be achieved in human resources
development by ESF investments:
The competitiveness of working human resources will be increased by
ESF investments into the improvement of qualifications and competences
of corporate human resources, the creation and development of a
forecasting system that predicts medium-term needs for human
resources, the refinement of the Lithuanian Classification of
Occupations and the monitoring of links between personal
qualifications and vacant positions.
1.3.11. Enhancing institutional capacity and ensuring efficient public
administration
Investment areas for 2014–2020 correspond to the goals and objectives
established by the Public Management Improvement Programme 2012–2020
for the improvement of public management. The action plan 2013–2015
for the implementation of this programme contains specific
measures/projects focused on more open public management, more active
involvement of the society in public administration processes, higher
quality of services, more efficient performance of public
administration and stronger public service. This plan also includes EU
Structural Funds-funded measures/projects for the 2014–2020
programming period, which will allow for coordinated and targeted
planning and implementation of these measures/projects at the national
level.
The following results are expected to be achieved by ESF investments:
The public administration will be more result-oriented, i. e.
investments will be aimed at increasing operational efficiency of
public administration institutions (application of evidence based
governance measures for the purposes of development, improvement of
law enforcement processes, increasing openness of public
administration processes and promoting society's participation,
planning and implementing of national public administration reforms
(in particular with the view to addressing EC Council Recommendation 5
for 2014 regarding reforms of public-owned enterprises, efforts will
be made to enhance public property and corporate management
competencies), developing of the relevant information systems that are
needed for proper performing of the state's functions, and
installation of these systems in public institutions in charge of
shaping and implementing policy of this area. The activities related
to upsurging the operational efficiency of public administration
institutions, applying evidence-based administration tools and
implementing national public administration reforms will contribute to
raising of the governance efficiency index (in 2011 – 21st position in
the EU, target for 2020 – 15th position in the EU).
As to the openness and transparency of public administration processes,
increasing numbers of people are expected to express their opinion on
important issues and be informed on the performance of courts and
municipalities. Investments should help improve indicators of the
public trust in public administration. The investments to address the
recommendations provided in the EC anti-corruption report and for the
implementation of other anti-corruption measures will improve the
Lithuanian corruption perception index from 57 points (2013) up to the
average corruption perception indexes of the EU Member States.
The quality of services will improve and services will meet the needs
of the public better. Service quality standards will be adopted for
this purpose. Public administration should draft citizens’ charters
(the target for 2020 is 90%), be more active in measuring public
satisfaction with the services provided, apply ‘one stop shop’ more
effectively, etc. The transfer of services into the cyberspace will
increase the accessibility of services to the public. These activities
aimed at raising the quality of services are expected to help improve
the administrative service provision and service efficiency
coefficient (in 2011 it stood at 0.85; the target for 2020 is 0.95).
The business regulation environment and conditions for fair
competition will improve through investing into cutting administrative
and/or other regulatory burden for residents and business,
implementing other better regulation measures, increasing the
effectiveness of supervision of the performance of economic entities,
refining public procurement and justice systems. By 2020, Lithuania
expects to be ranked at least 13th among EU Member States in terms of
regulatory quality (it was the 17th in 2011) to increase the share of
enterprises that are satisfied with controlling authorities. As to the
public procurement system, activities aimed at transparency and
efficiency in procurement activities include a wider application of
centralised and electronic public procurements, the upgraded Central
Public Procurement Information System, etc. It is expected that in the
justice area there will be pre-conditions developed that will enable
simpler and more efficient resolution of disputes by investing into
the development of the framework of alternative dispute resolution
methods and promotion of their application. All this will help to
decrease the number of pending civil disputes.
Human resources management in the civil service will be updated
through investments into advanced human resources management
instruments (procedures/standards) in a number of personnel management
areas, the optimisation of wage and motivational systems, the
strengthening of the chain of higher ranking and managing civil
servants and public officers, the building of competences among
individuals employed in public administration, etc. It is planned to
implement a competence-based human resources management model with
improved selection, career planning, wage, motivational, training
systems and novel high-quality senior executive management in the
civil service. Investments will be used for reinforcing competences in
the civil service: building managerial and leadership capacities among
political leaders, civil servants and officials (including judges and
public prosecutors), expanding strategic thinking knowledge and skills
among civil servants. Professional competences that are required for
specific professional duties and functions will be improved as much as
necessary for challenges and changes in state and municipal
institutions and agencies. Competence centres of different strategic
areas are going to be established in public institutions in charge of
shaping and implementing specific policies, for instance, related to
public and private partnership, macroeconomic forecasting and
analysis, energy (or individual sections of it), public property and
corporate management.
With a view to achieving the goals and objectives of improvement of
the public administration, the synergy of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds investments will be ensured by coupling ESF investments
under the thematic objective 11 and ERDF investments under the
thematic objective 2. ERDF funding will be used to develop the
infrastructure and IT solutions needed for the implementation of ESF
supported optimised public administration processes (in particular,
provision of public services and increasing openness of public
administration processes).
1.4. Indicative allocations by thematic objective for each ESI Fund
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1.4.1. Indicative allocation of financial resources by thematic
objective for each of the ESI Funds
Table 2. Indicative allocation of support by the Union by thematic
objective for each of the ESI Funds (EUR) (preliminary).
Thematic objectives
ERDF
ESF
Cohesion Fund
EAFRD
EMFF
(1) Strengthening research, technological development and innovation
678,878,835
0
0
24,268,931
0
(2) Enhancing access to and use and quality of information and
communication technologies
244,037,284
0
0
3,766,520
0
(3) Enhancing the competitiveness of the small and medium enterprises
(SMEs), the agricultural sector (for the EAFRD) and the fisheries and
aquaculture sectors (for the EMFF)
531,603,253
0
0
620,934,938
31,363,899
(4) Supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors
517,201,697
0
386,718,432
136,907,604
325,750
(5) Promoting climate change adaptation and risk prevention and
management
4,064,010
0
104,842,447
216,513,793
0
(6) Protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency
189,613,699
0
606,657,440
216,513,793
17,674,645
(7) Promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key
network infrastructures
390,625,213
0
763,156,109
0
0
(8) Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
421,299,136
275,504,430
0
82,415,426
10,395,562
(9) Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty
315,540,145
220,294,386
0
157,712,935
0
(10) Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning
208,548,495
455,313,921
0
19,923,540
0
(11) Enhancing institutional capacity and ensuring an efficient public
administration
0
150,359,184
0
0
0
Technical assistance
0
25,812,183
187,543,198
57,323,530
3,672,366
TOTAL:
3,501,411,767
1,127,284,104
2,048,917,626
1,536,281,010*
63,432,222
*The total EAFRD amount does not include investments made during the
transition periods into the measures of the 2007–2013 programming
period which will continue in 2014–2020 programming period as well
(about 0.077 billion EUR).
Table 3. Funds allocated to the Youth Employment Initiative under
thematic objective 8 .
Source of funding
Amount allocated (EUR)
Special allocations of the Youth Employment Initiative
31,782,633
Appropriate ESF funding
31,782,633
Table 4. Allocations to technical assistance by category of region and
fund.
Fund
Category of region
Allocations of technical assistance (EUR)
Share of technical assistance by fund (%)
ERDF
Less developed
0
0
ESF
Less developed
25,812,183
2.3
Cohesion Fund
-
187,543,198
9.2
EAFRD
-
57,323,530
3.6
EMFF
-
3,672,366
5.8
Table 5. ESF share in all the Structural Funds (ESF and ERDF).
ESF share in the Structural Funds in accordance with EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds Operational Programmes 2007–2013
23%
Requirement for the minimal ESF share applicable to Lithuania
24.2%
Intended ESF share in the Structural Funds 2014–2020
24.35%
Contribution to climate change has been measured in accordance with
the methodology approved by the Commission, where certain expenditure
categories have concrete coefficients of contribution to climate
change mitigation. Preliminary EU support to climate change mitigation
amounts to EUR 1,992,602,685. At least 30% of EAFRD will be earmarked
for climate change mitigation, including environmental investments.
About 20% of EMFF funding is provided for the achievement of climate
change objectives.
It should be noted that in Table 2 ‘Indicative allocation of support
by the Union by thematic objective for each of the ESI Funds (EUR)’
the indicated EAFRD funds exclude the EAFRD funds earmarked for
funding of the continued liabilities under the RDP 2007–2013 measure
‘Early retirement’ in 2014–2020 period, because these continued
liabilities do not contribute to the achievement of the ESI funds
objectives set for 2014–2020.
1.5. Application of horizontal principles
-----------------------------------------
1.5.1. Partnership principle
Partnership is one of the most important principles guiding the
implementation of the EU cohesion policy followed both on the EU and
on the national level.
In the course of preparations for the 2014–2020 programming period
partners are getting increasingly interested in the participation in
the preparatory and implementation processes. Taking into
consideration the increased interests and following Article 5 of the
Common Provisions Regulation, new partnership promotion initiatives
have been undertaken which first of all include drafting of
methodological documents in this area and organisation of public
discussions with the partners. The general list of partners, including
partners involved in the preparation of the Partnership Agreement,
Operational Programme for the EU Structural Funds’ Investments in
2014–2020, Rural Development Programme and Fisheries Operational
Programme is provided in Annex No 1.
In March 2012, the Managing Authority of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds organised a discussion ‘How to increase the involvement
of partners in the planning and implementation of the EU structural
assistance?’ which was attended by socio-economic partners and
representatives from bodies responsible for administration of the EU
Structural Funds. The discussions led to a decision to prepare a
Partnership Standard, defining the minimum requirements to the
application of the partnership principle in the planning and
implementation of the programmes financed by the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds in Lithuania. The standard was drafted in April 2012.
It defines levels, scope, forms of partnership, the selection of
partners, their rights and responsibilities, deadlines for consulting
and forms of communicating the outcomes, the efficiency evaluation of
the partnership principle.
To present and clarify the requirements set in the Partnership
Standard as well as to provide advice concerning the application of
the Standard in practice, the Managing Authority of the EU Structural
and Cohesion Funds in July 2012 initiated a more extensive document
called Guidelines on the Application of the Partnership Principle in
the EU Structural Assistance Process (the Guidelines). The document is
published on the website at www.esparama.lt and is available to
everyone concerned. The Guidelines have been prepared on the basis of
EC staff working document adopted in April 2012 concerning
implementation of the partnership principle91; in the beginning of
2014, as the Common Provisions Regulation came into force, that
document served as the basis for the European Commission to draft
European Code of Conduct for Partnership.
Guidelines are a practical manual for the institutions in charge of
preparation of the Partnership Agreement, the Operational Programme
for the Structural Funds' Investments in 2014–2020 and for the
administration of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, as well as for
the partners taking part or intending to take part in the EU
structural support process. They explain who, how and when should be
involved in the implementation of the partnership principle and also
provide information on ministerial contact points in charge of the
application of the partnership principle. The Guidelines have been
drafted in a way that ensures their relevance for the 2014–2020
programming period, too. The draft Guidelines were sent to a wide
circle of socio-economic partners for consultation. The Guidelines
also present the main EU and national legal provisions applicable to
the 2007–2013 and 2014–2020 programming periods, explain the
value-added of partnership, introduce partnership principles
(openness, involvement, transparency, efficiency, mutual
responsibility) and overview the main EU and national documents
setting the minimum requirements for the application of the
partnership principle (proposals by the European Commission concerning
the European Code of Conduct on Partnership and the recommendations
concerning the Partnership Standard issued in Lithuania). The
Guidelines place much focus on the application of the partnership
principle in practice: discuss the options for partners to be involved
in the decision-making process, set out partner selection principles
and criteria, present forms of partnership, list rights and
obligations of partners and discuss the actions to be taken by
competent institutions to strengthen partnership.
In 2010, a Commission for the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
2014–2020 (the Commission) was established from representatives of
ministries, implementing bodies, socio-economic and regional partners
for the drafting of the Partnership Agreement and the Operational
Programme for the Structural Funds' Investments in 2014–2020. 23 of 52
members of the Commission represent socio-economic and regional
partners. The Commission was formed and partners were selected on the
basis of their target groups, i.e. it was important to ensure that the
partners involved in the Commission had as wide representative role as
possible. The selection of partners is carried out by competent
authorities within their relevant limits of competence (for instance,
the selection of partners for sectoral partnership was carried out by
sectoral ministries). Potential partners willing to participate in the
EU Structural and Cohesion Funds process can send their motivated
applications to competent staff of relevant authorities for the
involvement into a partnership structure (committee, commission,
etc.).
The selection of partners has been based on the following criteria:
Relevance: partners must be clearly related either with the issue to
be addressed or with its solution. Relevant partners may differ
subject to the stage of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds process
and the issue being addressed;
Proportionality: representation of all relevant partners (territorial,
socio-economic, NGOs) must be ensured, there shall be no domination by
any of the groups;
Scope of representation: partners representing wider rather than
narrower individual interests shall be involved.
For instance, to ensure the participation of LAGs in the
implementation of CLLD measures in 2013, representatives from LAG
networks in rural development and fisheries areas were also added to
the Commission. In order to properly prepare for the 2014–2020
programming period and to ensure closer cooperation between public
authorities and the society, sectoral ministries (for instance,
Ministries of Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Communications) are
pursuing cooperation with their partners. For example, ad-hoc working
groups with representatives from public authorities and social,
economic and/or regional partners interested in the operation of a
certain sector are being established. The above form of cooperation is
applied for the purpose of identification of eligible priorities,
activities and measures which would best contribute to the achievement
of the identified objectives both at national and at EU level.
Public consultation on national strategic documents, namely the
Partnership Agreement and the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’
Investments in 2014–2020, was launched and continued from June to
September 2013. The public consultation event attracted about 170
representatives from research, business, culture, governmental
institutions, NGOs, social, economic and regional partners. In
addition to that all stakeholders were provided an opportunity to
present their comments and suggestions with regard to the draft
documents on the www.esparama.lt website.
The suggestions given by social and economic partners during the
public consultation can be classified into two groups: proposals with
regard to areas which should receive investments and proposals with
regard to improvement of policy implementation. Social and economic
partners proposed to pay more attention and channel greater deal of
investments into the following areas:
*
Promote private investments and increase the share of innovative
goods and services in the companies’ turnover;
*
Apart from biomass, invest in other RES (wind, sun energy, biogas)
and introduce RES driven technologies as part of renovating public
buildings and multi-apartment buildings;
*
Assess the potential of other areas (for instance, transport) to
contribute to the achievement of Lithuania's energy efficiency
commitments by 2020;
*
Pay adequate attention to handling of radioactive waste; also pay
more attention to handling of hazardous household waste,
large-scale waste, biodegradable waste, and finance refurbishing
of abandoned territories;
*
Mainstream measures for promotion of gender equality and reducing
violence in close environment;
*
Promote employability (including in rural areas) and participation
in labour market by combining the ALMM with increased efficiency
of social benefits system;
*
Promote active cooperation between higher education institutions
and business, internationalisation of the studies;
*
Provide better conditions for mobility and employability of young
researchers in private sector, etc.
For the sake of better implementation of the current policy social and
economic partners have proposed to:
*
Ensure dialogue with local communities in the course of planning
and implementing the measures and in the course of project
selection; continue the good practices of the 2007–2013
programming period in relation to implementation of local
development strategies in rural areas by using the exception
provided for in the Common Provisions Regulation concerning the
size of these territories;
*
Consider the role and potential of NGOs in relation to the
implementation of the planned measures (in particular, improving
of social inclusion);
*
Apply the ‘polluter pays’ principle in the private sector to a
wider extent;
*
Taking into consideration the type of each project, consider
possibilities of applying financial instruments or low-intensity
grants;
*
Clearly define the concepts used (for instance, smart networks) in
order to avoid different treatment between the applicants ,
implementing bodies and EC;
*
When investing into vocational training infrastructure, consider
the possibility of applying private and public partnership models;
*
Chose relevant indicators, oriented towards the desired change
thereby reducing the risk of only formal achievement of the
indicators.
Taking into consideration the above proposals of the social and
economic partners, the Partnership Agreement and the Operational
Programme of the EU Structural Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 were
adjusted. Actions to promote equality between men and women and the
relevant indicators (for instance, the share of people having taken
part in events promoting equality of men and women and combating
discrimination and claiming that they will be applying the gained
knowledge and skills in practice) were included. To increase
employability in rural areas, coordination with the RDP 2014–2020
investments directed towards promoting employability of among people
in rural areas is to be ensured; actions have been envisaged, whereby
renovation of public buildings and multi-apartment buildings will be
linked to energy efficiency. Funding for a project dealing with
liquidation of radioactive waste storage in Maišiagala has been
envisaged.
Taking into consideration the methodological documents on partnership
and the needs expressed during the discussions, the partnership will
continue to be promoted in the future by safeguarding the
opportunities for the partners to more actively and efficiently
participate in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds during the 2014–2020 programming period.
To this end the following initiatives of the Managing Authority for
the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds will be implemented:
(1) In the website www.esparama.lt dedicated to the EU support there
will be a separate column for partners launched, where the information
relevant to the partners will be posted (methodological guidelines,
information about events, draft legislation for commenting). Partners
will have to register in this column (this will help to draw a data
base on the partners interested in EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
investment process) and will be able to comment the posted draft
documents (for instance, draft instructions or project rules prepared
by the ministries).
(2) Administrative capacities of the partners will be reinforced (for
more detailed information please refer to Part 2.5 of the Partnership
Agreement)
(3) Partners will be given the possibility to initiate and organise
meetings, discussions and sittings that would contribute to better
implementation of the Operational Programme for the EU Structural
Funds' Investments in 2014–2020; these events would be funded from the
technical assistance money.
It is expected that these initiatives will help to ensure closer
cooperation with regional, local, urban and other public authorities
as well as with economic and social partners and organisations
representing civil society, including environmental partners, NGOs and
entities engaged in promotion of equality of men and women and
non-discrimination.
The Managing Authority of the EAFRD (the Ministry of Agriculture)
follows the European Code of Conduct on Partnership, published by the
European Commission, in the drafting of the Partnership Agreement and
the RDP 2014–2020. To ensure partnership in the drafting of documents
for the use of EAFRD resources, the existing partnership framework was
used – the Lithuanian Rural Network built in the 2007–2013 programming
period for the purpose of the implementation of the RDP 2007–2013
funded by the EAFRD. Currently, the Lithuanian Rural Network has over
900 organisations and authorities involved in rural development
processes92.
At the time the Partnership Agreement was being drafted, social
dialogue was held in thematic committees of the Lithuanian Rural
Network: Committees on the Rural Policy, Promotion of Rural Business,
Rural Youth, Planning of Landscape and Rural Areas, Innovation and
Research in Rural Areas, Promotion of LEADER and Sense of Community.
It is worth mentioning that the existing structure of the Lithuanian
Rural Network has ensured the consultation process at local, regional
and national levels.
The Ministry of Agriculture organised a series of events in February
and March 2013 for members of the Lithuanian Rural Network and other
stakeholders of the rural development process; the aim of those events
was to introduce the guidelines on the Partnership Agreement, the
process of its drafting, the key priorities and provisions of the
draft regulation on support to rural development (by different topics
and relevant measures).
To ensure a successful implementation of the CAP in the coming
programming period, on 6 May 2013 the Ministry of Agriculture launched
a public discussion with the major partners concerning the allocation
of financing between pillar I (measures on market regulation, direct
support to farmers) and pillar II (rural development measures).
Furthermore, in December 2012 the Ministry of Agriculture launched a
public discussion with social partners concerning the CLLD model to be
pursued by Lithuania in the coming programming period. Drawing on the
intensive consultations with the social partners, comments and
recommendations voiced, a possibility to implement bisectoral local
development strategies to be funded from EAFRD and EMFF has been
envisaged for those LAGs which cover rural areas and/or fishery
regions. In addition to that, the proposal concerning the exception
with regard to the size of CLLD territory took account of the
partners’ opinion concerning the good practice of the 2007–2013
programming period related to the implementation of LDSs in rural
areas with population above 6,000. Social and economic partners were
positive about the proposals that the major focus and financial weight
within the RDP were given to the objectives and measures dealing with
improvement of competitiveness of the agriculture.The Ministry of
Agriculture will ensure social partnership in various forms not only
at the programming stage, but also at other EU support administration
stages, including the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the
RDP 2014–2020. More detailed information on the application of the
partnership principle is available in Section 13 of the RDP 2014–2020
‘Actions taken to involve partners’.
To ensure successful preparations for the proper use of EMFF resources
in the 2014–2020 programming period, the Steering Committee for the
Lithuanian Fisheries Operational Programme approved a list of partners
(institutional, social, economic, societal) to be involved in the
drafting of the Fisheries Operational Programme. The selection of
partners was based on the current practice as well as transparency,
impartiality and efficiency principles. Following the Commission Staff
Working Document on the Implementation of Partnership Principle
approved in April, 2012, partners relevant to the EMFF include
regional and local authorities, representatives from fisheries,
aquaculture and other sub-sectors, for instance, processing, sectoral
organisations of social partners, environmental NGOs, science and
research organisations operating in the fisheries sector, national or
regional networks of LAGs in the area of fisheries.
In the course of negotiating the draft Fisheries Operational Programme
wide opportunities were provided for all stakeholder groups of the
sector to provide their comments and proposals on how to improve the
programme. A large part of the presented comments were related to
certain SWOT elements. All comments were carefully noted and the
majority of them were taken into account. All the doubts were
discussed and debated with the partners during the meetings. Taking
into consideration the partners’ comments some of the selection
criteria for fishery and acquaculture regions were adjusted, list of
activities supplemented.
1.5.2. Promotion of equality between men and women, non-discrimination
In the framework of the Partnership Agreement equality between men and
women will be ensured and the gender equality and non-discrimination
principles will be mainstreamed as required in Article 7 of the Common
Provisions Regulation.
This horizontal principle shall be understood not only as safeguarding
of equal opportunities of men and women but also as a prohibition to
restrict a person’s rights or give him/her privileges on the grounds
of his/her gender, nationality, racial or ethnic background, language,
religion, belief, opinions or attitudes, disability, social status,
age or sexual orientation. Equality of men and women refers to
equality of rights, responsibilities and opportunities for both
genders. For the purpose of this principle, it is important to take
into consideration knowledge, interests, experience and roles of both
men and women to enable both genders to equally benefit from the
2014–2020 programming period.
Disabled, elderly people and people with different functional
capacities should be enabled to use physical infrastructure,
transport, ICT and other measures and services under the same
conditions as granted to any other people. Serious barriers still
exist in all these areas. Accessibility for all is the primary
condition for participation in social and economic life however much
has still to be done to achieve this objective.
In the framework of the Partnership Agreement, Operational Programme
for the EU Structural Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, RDP 2014–2020
and Fisheries Operational Programme, equality, non-discrimination and
accessibility principles will be safeguarded as follows:
Representatives of NGOs engaged in gender equality, non-discrimination
and accessibility areas will be included into the structure of the
Monitoring Committee;
*
As part of project selection projects will be considered in terms
of their compliance with gender equality, non-discrimination and
accessibility principles. In the 2014–2020 programming period,
similarly to the 2007–2013 programming period, all applicants
seeking support will have to ensure that their projects will be in
line with equal opportunities and non-discrimination principles
and that any discrimination related to gender, race, ethnic
background, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual
orientation will be prevented by granting equal access to support
under all priorities to different social groups. In the cases
specifically mentioned in the documentation of the calls for
applications the applicants will have to specify the target
activities and the results whereby they are planning to actively
contribute to the implementation of these horizontal principles.
*
Monitoring of compliance with the horizontal principles will be
integrated into the overall project monitoring and evaluation
system. The monitoring of project implementation will also include
monitoring as to whether the granted support is being used in line
with the gender equality and non-discrimination principles.
*
The Managing Authorities will provide information about the
implementation of the horizontal principles in the implementation
and progress reports of the operational programmes; the horizontal
principles of the 2014–2020 ESI funds will be integrated into the
overall system for monitoring of implementation indicators of the
relevant programmes. Where appropriate, breakdown of beneficiaries
by gender will be monitored.
It should be noted that the mechanism for implementation of the
horizontal principles inherent to the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
developed in the 2007–2013 programming period will continue to be used
in the new programming period only functioning of some of its elements
will be improved. In the 2007–2013 programming period coordination of
horizontal principles was entrusted to the Horizontal Priorities
Implementation Monitoring Group which analyses the related information
and provides recommendations concerning implementation of the
priorities. The working group is made of institutions involved in the
implementation of the Operational Programme, social, economic and
regional partners as well as institutions in charge of gender equality
and non-discrimination. The working group will continue its
functioning in the 2014–2020 programming period.
In 2013 the evaluation ‘The Impact of the EU Structural Support on the
Implementation of the Horizontal Priority ‘Gender Equality and
Non-Discrimination’ was carried out; as part of the evaluation
recommendations for 2014–2020 programming period were issued.
Moreover, by 2018 it is planned to conduct the evaluation with regard
to the relevance of the Operational Programme for EU Funds'
Investments in 2014–2020 and impact on equal opportunities and
non-discrimination principle.
1.5.3. Sustainable development
Integration of sustainable development objectives at the programming
level
To ensure optimal living conditions for the current and for the future
generations, Lithuanian sustainable development strategy emphasises
the necessity to balance environmental, economic and social
development dimensions. The overall strategic objective of the
sustainable development – by 2020, to reach the EU-15 average level of
2003 in terms of economic, social and natural resources efficiency
indicators, while in terms of environmental pollution to remain bellow
the allowed EU standards, to implement the requirements of the
international conventions limiting environmental pollution and impact
on global climate. Investments into climate change mitigation and
adaptation are based on the National Strategy for the Climate Change
Management Policy and interinstitutional implementation action plan;
in the long-run the investments are oriented towards decoupling of the
rates of economic growth and emission of GHG.
On the basis of these strategic documents and the provisions of
Article 8 of the Common Provisions Regulation requiring that the
environmental protection requirements, resource efficiency, climate
change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, disaster resilience,
and risk prevention and management are promoted in the preparation and
implementation of Partnership Agreements and programmes, particular
attention in the 2014–2020 programming period will be paid to
increasing labour productivity and resource efficiency in all sectors
of the economy, including agriculture and fisheries. The above
objectives will be pursued by introducing innovations into the
production and management processes and by increasing energy
generation from RES. In addition to that, efforts will be made to
fully implement the framework environmental principles – cost
recovery, “polluter pays” - and to maintain the situation were economy
of the country grows more rapidly than GHG emissions into the
environment. When assessing economic efficiency of the projects, where
appropriate, account will be taken both of direct costs and of the
costs of the entire lifecycle. Particular attention will be paid to
prevention of environmental pollution, in particular in the waste
sector. As to the public sector, green public procurement will be
introduced to a wider extent. All that will have positive impact on
the promotion of sustainable consumption and mitigation of climate
change. Further development of social and health care systems along
with growing social responsibility of the companies and reduction of
pollution will enable to improve health and demographic indicators of
the country, will cut down social exclusion and emigration.
To implement the Water Directives (2000/60/EC, 2008/56/EC, 98/83/EC,
Directive 91/271/EC), a number of strategic planning documents have
been prepared (Nemunas, Lielupė, Venta, Dauguva River Basin regional
management plans, Baltic Sea Environmental Protection Strategy,
Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Management Development Strategy,
etc.) These documents were prepared on the basis of sustainable
development principles; in the preparation stage of the Partnership
Agreement, Operational Programme for Structural Funds’ Investments in
2014–2020, RDP 2014–2020 and Fisheries Operational Programme the
measures envisaged in these documents were treated as a high priority.
As part of implementation of the Directive 2007/60/EC on the
assessment and management of flood risks in line with sustainable
development principles, flood risk maps have been prepared and
preliminary risk mitigation measures are planned; in the drafting
stage of the Partnership Agreement, the Operational Programme for the
EU Structural Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, RDP 2014–2020 and the
Fisheries Operational Programme these measures were treated with high
priority. That contributes to the objectives of climate change
adaptation, risk prevention and management, and disaster resilience.
To implement the environmental requirements and to achieve the
objectives of climate change mitigation and adaptation, specific
projects will be selected by reference to strategic planning
documents, solutions and objectives of risk mitigation plans and
provisions of laws ensuring implementation of sustainable development
principles and objectives. Resilience of investments to the impact of
climate change and natural calamities (increased risk of flood, heat
waves, extreme meteorological phenomena, etc.) will be assessed.
It is planned that as part of measure implementation and calls for
applications provisions will be applied obliging the applicants to
justify that their investments contribute to or does not have adverse
impact on the implementation of the sustainable development principle.
Where appropriate, during project selection procedures projects will
be assessed in terms of their compliance with resource efficiency,
protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, climate change mitigation
and adaptation, implementation of environmental requirements, risk
prevention and management, disaster resilience, granting the needs of
consumers with different functional capacities and ‘polluter pays’
principle.
Project selection criteria will be established in the way that enables
to make sure whether a project implements the ‘polluter pays’
principle, i. e. to assess whether the collection, sorting, packing,
marking, accounting, storing of waste from production and other
economic activities and transfer of the waste to waste treatment
entities is the responsibility of the waste holder who has to cover
all waste managements costs in accordance with the ‘polluter pays’
principle. Compliance with the principle ‘polluter pays' will also be
ensured by requiring companies to include taxes for environmental
pollution into the tariffs of their goods and services.
As part of project selection, the following will be considered:
whether environmental impact assessment is required for the project,
if so, whether it has been conducted; whether the planned activity is
related with the established or potential Natura 2000 territories or
close environment of such territories, if so, whether significance of
Natura 2000 territories has been assessed; whether the project
envisages specific actions to ensure the implementation of the
sustainable development principle is promoted; whether the resources
needed for the implementation of the project are purchased in line
with green or sustainable procurement criteria; whether the resources
needed for the implementation of the project are purchased from
socially responsible persons (companies) and whether the resources
needed for the implementation of the project are purchased from
persons (companies) that have established environmental management,
etc. standards; whether the resources needed for the implementation of
the project will contribute to reduction of CO2; whether the project
will contribute to climate change adaptation or climate change
mitigation, etc.
Monitoring of compliance with the sustainable development principles
will be integrated into the overall project monitoring system. Project
implementation reports will also include descriptions on the
implementation of this horizontal principle. The annual implementation
and progress reports of the Operational Programme for the EU
Structural Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, RDP 2014–2020 and
Fisheries Operational Programme will include information about the
implementation of the horizontal principles.
The Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020
will ensure principles of sustainable development as follows:
For the purpose of climate change mitigation and adaptation,
protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, disaster resilience, risk
prevention and the achievement of management objectives, improvements
will be made to the data collection and presentation system and the
approach ‘do once, use many times’ will be applied, meaning that
access will be given to general information resources (electronic
spatial environmental data collection and monitoring systems, allowing
sectors to share coordinated spatial data at EU and cross-border
level). As a result, higher quality information at the national,
regional and local level will help identify key problems as well as
the best and most effective solutions.
Putting the available experience in practice (applying methods of
analogues) and monitoring how certain activities affect the
environment, the social environment and economy, support will be
focused on areas with the greatest need for a new basic infrastructure
and the best potential for effective solution of environmental
problems. Priority will be given to projects that are capable of
ensuring a high environmental level.
Sustainable development objectives will be achieved through the
promotion of new projects and technologies oriented at reducing
environmental impacts and increasing social inclusion, i.e. evaluating
and meeting needs of the ageing society. Measures promoting the demand
for innovation (pre-commercial procurement, innovative public
procurement) will contribute to sustainable development objectives
through commissioning R&D activities related to the reduction of
environmental pollution.
Environmental certification – another effective environmental measure
– will be applied not only to industrial production (goods), but also
services. The aim is to encourage business to use environmental
certification which gives the right to use environmental mark on the
product label or corporate documents. The environmental mark is given
to goods and services which, compared to other products with the same
purpose, have lower adverse environmental impacts or their production
and/or use involves fewer natural resources.
The renovation of public buildings will be implemented through the
ESCO model. Reduced needs for heating will lead to lower relative air
pollution since less fuel will be used for the production of heat.
Also, households will be encouraged to replace low efficiency biofuel
combustion facilities with modern ones with high efficiency and low
pollution.
Innovative technologies and methods will be introduced, as a result of
which an increasing share of waste will be turned into raw materials
for new products. This, in turn, will minimise adverse environmental
impacts, while ensuring the implementation of environmental
requirements. Industrial symbiosis projects and cooperation in the
field of waste management and provision of raw materials will be
promoted, focusing resources and meeting all environmental
requirements.
The introduction of eco-innovation (environment-friendly technologies)
will meet environmental requirements at raw material selection, use,
production, packaging and transportation stages. Financing will be
earmarked for advanced resource efficient technologies and production
methods to minimise adverse environmental impacts and/or preserve
natural resources. Industrial enterprises will use technological
elements which meet basic environmental requirements, may be applied
to many products and used for low carbon technologies, promoting
energy and recourse efficiency.
Financing will be ensured only for those urban public transport
measures that use alternative or renewable energy, namely electric
transport, including electric buses, hybrid buses, hybrid
trolleybuses, buses propelled by compressed natural gas, liquefied
petroleum gas and biogas. Support to the development of cleaner
fuel-driven public transport will limit urban air pollution. Electric
vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and other vehicles that use
alternative fuel will be promoted for public purposes through
(centralised) green procurement, the installation of public charging
stations for electric vehicles, electric bicycles and electrorollers
in urban areas as well as electro bus stations and special electronic
bus lanes for public transport. It all will have a direct contribution
to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
As part of the implementation of the resource efficiency objective,
the aim in 2014–2020 is to cut drinking water losses in water supply
systems by renovating water supply and wastewater networks.
A priority will be given to projects carried out in line with
sustainable and/or green public procurement procedures, thus promoting
a sustainable use of natural resources, reuse and recycling of
products, wider use of RES, development of environmental technology in
industries, the increasing supply of environment-friendly goods,
services and works.
Higher score will be granted to those projects that will lead to lower
annual CO2 emissions and projects aimed at replacing fossil fuel with
biofuel in line with additional bioenergy production and consumption
sustainability principles and criteria covering aspects such as
preservation of biodiversity, energy efficiency, resource efficiency,
social and economic elements.
EAFRD support will contribute to the sustainable development in
2014–2020 as follows:
The largest input into the sustainable development in 2014–2020 will
be made by the measures under the EU Rural Development priority
dealing with recovery and improvement of agriculture and forestry
dependent ecosystems (in particular preservation of biodiversity,
recovery and conservation of the landscape, including Natura 2000
areas) by promoting, through the agro-environmental measures, the
establishment of high nature value and environment friendly farming
systems as well as by supporting farming in the areas with natural or
other specific handicaps. The implementation of the sustainable
development principle in 2014–2020 will also be ensured by 5 EU rural
development priority measures aimed at resource efficiency and shift
towards climate change resilient low carbon economy (by reducing
emission of methan generated in agriculture, absorption of carbon
dioxide, etc.). In addition to that, measures will be planned for
efficient exploitation of forestry resources, whereby the protection
of ecosystems, recovery of damaged forests will be ensured,
aforestation and other initiatives aimed at conservation of forests
and development of efficient forestry activities will be promoted.
An input into the implementation of the sustainable development in
2014–2020 will also be made by other EU rural development priorities
by supporting investments into agricultural holdings and
infrastructure, non-agricultural businesses, granting support for risk
management in agriculture, improving the public infrastructure in
rural areas. During training and consulting activities the promotion
of sustainable development concept will be integrated into the
practical farming processes.
The Fisheries Operational Programme will contribute to sustainable
development objectives as follows:
Resource efficiency will be promoted through the promotion of the use
of alternative resources and RES, energy efficiency, introduction of
smart technologies and production methods that can be used by
developing low carbon technologies, consultations on resource
efficiency to fisheries enterprises.
Support will be provided to measures which contribute to climate
mitigation and adaptation by implementing sustainable principles in
the fisheries business: promoting the creation of energy and resource
efficient processes and technologies, their adaptation and
implementation in fisheries enterprises and fish unloading sites,
giving advice to fisheries enterprises on environmental
sustainability, including climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Innovative technologies and methods will be launched to enable reuse
of increasing portions of waste for new production, which will help to
directly mitigate adverse environmental impact and in the meanwhile
will ensure implementation of the environmental requirements. Projects
of industrial symbiosis, cooperation in relation to waste management
and provision of raw materials by concentrating resources and taking
into consideration all applicable environmental requirements will be
promoted.
Protection measures to be implemented include supporting investments
into more selective fishing methods and equipment whereby physical and
biological impacts of fishing on the environment are reduced, ensuring
the preservation and improvement of landscape and biodiversity,
including biodiversity and functioning of water ecosystems. Specific
measures for the promotion and protection of biodiversity are also
provided for in the sector of aquaculture.
Drawing on the existing experience (analogous methods) and monitoring
of the impact by certain activities on the environment, human society
and economy, support will be channelled into the areas that signal the
largest needs for the development of new, background infrastructure
and offer a potential of the most efficient tackling of environmental
problems granting priority to the projects able to ensure high
environmental protection level.
Support will be allocated to the measures promoting the optimisation
of technical capacities of environmental monitoring, evaluation and
control by effective data collection and fishing control, multi-annual
protection plans, etc.
For the sake of sustainable development, development of new products
and technologies oriented towards mitigation of environmental impact
and reinforcing of social inclusion, i.e. consideration and meeting of
the needs of ageing society, will be promoted.
1.5.4. Youth
The Council’s country-specific recommendations 2013 and 2014 for
Lithuania emphasise youth problems. They note the necessity for
additional measures to increase the participation of young people in
the labour market and more efficient application of the ALMPs.
Understanding the scope of this problem, Lithuania has mainstreamed
youth dimension as one of the horizontal principles.
Young people are in exceptional situation due to their age and the
period of life marked by integration into the society, maturity,
getting independent, attempting to position oneself in the labour
market, creating a family and gaining social and material status. This
period of life is a critical one. Young people have characteristic
ways and opportunities to spend their leisure time and are
distinguished by pro-activeness, participation, ambitions, active use
of ICT. Some young people are not motivated and find it difficult to
place themselves in the society. For the purpose of planning public
policy measures, the situation and the needs of the specific groups of
young people must be taken into consideration. Lithuania must address
a few essential youth problems: large unemployment; insufficient match
between the available skills and the needs of the labour market;
relatively large mobility of young people both from smaller cities and
from the country itself; insufficient education (training)
opportunities; poor entrepreneurial skills and creativity; low
interest in environmental and technology sciences, R&D; low
participation in activities of local organisations or municipal
institutions; lack of coordinated and high quality information and
advice system for young people.
To address these problems, it has been foreseen to improve the system
of education and science and strengthen its links with the labour
market, provide better opportunities to combine studies, professional
and family life. Youth guarantees will be implemented, ensuring that
young people who are not able to place themselves in the labour market
have new opportunities of education, internship or apprenticeship or
are provided with an employment possibility.
Order No A1-692 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour of 16
December 2013 approved the Action Plan for the Youth Guarantee scheme.
The plan provides for measures to ensure that all young people under
30 years old receive an offer for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship
or continued education within four months of them becoming unemployed
or leaving formal education. Lithuania is also planning activities
funded by the Youth Employment initiative under thematic objective 8
‘Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility’.
In the new programming period, much attention will be given to the
regional youth policy. It is envisaged to support communities and NGOs
(including youth communities and organisations) in addressing local
economic and social problems. Investments are planned towards public
spaces, living environment, sporting and other community
infrastructure in cities, towns and rural areas, which is important
for the social, physical and cultural progress of the youth. These
activities will be financed by the ERDF. Measures will be implemented
to ensure the accessibility of services to young people and to promote
their sense of citizenship, social participation and involvement in
decision-making processes, addressing issues relevant to the youth.
ERDF investments will contribute to encouraging young people to build
a business.
Looking at demographical processes in terms of age structure, it is
noticed that rural areas have decreasing numbers of individuals both
under 30 and under 40 years of age. EU legislation establishes that a
young farmer is an individual under 40 years of age.
Table 6. Rural population by age, emphasising age groups of the youth
and young farmers
2010
2011
2012
2013
Rural population, total
1,042,912
1,015,462
998,037
982,637
Rural population under 30 years old
396,822
361,209
351,971
343,470
Rural population under 40 years old
511,379
482,031
465,821
451,244
Source: Lithuanian Department of Statistics
Considering the decreasing number of young people in rural areas, in
the 2014–2020 programming period EAFRD-funded RDP 2014–2020 measures
will place a special focus on the youth, i.e. young people willing to
engage in agricultural activities and/or non-agricultural business in
rural areas by granting support to start-ups and/or already operating
natural and legal entities that qualify as SMEs. As part of
LEADER-type LDSs, a particular emphasis will be placed on the
inclusion of the youth.
As to the fisheries sector, the entrepreneurship and employment of
young people will be promoted by giving an additional score (if
relevant depending on measure specifics) to business investment
projects that are undertaken by or that foresee to employ people
between 18 and 29 years of age.
1.6. The list of operational programmes with preliminary allocations
by fund and by year
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Table 7. List of operational programmes with preliminary allocations
by ESI Fund and by year
Operational programme
ESI Funds
Total
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020
ERDF, ESF, Cohesion Fund and Youth Employment Initiative
6,709,396,130
856,982,510
892,041,563
918,739,321
955,207,343
991,639,721
1,029,074,996
1,065,710,676
RDP 2014-2000
EAFRD
1,613,088,240
230,392,975
230,412,316
230,431,887
230,451,686
230,472,391
230,483,599
230,443,386
Fisheries Operational Programme
EMFF
63,432,222
0
17,500,378
8,886,220
9,030,247
9,240,371
9,303,555
9,471,451
Total
8,385,916,592
1,087,375,485
1,139,954,257
1,158,057,428
1,194,689,276
1,231.352,483
1,268.862,150
1,305,625,513
Table 8. Allocations related to the performance reserve by ESI Fund
and by category of regions
Fund
Category of region
Total EU support (EUR)
Amounts excluded from the performance reserve
EU support share for the performance reserve (EUR)
Performance reserve (EUR)
Performance reserve (%) of EU share for the performance reserve
ESF share corresponding to YEI
Transf er of CAP
ERDF
Less developed
3,501,411,767
 
 
3,501,411,767
210,084,706
6.0
ESF
Less developed
1,127,284,104
31,782,633
 
1,095,501,471
65,730,088
6.0
EAFRD
 
1,613,088,240
 
0
1,613,088,240
96,785,294
6.0
Cohesion Fund
 
2,048,917,626
 
 
2,048,917,626
122,935,058
6.0
EMFF
 
63,432,222
63,432,222
3,805,933
6.0
Total:
8,385,916,592
8,322,351,326
499,341,080
6.0
2. ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION
==================================================
2.1. Arrangements to ensure coordination between the ESI Funds and
other Union and national funding instruments and with the European
Investment Bank (EIB)
------------------------------------------------------------------
2.1.1. Coordination between the ESI funds, European Territorial
Cooperation (ETC) Programmes and the EUSBSR
Coordination between the ESI Funds
Coordination of the ESI Funds will be implemented through the
complementarity and concentration of the ESI Funds in the
implementation of the most important Lithuanian and European
priorities as well as wider monitoring of the implementation of
operational programmes ensuring more effective coordination of
evaluations. In the field of publicity and information, the aim is to
communicate information to applicants on opportunities of the ESI
Funds in a more friendly and coordinated manner.
Looking at compatibility of five ESI Funds, it has been established
that the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund will finance all 11
objectives, the EAFRD will support all thematic objectives, except for
thematic objectives 7 and 11, and the EMFF will finance the
implementation of thematic objectives 3, 4, 6 and 8. A more detailed
table on compatibility and demarcations between the ESI funds
reflecting how ESI funds contribute to the thematic objectives and how
they are balanced with each other to ensure their complementarity is
provided in Annex 3.
A system for the prevention and control of double financing in the
2014–2020 programming period is being developed drawing on the
experience and the tools developed in ²007–2013 (list of
complementarity and demarcations between the measures, data and
information exchange between institutions administrating different
funds) . Experience gained in the prevention of double financing in
2007–2013 will be put in use. The prevention and control of double
financing will be ensured in a systematic way, i.e. relevant
supervision and control measures and procedures will be carried out at
each stage of the implementation of the operational programmes and
projects.
In the new programming period, the coordination of compatibility will
be improved by expanding functions of the Monitoring Committees. The
Monitoring Committees will discuss the progress in the implementation
of the operational programmes, proposed changes to the operational
programmes and the project selection criteria as well as general
implementation issues relevant to the funds. The Monitoring Committees
are expected to include (as members or observers) institutions in
charge of other financial instruments as well as socio-economic
partners competent in relevant areas and possessing good knowledge on
financing instruments. The participation of these representatives and
partners is particularly relevant for meetings where issues of
individual funds or objectives will be discussed. The Monitoring
Committee of the EAFRD-funded programme consists of representatives
from the Managing Authority of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds,
intermediate bodies and social partners.
Compatibility of investments will also be pursued through the
Management Committee of the Operational Programme for the EU
Structural Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 whose main function is to
ensure compatibility of the operational programme implementation
aspects, discuss evaluation results, exchange good practices with the
institutions administrating the investments.
To ensure more efficient measurement of the impacts of the ESI Funds,
better coordination of evaluation activities will be secured. An
interinstitutional evaluation coordination group will be set up in the
2014–2020 programming period, consisting of not only representatives
of the Managing Authorities of the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion
Fund, but also representatives from Managing Authorities of the EAFRD
and the EMFF. The Evaluation Coordination Group will coordinate EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds evaluation plans for 2014–2020 and
annual evaluation plans as well as evaluation objectives and tasks
provided for in these plans. Some evaluations will cover all five ESI
funds. The coordination of how the findings and recommendations
generated by evaluations are being implemented as well as
communication of the evaluation findings will be ensured by the
Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, the
RDP 2014–2020 and the Fisheries Operational Programme.
What concerns publicity and information, the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds website will be updated, providing explicit information
and necessary references to other European Commission’s programmes and
financing opportunities by the ESI Funds. Applicants will also receive
initial information on opportunities offered by the ESI Funds as well
as other programmes and be referred to a relevant authority or on-line
information.
Coordination between the ESI Funds and ETC programmes
To ensure synergy between ETC programmes and the ESI Funds, the most
important innovation of the 2014–2020 programming period is limiting
the selection of objectives under ETC programmes. Following the
planned approach, each transnational and international cooperation
programme will have four key objectives and a few other objectives
selected. These objectives will cover a maximum of 20% of the total
financing of the programme and of thematic objectives of the ESI
Funds. Interregional cooperation programmes, however, will be allowed
to choose any number or all of the thematic objectives. Such
concentration will limit the thematic scope of ETC programmes and help
pursue synergy in specific areas.
Assuming that the larger share of financing to the implementation of
Lithuania’s national objectives will come from the ESI Funds,
Lithuania will make efforts that ETC programmes, in which it will
participate, direct their funds to the implementation of specific
activities covered by investment priorities of the ESI thematic
objectives. Increasing of employment could serve as an example. It is
one of the ESI thematic objectives which will receive funding from
almost all ESI Funds (especially the ESF) as well as from ETC
programmes, meaning that these financial instruments are aligned in
terms of contents.
For the purpose of choosing priorities and measures or selecting and
monitoring projects under ETC programmes, measures will be taken to
identify potential sources of funding for operations and assess their
suitability. Moreover, in order to coordinate actions planned under
ETC programmes and actions under the ESI Funds and other programmes,
an advisory committee for ETC programmes will be established,
consisting of bodies in charge of the operational programmes and other
related financial instruments as well as representatives delegated by
socio-economic partners. Basic functions of this committee will
include submitting proposals to Lithuania’s representatives delegated
to ETC programme monitoring (steering) committees concerning the
eligibility of Lithuanian partners to implement projects, the
justification of project activities and their results specified in the
relevant project applications, and communicating information about ETC
programmes in represented institutions.
In the 2014–2020 programming period Lithuania will take part in three
ETC objective cross-border cooperation programmes – Lithuania-Poland,
Lithuania-Latvia and South Baltic. The implementation of these
programmes primarily seeks to develop cooperation in the border
regions to tackle common problems and to increase attractiveness of
the border regions for investing and living. The thematic objectives
which will be pursued through the programmes have been identified
taking account of specific and unique nature of the border territory
with a view to contributing to and complementing the investment areas
foreseen for the ESI funds. Hence, for the purposes of
Lithuania-Poland and Lithuania-Latvia cross-border cooperation
programmes four thematic objectives (6, 8, 9 and 11) were chosen
together with partners and neighbouring countries on the basis of
which investments in the border regions will be supported. Having in
mind the specific aspects of the South Baltic region, partners from
Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany chose thematic
objectives 3, 6, 7, 8 and 11. The South Baltic programme will focus on
the actions in accordance with the thematic objectives dealing with
the development of blue and green economy.
Coordination between the ESI Funds and the EUSBSR
In Lithuania, the implementation of the EUSBSR is coordinated by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (national coordinator of the EUSBSR). The
implementation process is supervised by the National Commission for
Supervision of the EUSBSR Implementation (the Commission), consisting
of representatives from responsible public authorities and agencies
(mostly sectoral ministries), including those participating in the
administration of the ESI Funds and socio-economic partners. The
Commission regularly discusses EUSBSR-related issues, including
possibilities for cooperation with other countries within the
framework of the Strategy, financing of the EUSBSR, its links with
documents on the use of the ESI Funds in 2014–2020 and other financing
instruments, etc. With the aim to ensure links between priorities of
the ESI Funds and the EUSBSR objectives and their compatibility, the
EUSBSR coordinator, priority area coordinators and leaders of flagship
projects took part in the Commission for the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds 2014–2020 (the Commission), which plays an important
role in the drafting of the Partnership Agreement and the Operational
Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, discussions on
the role of the EUSBSR in the 2014–2020 programming period. Also, to
ensure thematic coordination throughout the drafting of strategic
documents for the ESI Funds and the selection of specific objectives
as well as planning of the activities to be financed, objectives of
the EUSBSR and priority areas provided for in its action plan will be
taken into consideration.
Efficient coordination of the EUSBSR and the ESI Funds will also take
place during the implementation of the ESI Funds: the main actors of
the EUSBSR (national coordinator of the EUSBSR, priority area
coordinators, leaders of flagship projects) will be invited to
Monitoring Committees for the ESI Funds, where they could discuss the
input of the ESI Funds into the implementation of the EUSBSR and other
EUSBSR-related issues on a regular basis. It should be noted that the
involvement of EUSBSR actors in the planning and implementation of the
ESI Funds in 2014–2020 creates preconditions for an integrated
assessment and improvement of possibilities for the implementation of
the EUSBSR.
On 5 December 2013, Vilnius held a meeting of national coordinators of
the EUSBSR, where it was decided to organise regular meetings between
Managing Authorities and coordinators of the drafting of the
Partnership Agreement. These meetings should ensure closer cooperation
and more consistent discussions on the links between the cohesion
policy and the EUSBSR, and particular initiatives. It was also decided
to apply priority criteria to projects implemented in Lithuania, which
are funded by the ESF, ERDF and the Cohesion Fund and contribute to
the EUSBSR. This will ensure systematic monitoring. Links between and
impacts of the cohesion policy and the EUSBSR will be measured in
evaluations which will be coordinated with evaluations in other
countries.
It should be noted that in the context of EUSBSR implementation, ESI
funds can be used to pursue the goals of the blue growth strategy, to
identify the development possibilities of the relevant territories, in
particular situated near the sea. Following the Communication from the
Commission of 13 September 2012 No 494 Blue Growth opportunities for
marine and maritime sustainable growth, the activities financed by ESI
funds, where appropriate, will be expanded to include elements of
marine and maritime sectors.
2.1.2. Coordination between the ESI Funds and other Union and national
financing instruments and with the EIB
The 2014–2020 period opens exceptionally broad opportunities to
benefit from ESI funds and other EU and international programmes to
pursue changes in the areas of priority both to Lithuania and to
Europe to a more efficient and wider extent. The largest opportunities
in the 2014–2020 programming period open in the priority areas related
to education and training, development of innovations and research,
high quality employment and labour mobility, social inclusion and
poverty reduction, sustainable development and environment, energy
efficiency, business competitiveness and information society.
For the sake of more efficient exploitation of the opportunities
offered by both ESI funds and other EU and international programmes,
the following actions will be taken:
*
Ensuring compatibility of financing of the Lithuanian and EU
priority development needs from different funding sources, EU and
other international programmes and instruments by exchanging more
detailed information between the administrating institutions about
measures, areas to be funded, calls for applications, etc.
*
Raising awareness about other EU and international programmes and
instruments, improving dissemination of information;
The compatibility between the ESI funds, international programmes and
instruments is first of all based on consistent development of the
specific areas and implementation of the changes sought by assessing
the opportunities offered and the eligibility requirements set by the
EU and international programmes and instruments.
Particular attention will be paid to the compatibility of those EU and
international programmes and instruments that can contribute to the
changes in the areas most important to Lithuania and in specific
stages, for instance, by providing opportunity to multiply project
results and to ensure their continuity.
A particular focus is placed on the compatibility of the below listed
programmes and ESI funds:
In the area of research and innovations there is potential synergy
between ESI funds and Horizon 2020 in relation to international
researches, investing in the core technologies, increasing funding
possibilities and supporting SMEs. In 2014–2020, it is planed to use
coordinated investments of ESI funds and Horizon 2020 to promote
cooperation (including international) between research and business,
integration of researches into ESFRI network, increasing business
investments into RDI. Participation in the activities of Knowledge and
Innovation Communities of the European Innovations and Technology
Institute will potentially be sought as well.
As regards improved competitiveness of SMEs, compatibility will be
ensured between ESI funds and the Programme for the Competitiveness of
SMEs 2014–2020 (COSME)93 in relation to activities whereby better
opportunities will be safeguarded for the SMEs to raise funding in the
form of equity and debt and access funding for their starting-up and
growth stages, market access will be improved, entrepreneurship and
business culture will be enhanced.
In the environmental area potential funding can be provided from other
EU funded programmes. For instance, LIFE programme can finance
projects contributing to EU environmental policy by introducing
innovative methods and technologies to provide environmental solutions
with emphasis on protection of biodiversity and combating climate
change, applying innovative funding methods (including financial
instruments). While those willing to implement commercial
environmental demonstration projects aimed at collection and storage
of CO2 or to use RES can also seek support from EU programme NER 3000.
NER 3000 will finance projects using innovative and readily available
technologies of the core areas ensuring not expensive but substantial
reduction of GHG emissions into the environment.
For the purpose of activities dealing with boosting of employment,
reducing of poverty and social exclusion, there is a potential for
complementarity between ESI funds and the Programme for Social Change
and Innovation (SCIP) in relation to supporting of the network of
European employment services (EURES), social enterprises and social
business, public, private and third sector employment partnerships,
youth employment, issuing of micro credits to those in highest need,
in particular, vulnerable persons, promoting equality of men and women
and anti-discrimination. Complementarity will be safeguarded by
funding complementary measures and offering opportunities to develop
successful project ideas.
In reducing disparities in health and accessibility of health care and
in promoting health of the productive society, in particular elderly
people, there is a potential for synergy with the third EU health
programme Health for Growth related to pursuing of joint actions and
projects enabling to disseminate and reinforce the available
knowledge, sharing of good practice, experience of pilot projects and
research evidence based decisions. As regards healthy ageing
objectives, the promotion of better quality of life, financial
sustainability of health and social services systems and new business
opportunities can benefit from the European Innovation Partnership for
Active and Healthy Ageing and the related Joint Active Living
Programme.
In education, a potential for synergy exists with the programme
Erasmus+ which aims at: enhancing practice opportunities for the
students; improvement and deepening of knowledge and skills for the
adults needed for successful participation in the labour market;
improvement of professional and/or pedagogical knowledge and skills on
an institutional and staff level; strengthening of cooperation between
the higher education schools and the stakeholders; preparation of new
study programmes/subjects/modules matching the needs of the market;
improvement of the young people’s achievements; strengthening the
quality of early childhood education and care; enhancement of
teachers’ qualification; strengthening of their professional
competencies and increasing mobility. Combination of these instruments
will facilitate introduction of life long learning and innovative
adult training models, improvement of general and professional skills
of the students and the teachers in all sectors of education.
To reinforce and better mobilize human resource potential in the R&D
area and to improve the working conditions of the scientists and other
researchers, coordination between ESI funds and Marie Skłodowska-Curie
programme will be ensured in the context of financing initial training
networks, scholarships for those leaving to other European countries
in sought of career development, subsidising professional integration,
developing research and business partnership, engaging in
international staff exchanges. The reinforced coordination between ESI
funds and Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme will result in more
intensive R&D human resource connections with the private sector,
research and higher education institutions as well as other research
institutions abroad.
Changes in the public administration area will be implemented by using
the opportunities offered by the ESI funds, the Internal Security Fund
and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (hereinafter together
referred to as Home Affairs Funds). Investments from the ESF and the
Home Affairs Funds will be coordinated and the potential risk of
overlapping of these funds will be managed through cooperation of the
institutions in charge of planning and implementing of measures
supported by the funds in the context of preparation of programming
documents on investments, project selection criteria, pipelines of
projects to be supported, and by delegating representatives from the
institutions in charge of implementation of the priority under
thematic objective 11 to the committees that will be established for
the coordination and monitoring of the implementation of programmes
for the Home Affairs Funds.
To contribute to the EU 20/20/20 objectives in the climate change area
by reducing energy consumption, GHG emissions and improving the air
quality, there will be an additional possibility to use the benefits
offered by the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and
Communities in relation to deployment of innovative solutions in the
areas of information technologies, energy efficiency and public
transport management.
Considering the specificity of EU programmes or financial instruments
and the principle of complementarity, the aim is to ensure the
continuity of project results in order to receive funding from EU
financial instruments and other programmes (e.g. funding of research
projects by the Horizon 2020 programme). Another aim is to ensure that
a project or a group of projects in a specific field could be funded
by several sources of funding, primarily through integrated
coordination and avoidance of double financing with such programmes as
Horizon 2020, LIFE and Erasmus +. Beneficiaries of these programmes
will be invited to meetings of the Monitoring Committee. Moreover,
cooperation and information exchange procedures will be set for the
Managing Authority and implementing bodies of the said programmes.
The Monitoring Committee will pay additional attention to the
presentation of the above mentioned programmes, instruments and
opportunities; information exchange will also be secured. The website
of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds will post information about
the opportunities offered by the EU and international programmes.
It should be noted that the complementarity of the ESI Funds with
other relevant national strategic programmes funded from the national
budget will be monitored. In 2012, the Lithuanian Government adopted
the NDP designed to implement the State development strategy
‘Lithuania 2030’. This programme covers the most important provisions
of the national policy as well as of the EU policy set out in the
Europe 2020 strategy. It also provides for all sources of financing,
i.e. the ESI Funds and other sources of financing, including the
national budget. Coordinators of the NDP must ensure the monitoring of
project implementation, which involves all institutions in charge of
specific objectives, analysis of the achievement of evaluation
criteria and the input of the actual data into the Monitoring
Information System. It should be noted that the Operational Programme
for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 and the RDP 2014–2020 are
built on the NDP.
Coordination with the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
As regards the transport, Lithuania is planning to implement a few
important groups of CEF supported projects in the network of the core
European connections: construction of a section of 1435 mm gauge
high-speed railway ‘Rail Baltica’ from Kaunas to Lithuanian national
border with Latvia meeting the technical interoperability
specifications; modernisation of the East-West transport corridor (IXB
corridor, electrification of Vilnius and Radviliškis railway node);
modernisation of the highway ‘Via Baltica’ (sections from the national
border to the nearest towns – transport nodes); and development of
intelligent transport systems. CEF projects will significantly improve
the interoperability between the multimodal transport system and the
trans-European transport networks (TEN-T).
A coordinated and integrated expansion of the country’s transport
system into the TEN-T networks with the help of ESI and CEF funding
will enable to achieve the maximum expected effect ensuring smooth
functioning of the internal market that will help to increase the
overall competitiveness of Europe (transport system). Investments from
the ESI funds and the CEF are planned by coordinating the potential
projects on the basis of the National Transport Development Programme.
In the context of project implementation, investments from different
funds will also be coordinated. Where the CEF funding envisaged to
projects is not sufficient the projects can be funded from the
Cohesion Fund or ERDF.
In energy sector, Lithuania is preliminary planning to use CEF funding
for the implementation of projects in common interest with the EU
(Lithuanian-Polish electricity connection ‘LitPol Link’, increasing
the capacity of the main gas pipe pipeline Klaipėda-Kiemėnai,
Lithuanian-Polish gas connection GIPL, synchronisation of the Baltic
countries with the continental European networks; expansion of
Lithuanian and Latvian gas connection). Whereas the financing from the
Structural Funds is planned to be used for the implementation of
internal electricity and gas networks by implementing individual
projects needed to ensure the functioning of the newly developed EU
common interest electricity and gas energy infrastructure and
full-fledged integration of Lithuania into the EU energy systems and
the internal market.
It should be noted that the project aimed at increasing the capacity
of the main gas pipeline Klaipėda-Kiemėnai has been included into the
list of EU projects of common interest. Should a project receive no or
receive insufficient CEF funding, in consideration of the importance
of this project for the integration of the LNG terminal in Klaipėda
into the market and for the integration of the Lithuanian gas systems
into the EU internal market, the lacking amount will be granted for
this project from the Structural Funds envelope. Structural Funds can
also fund other EU projects of common interest that receive no CEF
funding or where the granted CEF funding is not sufficient. To enhance
accessibility and quality of public and administrative services, the
planned actions to be supported from the EU Structural and Cohesion
Funds in relation to introduction of electronic services will be
coordinated with the planned CEF initiatives aimed at development of
intergovernmental e-services, i.e. the national solutions being worked
on will be agreed with the requirements of the inter-governmental
solutions. For instance, participation in Europeana, e-identification
and e-signature initiatives is envisaged. These initiatives will be
complemented with project results achieved as part of such activities
of the Operational Programme for the EU Structural Funds’ Investments
in 2014–2020 as dissemination of Lithuania’s digital cultural contents
(development of innovative e-services and e-products based on
digitised heritage and contemporary cultural contents); development of
new solutions and improvement of the existing solutions for personal
identification and preservation of privacy in electronic media.
Coordination of the agricultural area
Pillar I of the CAP funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund
(EAGF) covers direct payments and market measures providing a basic
annual income support to EU farmers and support in case of specific
market disturbances. It is complemented by CAP pillar II which is
funded from the EAFRD and which emphasises rural development support
through the promotion of competitiveness and innovation and with
regard to environmental needs. The actions underlying the both CAP
pillars are closely interrelated and both areas complement each other.
Direct payments and similar support schemes, such as special payment
schemes for small farmers and special support for young farmers up to
40 years old, are both directly and indirectly related with the
relevant RDP measures, therefore will contribute to the common goals.
The main aim of direct payments is to ensure sufficient income to
farmers, therefore looking from the RDP perspective it is a measure
increasing the income level in the agricultural sector and ensuring
the growth of competitiveness.
Direct payments are made to farmers that meet requirements of
cross-compliance, covering requirements of the Good Agricultural and
Environmental Conditions (GAEC) and management. These requirements
complement actions under CAP pillar II aimed at adapting green farming
practices to territories of large environmental value (such as Natura
2000), traditional agricultural areas and areas with natural or other
specific barriers. In the context of the new 2014–2020 programming
period, GAEC requirements are expected to be further expanded,
committing the Member States to define and apply new requirements to
the protection of soil and water on the basis of GAEC standards
approved at the EU level.
To increase the overall environmental efficiency of the CAP, direct
payments are interlinked with the greening requirement. According to
this approach, any farmer applying for a direct payment must pursue
certain greening activities for the benefit of the climate and the
environment. These activities will be based on individual measures of
CAP pillar II.
The provision of training and advisory services, information and
better understanding will enable individuals that receive payments
under CAP pillar I to better meet the requirements of
cross-compliance. Entrepreneurial skills and ability to engage in
alternative businesses being developed under RDP measures will also
serve as a significant contribution to the competitiveness of the
agricultural sector.
Support for the improvement of technologies, farming practice and
processing will create conditions for the development of products of
larger value-added, allow entities to generate larger income and hence
increase investments under the RDP.
Market regulation measures will compliment direct payments in the
2014–2020 programming period (for instance, government’s intervention,
support to private storage, measures promoting full consumption of
products). Other measures can also be applied, including export
refunds, crisis prevention and management measures, measures related
to the improvement of the food supply chain. Pursuant to the
principles of control mechanisms, these measures will be applied to
prevent the overlapping of support to projects covered by single
market regulation measures and the RDP.
Coordination with the EIB
Drawing on the successful cooperation experience of Lithuania and EIB
in the 2007–2013 programming period in relation to administration of
the long-term loan issued by the EIB to Lithuania for ensuring of the
national public funding contribution and own contribution of project
promoters as well as referring to the assessments of 2014-2016
borrowing projections and taking into consideration the attractiveness
of loans from international financial institutions Lithuania has
decided to continue cooperation with the EIB and consequently applied
for a loan to ensure national co-financing of investment projects to
be supported in 2014–2020 from EU funds. The cooperation with the EIB
in the 2014–2020 programming period is an attractive option because
the agreed EIB loan agreement and EIB loan management and
administration system for 2007–2013 is already in place and the
2014–2020 loan administration system would be integrated into the
existing framework. EIB might also be approached seeking loans for the
implementation of individual projects in relation to transport
infrastructure, renovation of multi-apartment buildings or other
areas. In addition to that, in the context of financial instruments
supported by international financial institutions account will be
taken of the performance of the functioning financial instruments
created in the 2007-2014 programming period, information with the
managers of the financial instruments, for instance, European
Investment Fund, the manager of the Baltic Innovation Fund, will be
exchanged.
2.2. Ensuring additionality
---------------------------
Table 9. Ensuring additionality in 2014–2020
Expenditure of the General Government as a share of GDP
2014*
2015
2016**
2017
2018
2019
2020
P51
3,5
3,4
3,1
3,1
3,1
3,1
3,1
*The gross fixed capital formation of 2014-2015 is foreseen in
accordance with European Commission’s economic forecasts for
Lithuania, autumn 2013. The economic forecasts are published on
**In 2016-2020, it is expected that the gross fixed capital formation
will be maintained at the average level of 3.1%. The average gross
fixed capital ratio in 2014–2020 is planned to be 3.2% of the GDP.
2.3. A summary on the fulfilment of applicable ex ante
conditionalities
------------------------------------------------------
Information is provided in Annex No 2.
2.4. Methodology and mechanism to ensure consistency in the
functioning of the performance framework
-----------------------------------------------------------
Financial indicators
All financial indicators to be pursued through the ESI Funds are
proposed by intermediary bodies and determined by the Managing
Authorities responsible for drafting the Operational Programme for the
EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, the RDP 2014–2020 and the
Fisheries Operational Programme. Managing Authorities and intermediary
bodies determine financial indicators based on such principles as
historic data on the implementation of similar priorities/projects in
previous programming periods; preparation of the sector to absorb EU
support (the status of legislation, specifics of the planned
measures); experience of the relevant authority in administering EU
support; findings and observations of the ex ante evaluation.
Monitoring indicators and main stages of implementation
To ensure that monitoring (output and result) indicators are properly
set and meet quality standards, the Managing Authority of the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds has prepared recommendations for
intermediate bodies as to the identification of indicators for the
Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020,
which are based on requirements for the identification of indicators
established in the regulations and methodological documents of the
European Commission. Also, training will be organised for intermediate
bodies in charge of the identification of monitoring indicators to be
used for investments in the 2014–2020 programming period.
In their proposals for specific indicators intermediate bodies also
provided detailed descriptions for the indicators proposed, as
recommended by the Managing Authority of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds. Each description sets out arguments why this
particular indicator has been chosen, justify the relevance of the
indicator for monitoring the implementation of the investment planned,
and explains how target values, which allow for an integrated
monitoring of the indicator’s progress during the implementation of
the operational programme, have been calculated.
Following recommendations of the Managing Authority of the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds, target values for output indicators are
usually calculated on the basis of average costs or other unit costs,
as set in previous programming periods or national programmes, which
are planned with regard to the scope of the investments and activities
planned. Target values for result indicators of ESF have been
calculated on the basis of the indicators achieved in previous
programming periods in similar national programmes; as regards ERDF
and Cohesion Fund, the target values of result indicators have been
calculated on the basis of the objectives set in the strategic
documents and/or expected scope of investments as well as on the basis
of the assessed conclusions from macroeconomic simulation, expert
judgements or statistic analysis.
The EAFRD-funded RDP 2014–2020 uses the indicators set within the
common monitoring and evaluation system of rural development
programmes. Monitoring indicators for the Fisheries Operational
Programme have been set by the Managing Authority of the Fisheries
Operational Programme, taking the European Commission’s
recommendations into consideration.
As to monitoring indicators to be used for performance review, output
indicators and/or result indicators defined in the operational
programmes for monitoring the implementation of investment priorities
and/or specific objectives which would best reflect the implementation
progress of the investments covered by the operational programmes and
the achievement of which absorb the majority of the funds have been
chosen. In case of the RDP 2014–2020, monitoring indicators that best
reflect the progress in the implementation of the EU rural development
priorities will also be used for performance review.
The Performance Framework is mostly based on output indicators. Result
indicators have been chosen only where they measure impacts of the
investments under the operational programme at the beneficiaries’
level (or impacts of the investments on a certain fisheries sector, in
case of the EMFF) rather than reflect socio-economic changes at the
national level. Milestones are used instead of financial/monitoring
indicators, where the relevant priorities and/or specific objectives
may fail to achieve tangible and measurable results by the end of
2018. They have been set on the basis of historic data on the
implementation of similar priorities/projects in previous programming
periods, preparedness of the sector to absorb EU investments and the
experience of the authority in administration of EU investments.
As to the ESF, the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund, the Performance
Framework also provides the main reasons justifying the choice of a
monitoring indicator/milestone and its relevance for performance
review. The monitoring indicators and milestones and their target
values proposed by intermediate bodies were assessed by an ex ante
evaluation. External experts positively assessed the relevance of the
indicators proposed for monitoring investments under the operational
programme and for performance review and confirmed the validity of the
calculations related to the target values.
Monitoring indicators of the Fisheries Operational Programme and the
RDP 2014–2020 have been chosen for performance reserve review with
regard to the European Commission’s recommendations.
Long-term planning and management
Monitoring of the use of resources of the ESF, the ERDF and the
Cohesion Fund and risk management were based on the plan for the
absorption of EU funds. This plan sets target and critical amounts of
the ESI Funds to be declared to the European Commission; the above
framework was aimed at a consistent absorption of the EU funds
throughout the whole programming period and avoiding any losses of the
EU funds earmarked for the implementation of the operational
programmes in accordance with the N+2/3 rule. For the purpose of
EAFRD, in the context of the 2007–2013 programming period biannual
plans for the absorption of RDP 2007–2013 funding with breakdown by
quarters were prepared. Drawing on the successful experience related
to these plans, similar plans are to be prepared for the 2014–2020
programming period by extending their scope to the monitoring
indicators included in the Performance Framework. These plans will
serve as a tool to manage the risk of losing any funds in accordance
with N+3 rule and also to ensure regular monitoring of the indicators
included in the Performance Framework.
The plans on the achievement of monitoring indicators used for the
absorption of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds and performance review
ultimately approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
will be drafted by the Managing Authority at the beginning of the
programming period on the basis of proposals from the intermediate
bodies. The plan for the absorption of EU Structural and Cohesion
Funds specifies critical annual amounts to be absorbed under each
priority of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in
2014–2020 by responsible intermediate bodies. Similarly, the plan for
the achievement of monitoring indicators for performance review sets
out target annual values for monitoring indicators included in the
performance review plan.
Instruments for control
ESF, ERDF and Cohesion Fund. Regular systemic monitoring of the
implementation of plans is carried out on a quarterly basis through
implementation reports. These reports provide facts about contracts
made, status of achievement of financial and monitoring indicators,
derogations from the values set in the plans, causes for the
derogations and the resulting risks, detailed information and the
schedule of the actions that have been/will be taken. These reports
shall be prepared by the Managing Authority of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds after analysing and adding information provided by
intermediary bodies. The Managing Authority of the EU Structural
Funds, after identifying any problems or delays, prepares proposals
and measures to address such problems and sends all related
information to the Government together with a quarterly implementation
report. Once the Government approves the report and the measures to
address the problems identified, the Managing Authority of the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds is responsible for the supervision of
the implementation.
The data related to the ongoing monitoring of the implementation of
priorities and measures are stored and analysed within the
computerised EU Structural Support Information Management and
Monitoring System (SFMIS). It is expected that in the 2014–2020
programming period the SFMIS will have tools installed that were used
in the 2007–2013 programming period and enable automated analysis of
the implementation of plans covering information about expected
applications, contracts, payments, recognition of costs to be declared
to the European Commission, target values of monitoring indicators,
performance and compliance of different procedures (for instance,
evaluation of applications, verification of payment claims, the start
of spending, keeping with deadlines for payment claims) with the
deadlines established by legal acts.
Also, the tools used in the 2007–2013 programming period for
collection and synthesis of information on the implementation of
general policy objectives (contribution to climate change mitigation)
will be installed into the SFMIS and further improved. Financial and
monitoring indicators related to the implementation of the said
objectives will be analysed on a regular basis.
A summarised review of the performance of plans and the implementation
of general policy objectives will be performed through annual reports
of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in
2014–2020.
EAFRD. In case of the RDP 2014–2020 funded by the EAFRD, to ensure a
consistent absorption of EAFRD resources throughout the whole
programming period and to prevent any risks of losing the EAFRD
resources earmarked for the programme in accordance with the N+3 rule,
the Managing Authority (the Ministry of Agriculture) will draft
biannual plans, with a breakdown by quarters, for the use of funds.
The implementation of these plans will be monitored through quarterly
implementation reports.
As to the 2014–2020 programming period, it is intended to further
upgrade modules of the Information System for the Administration of
Support to Agriculture (the ŽŪPAIS) (dealing with the assessment of
applications, payment claims and disbursements), which accumulate
information needed for the administration of support and supervision
of projects. Similarly, the Statistical Data Storage (the SDS)
developed in the 2007–2013 programming period and containing tools
which help analyse and forecast data about expected applications,
existing contracts, paid out support as well as monitor indicators of
the RDP 2014–2020 will be further developed in the 2014–2020
programming period, adapting functionalities of the systems to
requirements of the RDP 2014–2020.
EMFF. To ensure the optimal absorption of EMFF resources and to avoid
any risks of losing financing in accordance with the N+3 rule, the
Ministry of Agriculture, being responsible for administration of the
Fisheries Operational Programme, draft biannual plans, with a
breakdown by quarters, for the use of funds. The implementation of
these plans is monitored by quarterly implementation reports.
The supervision of the EMFF-funded Fisheries Operational Programme in
the 2014–2020 programming period will be based on the Information
System for the Administration of Support to the Lithuanian Fisheries
Sector; this information system will be built on the database
generated within the Information System for the Administration of
Rural Development Plan Measures (the KPPAIS). The fisheries
administration information system will be integrated into the
Information System for the Administration of Agricultural Support. In
2014–2020, the data generated by the Information System for the
Administration of the EU Support to the Lithuanian Fisheries Sector
will be analysed and processed using the same ŽŪPAIS tools (different
data reports, staff timesheet reports, etc.). The above tasks will
also involve the SDS, which is planned to be re-integrated into the
ŽŪPAIS in connection with the EMFF measures.
Methods to address the identified problems and their monitoring
Where there is a risk of not achieving or a failure to achieve the
planned annual monitoring indicators used for the supervision of
performance and/or critical absorption levels, the Managing
Authorities for the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds, RDP and
Fisheries Operational Programme may organise meetings with the
intermediate bodies to discuss the causes of delays and to agree on
the solutions of the problems; to initiate evaluations to improve the
investments from the operational programmes and their management and
administration; to give advice to the intermediate bodies concerning
corrective actions to deal with the delays; to issue proposals to the
Government of the Republic of Lithuania concerning corrective actions
to be taken by intermediate bodies to ensure that the planned
indicators are achieved; to take any other precautionary and/or
corrective actions. If needed, the Managing Authorities may issue
proposals to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania concerning
re-allocation of funding within the programmes; to issue proposals to
the Monitoring Committee concerning amendment of the programmes,
including revision of target monitoring indicators; to restrict the
right of certain intermediate body to undertake new contracting
commitments in certain economic sector, etc.
2.5. Reinforcement of administrative capacity
---------------------------------------------
2.5.1. Reinforcement of administrative capacities among bodies
responsible for administration
In the 2007–2013 programming period, reinforcement of the
administrative capacities of the staff involved in the administration
of the EU structural support, the EAFRD and the EMFF was organised in
the following main areas and was funded from the technical assistance
envelope:
*
Capacity building through the participation in different working
groups and meetings (for instance, round table discussions with
social partners, seminars for beneficiaries and applicants, etc.)
to discuss different issues relevant to the administration of the
system facilitating resolution of different problem situations and
learning valuable lessons related to administration of the EU
structural support, the EAFRD and the EMFF;
*
Training, i.e. centralised training on a system level organised by
the Managing Authority of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds or
qualification enhancement institutions (for the staff involved in
the administration of the EU Structural Funds), in-house and
inter-institutional training where institutions shared their
experience, and training in accordance with the institutional
plans for staff training (capacity building);
*
Capacity building by exchanging information via the existing IT
systems, i.e. the SFMIS, www.esparama.lt, the ŽŪPAIS, which
facilitate access to relevant information, enable to communicate
evaluations of the system and to develop a framework based on
common standards;
*
Capacity building through traineeships and missions enabling to
get familiar with the activities of other institutions and good
practice examples, and participation in seminars, conferences and
training related to the administration of EU programmes and
projects as organised by the European Commission or other
institutions.
In the 2007–2013 programming period, the EU structural assistance
administration systems were developed drawing on the best practices of
the 2004-2006 programming period and improving the legal framework.
The ex ante evaluations of the 2014–2020 programming period have found
that the EU structural assistance administration systems of the
2007–2013 programming period are in principle adequate and efficient
although the administrative burden on applicants, project promoters
and responsible bodies needs to be reduced, thematic coordination of
intermediate bodies related to the implementation of projects must be
strengthened and cooperation with implementing bodies improved. The
study has also revealed that for the efficient implementation of the
public policy (programmes and projects) administrative capacities are
as important as extensive knowledge on relevant public policy areas
and time required for building of such administrative capacities.
Therefore in the 2014–2020 programming period, efforts will first of
all be made to ensure the continuity of the existing EU structural
assistance administration systems and to maintain the administrative
capacities and skills built within the MCS institutions.
As of 1 January 2014, the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
administration system had 1227 employees, EAGFRD – 208, EMFF – 47
employees94. Such number of employees is deemed sufficient because in
addition to other staff the relevant functions will be also performed
by the employees with experience from the previous programming period.
On the other hand, the need for human resources is ever changing and
depends on the stage of the programming period, therefore at some
stages institutions face quantitative and qualitative lack of staff.
Negative impact on the administrative capacities is made by employee
turnover (for instance, in the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
administration system in 2010-2012 it comprised 13%). To ensure high
quality management of employee turnover processes and to prevent
potential downward tendencies, in 2014–2020, similarly to 2007–2013
programming period, motivation system will be implemented which among
other things might embrace actions to introduce performance based
incentives and other motivating measures (for instance, training,
enhancement of qualification, reinforcing team working skills, work
friendly environment, etc.).
Wages for the civil servants and other employees of the ESI funds
administration system, like in 2007–2013 programming period, will be
paid from the special technical assistance funding although in some
instances wages may be also paid from the national budget. The funding
for the development of administrative capacities and competences as
regards EU Structural and Cohesion Funds will be taken from the
technical assistance.
Staff training plans will be construed with a view to strengthening
and better exploitation of the internal training capacities, i.e. in
2014–2020 programming period the efforts of more efficient
contribution to administrative capacity building will first of all be
based on more active use of internal resources of the institutions:
the institutions will be called to share their knowledge and good
practices in the form of trainings or workshops. Drawing on good
practices of other countries, it is planned that apart from the Public
Procurement Service other competent national institutions, in
particular those dealing with horizontal issues, such as gender
equality, non-discrimination, sustainable development, state aid,
etc., will be more actively involved in providing methodological
support for the administrative institutions of the ESI funds within
the 2014–2020 cycle of programme and project administration. The above
institutions will be involved in the training process enhancing
knowledge of the system participants on the relevant horizontal themes
(for instance, the Ministry of Finance would be involved in the
training on the budget structure, financial planning process, etc.). A
particular attention in the 2014–2020 programming period will be paid
to capacity building in relation to public procurement, including
green procurements. Taking account of the changes in the public
procurement legislation and the priority nature of this area with a
view to ensuring proper administration of the ESI funds the training
themes in relation to public procurement, including green public
procurement, are expanded and made more detailed. The same tendency
will persist in the future as well.
In addition to that, participation in the seminars and conferences
organised by the EC, other EU Member States and different
organisations will be encouraged; cooperation with other public
institutions in charge of ESI funds administration and implementing
bodies will be reinforced; involvement of external experts will be
encouraged to ensure that extensive, professional knowledge is
integrated into the programmes and projects administration processes.
With a view to developing a properly functioning system for building
of the administrative capacities and competencies, in 2011
qualification enhancement framework for the civil servants and staff
of the authorities involved in the administration of the EU structural
assistance and the needed qualifications were analysed. The analysis
has revealed that about 50% of the interviewed staff of the system are
little satisfied with the professional development opportunities. An
important reason precluding professional development was the lack or
poor quality of the relevant training or other training measures. The
analysis has also revealed that the staff of the system perceives the
importance of professional development and appreciates the
opportunities of enhancement. To make it efficient a systemic
assessment of the training needs and competencies is required taking
into consideration the strategic goals set for and the needs of the
system. The analysis has also emphasised the importance of ensuring
training/ qualification in the long-run and indicated that there is a
lack of coordination between the institutions involved in the
administration of the EU structural assistance in the areas of
planning, arranging and delivering of training.
To address the problems indicated in the analysis and to create a
centralised system for strengthening of administrative capacities and
ensuring the availability of the required competencies, in 2011 a
description (map) of the skills required for the system was prepared
specifying the competencies in every detail the by themes,
distinguishing between different types of institutions and staff
levels (beginner, advanced, manager). In 2012, centralised training
for all staff of the system on all themes indicated on the skills map
was organised.
In 2014–2020 programming period administrative capacities available in
the system will be analysed. The description of the competencies will
be regularly updated, reviewing the existing and, if needed, adding
new competencies and continuing the centralised system-level training.
Taking into consideration that in 2014–2020 programming period the EU
Structural and Cohesion Fund administration system will involve
institutions outside the MCS possessing competencies that are
important for the efficiency of EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
administration, the involvement of these institutions and selection of
staff will ensure that the available administrative capacities meet
the requirements applicable to the delegated functions. In addition to
that, the staff of the newly involved institutions will be encouraged
to actively participate in centralized trainings on the themes
indicated in the map of competencies. Where needed, individual
training groups will be formed for the benefit of newly involved
institutions thereby securing maximum opportunities to efficiency
enhance the administrative capacities of these institutions. Moreover,
efforts will be made to ensure that along with building of the
competence needed for the delegated functions these institutions are
integrated into the relevant information systems.
The reports on the evaluation of the RDP 2007–2013 (for instance,
interim evaluation report on the Lithuanian Rural Development
Programme 2007–2013) note that the EAFRD administration and management
system is properly built, i. e. the functions are clearly defined and
distributed between the authorities and departments in charge of EAFRD
administration, the pre-conditions to involve other stakeholders and
social partners are met. The beneficiaries have positively assessed
the administration system of the Lithuanian Rural Development
Programme 2007–2013 (76 % of the respondents). Just minor differences
between the administration and management procedures compared to the
previous periods enable to improve efficiency of administration (the
necessary skills, experience are in place facilitating better
preparation to address the new emerging problems). The strengths of
the EAFRD administration system include: high quality of
administration (the administration system is deemed to be transparent
and attractive by the majority of the main stakeholders), continuity
of the developed system, assurance of vertical and horizontal
partnership, intensive communication of the support possibilities and
good practices, institutionalised monitoring and evaluation system,
efficient integration of new forms of assistance (finance
engineering), simplification of the support procedures under certain
measures, etc. The assessment or the 2007–2013 programming period
shows that the monitoring data collection and processing systems
should be strengthened, while the administrative capacities should be
strengthened only on the basis of the needs analysis.
To ensure prevention of corruption a Lithuanian wide National
Anti-Corruption Programme 2011–2014 was adopted; the programme will be
renewed for another 4 years in 2015. Preventive actions to combat
fraud and corruption undertaken by all institutions involved in the
implementation of the ESI supported programmes are an integral part of
the national anti-corruption and anti-fraud system and are based on
national legislation setting the core corruption and fraud prevention
principles, goals, measures and legal grounds, subjects of corruption
and fraud prevention efforts, their rights and obligations in relation
to corruption and fraud prevention.
To ensure combating and prevention of corruption and fraud in
2014–2020 in the context of ESI funds administration proportionate
control procedures have been planned for: identification of
irregularities; imposing efficient and proportionate fraud combating
measures and/or procedures of notification about irregularities,
including fraud; investigation or identification of irregularities;
recovery of illegitimate disbursements; monitoring of irregularities
and recovery of illegitimate disbursement.
Legislation governing the responsibilities, functions and rights of
the institutions involved in the ESI funds implementation process
specify that the Managing Authority and the intermediate bodies shall
within their competence limits put in place and apply fraud prevention
measures, including all elements of fraud prevention cycle
(prevention, identification, correction and decision making) and risk
assessment tools (information technologies, etc.), following the
national legislation, European Commission’s fraud risk assessment
guidance note and guidelines on the application of efficient and
proportionate anti-fraud measures and information technologies tools.
The Special Investigations Service, on the basis of the
Anti-Corruption Law of the Republic of Lithuania, assesses legal acts
and their drafts in terms of anti-corruption and analyses corruption
risk. Prevention of corruption is sought by all public institutions
(including Managing Authority, intermediate bodies and implementing
bodies of the ESI funds).
The Financial Crimes Investigation Service under the Ministry of the
Interior (FNTT) is in charge of discovery and investigation of
criminal acts and other breaches of the law related to receiving and
using support from ESI funds. FNTT organises training on fraud
prevention issues, holds meetings with the institutions administrating
ESI funds with a view to providing methodological and practical
support related to suspected criminal acts associated with illegal
receipt and use of support from the ESI funds; under the procedure
prescribed by laws it provides information to the institutions
administrating operational programmes about the outcomes of their
notification on suspected criminal acts; takes part in working groups
in relation to the system of investigation, identification, correction
and prevention of project irregularities.
Being in charge of the enforcement of the Law of the Republic of
Lithuania on the Adjustment of Public and Private Interests in the
Public Service, the Official Ethics Commission analyses the issues
related to professional ethics or behaviour of the civil servants; to
prevent the conflicts of public and private interests in the public
service prepares and implements precautionary actions with regard to
violations of professional ethics and behaviour standards. The above
mentioned law applies to all institutions administrating ESI funds.
Being in charge of the enforcement of the Law on Public Procurement of
the Republic of Lithuania and prevention of its violations, as part of
involvement in the implementation of the operational programmes the
Public Procurement Service controls the compliance of public
procurements conducted by the projects with the Law on Public
Procurement.
In the context of 2014–2020 programming period, the administrative
capacities and the experience built by the implementing bodies in the
administration of the EU structural assistance, the EAFRD and the EMFF
in the 2007–2013 programming period will be exploited to a wider
extent: once a ministry and/or any other public authority identifies
areas of intervention and strategic objectives, the implementing body
could prepare detailed proposals concerning technical implementation
elements of the relevant interventions – potential financing schemes
(to be defined taking into account the need to ensure simple
administration of investments and minimise administrative burden),
detailed requirements for the structure of a project budget and
eligible costs (including the use of simplified costs, where
appropriate), the special part of the application form and other
technical aspects.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, spreading of good practices will
be further promoted among MCS participants by developing an
information exchange tool (IT system) which would enable institutions
to exchange good practices in relation to EU project administration,
relevant experiences (for instance, different risk management
procedures) and the available knowledge (for instance, public
procurement practice). Such a tool would also encourage closer
contacts of the institutions, help develop common practices and
contribute to stronger inter-institutional relations.
To strengthen inter-institutional cooperation as well as knowledge and
competencies among the staff of the implementing bodies in different
public policy areas, in which they administer investments of the EU
structural assistance, the EAFRD and the EMFF, these institutions will
be encouraged in the 2014–2020 programming period to:
*
work closer with ministries and/or other departments of public
authorities in charge of the national policy in the areas
supported by individual EU Structural Funds, the EAFRD and the
EMFF;
*
work closer with other relevant agencies and ministerial entities
(for instance, the Agency of Science, Innovations and Technology
(MITA), the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis
Centre (MOSTA), ‘Versli Lietuva’, etc.);
*
secure more active and efficient involvement of relevant
(external) experts.
In the light of the experience developed in the administration of the
EU Structural and Cohesion Funds and with a view to building up of an
even more efficient system for enhancement of administrative
capacities and competencies, in the 2014–2020 programming period the
system for enhancement of administrative capacities and competencies
will be further reinforced and opportunities for learning throughout
the whole administration cycle of the operational programmes and
projects will be facilitated.
2.5.2. Reinforcement of administrative capacities among beneficiaries
In the 2007–2013 programming period, the strengthening of
administrative capacities among beneficiaries was smooth and raised no
major problems. Actions aimed at strengthening administrative
capacities among beneficiaries were funded from the EU technical
assistance envelope for the 2007–2013 programming period as well as
through measures of the operational programmes aimed at consulting
beneficiaries and building their capacities. Capacity building among
beneficiaries in the 2007–2013 programming period was focused in the
following areas:
*
methodological support was provided to beneficiaries primarily
through websites www.esparama.lt and www.parmakaimui.lt, also
through websites of implementing bodies, which posted extensive
information about the operational programmes for 2007–2013
(related legislation, requirements for beneficiaries, check-lists
for beneficiaries, calculators, statistical data and other
relevant information), mobile websites, special publications,
booklets and other information instruments. Advisory services are
a very important part of methodological support to beneficiaries.
They are of ongoing nature and aim primarily to address specific
problems, explain methodological material and legal changes to
beneficiaries (for instance, advisory services funded by the RDP
2007–2013 help farmers and forest owners properly prepare for the
absorption of the EU support, meet requirements set to farms in
relation to use of the EU support). Advisory services may be
provided by telephone, e-mail, in writing, during checks or
meetings, by means of internet telephony (as in the case with the
EAFRD Paying Agency). Direct communication with applicants and
beneficiaries is made in writing, via e-mails, short messages;
*
regional events, for instance, direct advisory services provided
bodies responsible for administration of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds on site a certain region; a variety of information
events, seminars, open doors in regions or municipalities, round
table discussions with social, economic, regional and
institutional partners;
*
training for beneficiaries; training activities may be categorised
by target groups: applicants, potential applicants and project
beneficiaries. Training subjects cover the project implementation
cycle as a whole and its specific stages: project preparation,
application and evaluation, project implementation
(administration). Implementing bodies organise training to address
horizontal project implementation issues, for instance, proper
declaration of expenditure subject to the specifics of the
projects administered. The major part of such horizontal training
in 2007-2003 was dedicated to issues related to proper public
procurement. Training activities are organised taking into
consideration the competence level of participants (for instance,
as practiced by the ESF Agency) – training is organised for
beginners and advanced participants. Training participants are
grouped by their preparation level determined by questionnaires
where they identify their experience and competence.
Questionnaires are also used for identifying subjects of interest
to beneficiaries. Training programmes are drawn up on the basis of
the feedback. As to the training organised by implementing bodies
in the 2007–2013 programming period, beneficiaries are satisfied
with the quality and relevance of the training. It is proved by
the feedback of participants in their questionnaires. Successful
implementation of projects depends on the competence of
beneficiaries, therefore training activities aimed at
strengthening specific skills are also held (for instance,
training activities by the Information Society Development
Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications on IT
projects were assessed by beneficiaries as very useful for their
activities).
In 2007–2013, the Centre for LEADER Programme and Agricultural
Training Methodology subordinate to the Ministry of Agriculture
actively contributed to the strengthening of administrative capacities
among EAFRD beneficiaries; this Centre methodically coordinated
ongoing professional training and organised professional development
for stakeholders from the agricultural and rural development sectors,
subject to the specifics of EAFRD projects; undertook information and
educational activities related to the capacity of stakeholders from
the agriculture and rural development sectors to properly implement
projects supported under measures of the RDP 2007–2013. Farmers and
forest owners could advance their knowledge on the compliance with
legal requirements in relation to farm management and good
agricultural and environmental condition, get advice in relation to
access to support under agriculture-related environmental measures,
financial accounting of farm’s operations, farming in a forestry
holding through advisory services funded by the RDP 2007–2013 measure
‘Use of advisory services’. These advisory services helped farmers and
forest owners properly prepare for the absorption of EU support and
meet requirements applicable to farms in relation to EU support.
Other measures, for instance, the initiative ‘project beneficiary to
project beneficiary’ aimed to build a network of beneficiaries,
collection of applications in regions (as practiced by the EAFRD
paying agency) closer to beneficiaries, discussions with beneficiaries
on project implementation sites, etc.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, the patterns and scope of
capacity building among beneficiaries will be similar to those in
2007–2013 and will be further financed from the technical assistance
envelope. Capacity building among beneficiaries will also be pursued
through different information events – seminars, open days in regions
and municipalities for potential applicants and beneficiaries,
regional opinion leaders, round table discussions for beneficiaries
and social partners. These events will introduce calls for
applications as well as discuss relevant project implementation
aspects, benefits of EU support, generated added-value, efficiency and
administration. Other activities include: organising training with a
particular focus on the introduction of new legal acts or amendments
to the existing legal acts, new or revised current administration
processes, information system administration aspects; providing
individual advice; facilitating the availability and exchange of
information in an electronic format; arranging communication via mass
media to ensure the efficiency of information on the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds and support for rural development and fisheries as well
as to inform the public about the outcomes of EU-funded measures and
initiatives.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, administrative capacities of
other important stakeholders—social economic and regional partners
(including non-governmental organisations) —will be strengthened to
facilitate their involvement in the ESI Funds process. To this end,
they will be able to take part in the trainings funded from the
technical assistance envelope. Training modules for partners will
cover the following subjects:
*
training to enhance competence in relation to representation of
interests (forms of representation, identification of problems,
choosing the appropriate form of representation, identification of
the target group, other groups with common interests, foreign good
practice in partnership/representation, etc.).
*
possibilities for partners to participate in the ESI Funds process.
*
other specific training to allow partners to get familiar with the
characteristics of the ESI Funds administration systems.
Training plans for the 2014–2020 programming period will take into
account the needs of potential participants, tailoring training
activities to knowledge and competence of participants. In 2014–2020,
the drafting of methodological information to potential beneficiaries
will be reinforced, waiting periods in relation to advisory services
and feedback shortened, workshops on how to fill in documentation
organised and, if needed, smaller groups of participants formed.
2.6. Reducing administrative burden for beneficiaries
-----------------------------------------------------
Real efforts to reduce administrative burden for beneficiaries were
already initiated back in the 2007–2013 programming period. As part of
preparations for the 2014–2020 programming period and on the account
of ensuring a more efficient EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
administration and a reduced administrative burden, the efficiency the
EU Structural and Cohesion Funds has been measured.
The EU Structural and Cohesion Funds administration system in
Lithuania is more oriented to medium and large scale projects, but the
requirements to projects and their administration practice are poorly
differentiated by project size. Given it, the increasing efficiency
and reliability (regularity) of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
administration in the 2014–2020 programming period should be pursued
through:
(1) Differentiation of project requirements subject to project size or
the amount of costs category, i.e. more active application of the
proportionality principle, for instance:
*
in the 2014–2020 programming period the practice for justifying
costs declared in payment requests will be significantly revised:
for declaration of small costs and wages a possibility will be
considered to ask for a summary or a statement of justifying and
supporting documents; for declaration of wages a possibility for
implementing bodies to refer to databases of the State Social
Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and
Labour or to apply alternative ways to justify the expenditure
will be considered.
*
in the 2014–2020 programming period, in the investment areas
dominated by smaller projects requirements for applicants and
beneficiaries will be simplified by standardising the investments,
requiring shorter application forms (e.g. when implementing global
grants), wider use of simplified costs, etc. As to larger
infrastructure projects, the complexity of projects will be
reduced, indirect and overhead costs will be reimbursed on the
basis of simplified costs methods.
(2) Reduced complexity of intervention areas dominated by ‘soft’
projects. The evaluation has revealed that in the current
administration system the administrative costs of small-scale projects
are similar to those of large-scale projects. Therefore actions will
be taken to reduce administration costs for soft projects by:
*
standardising investments, limiting the variety of eligible
activities and costs categories;
*
wider application of simplification measures; to maximise the
benefits provided by simplified costs, measures based only on
simplified costs will be applied (in particular for measures of
the operational programmes dominated by smaller projects). In
individual cases, projects will have to meet certain
pre-conditions (for instance, a pre-condition could be a drafted
and accredited study programme, and the project implementation
would cover only fixed costs related to the delivery of the
teaching process).
(3) Expansion of the scope of application of simplified costs for
infrastructure development projects supported by both the ERDF and the
Cohesion Fund. It will help significantly reduce the complexity of
projects, allow project beneficiaries and implementing bodies to focus
on the main project components and reduce administrative burden.
Practices related to the application of simplified costs must be
applied consistently and must not be modified, while in order to
achieve a real effect they have to be introduced to a wide range of
applicants and project beneficiaries;
(4) Improvement of legal acts governing applicants and project
beneficiaries following the principles of:
*
user-friendliness: legal acts tend to change much, while the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds website not always posts the latest
version (sometimes out-of-date versions of legal acts may be
posted), sets of documents for applicants and project
beneficiaries may be not comprehensive enough, etc. In the
2014–2020 programming period, consolidated versions of legal acts
will be posted, the quality of information issued to applicants
and project beneficiaries will be further improved;
*
stability: once published, the set of terms and conditions
applicable to a certain area of intervention should not be changed
at a later stage (or changed only in specified cases).
(5) Employment of information systems to reduce administrative burden:
In the 2007–2013 programming period, a significant qualitative shift
was noticed (it was firstly associated with the realisation of the
possibility of data exchange between project beneficiaries and bodies
responsible for administration), resulting in reduced administrative
burden for project beneficiaries and in increased efficiency of bodies
responsible for administration of the EU Structural Funds. A wider use
of information systems in the 2007–2013 programming period resulted in
reduced administrative burden for project beneficiaries. Reducing
administrative burden is primarily related to the use of electronic
(automated) forms and electronic data exchange. One of the most
significant improvements of the information systems for the EU
Structural and Cohesion Funds administration is the development of a
Data Exchange Website (DEW) for project beneficiaries. On the basis of
these developments, new stages for the advancement of the SFMIS will
focus on maintaining the available functionalities and releasing
additional ones.
Further development and upgrading of the information systems in the
context of the 2014–2020 programming period will cover:
*
adapting the DEW both to project beneficiaries and applicants;
*
wider use of electronic (automated) forms for the purpose of both
the DEW and the SFMIS;
*
ensuring electronic data exchange, refusing printed information;
*
wider integration of the SFMIS with databases of other public
authorities, ensuring automated data exchange;
*
the widest possible standardisation and electronisation of
different administration processes.
Table 10. Reducing administrative burden of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds in 2014–2020
Measures to reduce administrative burden of the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds in 2014–2020
Deadline of the measure
(half, year)
Differentiation of requirements to projects on the basis of project
size or cost category, i. e. more active application of
proportionality principle.
1st half, 2014
Rules on financing and administration of the projects.
Recommendations for compliance of project costs to financing
requirements.
2nd half, 2014
Reducing complexity of the investment areas dominated by ‘soft’
projects.
1st half, 2014
Rules on financing and administration of the projects.
Terms and conditions of project financing.
2nd half, 2014 –
2nd half, 2020
Expanding the scope of application of cost simplification to include
investment projects funded by ERDF and Cohesion Fund.
1st half, 2014
Rules on financing and administration of the projects.
Recommendations for compliance of project costs to financing
requirements.
2nd half, 2014
To reduce the administrative burden for beneficiaries of the EAFRD and
EMFF support, in the 2007–2013 programming period the EAFRD
administration system was revised and certain solutions were
introduced, contributing to an efficient reducing of administrative
burden; as to the information system for the administration of EU
support to the fisheries sector, the information system for the
project administration is still at the installation stage and
therefore no evaluation or study has been conducted yet. Good timing
for such evaluation to be performed would be the 2014–2020 programming
period. The Ministry of Agriculture, being responsible for
administration of EU support to rural development and the fisheries
sector in 2007–2013, together with the National Paying Agency under
the Ministry of Agriculture (the NPA) took a number of actions to
reduce administrative burden for applicants and project beneficiaries:
*
where necessary, data are taken directly from the Residents’
Register Service (the RRS), the State Social Insurance Fund Board
under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (the SODRA), the
State Tax Inspectorate (the STI);
*
the NPA has access to other registries and databases and, whenever
possible, is using the data stored in different registries and
public information systems without disturbing applicants and
beneficiaries from the fisheries sector;
*
printed versions of certain additional documents submitted
together with applications have been refused;
*
the submission of documents has been simplified;
*
mandatory submission of approved copies of applications and
supporting documents has been refused;
*
applicants and beneficiaries are able to receive information in
different forms (in writing, e-mail, telephone);
*
the implementation of small value projects under certain measures
of the RDP 2007–2013 and certain measures of the Lithuanian
Fisheries Operational Programme 2007–2013 was based on a
simplified procedure.
As to rural development, in addition to the actions listed above aimed
at the reduction of administrative burden and undertaken with regard
to EU support to both rural development and the fisheries sector, the
following additional solutions have been applied:
*
where feasible, data on the violations of cross-compliance
requirements identified by other public authorities or the State
Food and Veterinary Service are sent online;
*
data from the land parcel identification system (the LPIS) are
sent online;
*
fields to be declared are mapped electronically only; applicants
are able to fill in and submit online applications for support for
land;
*
beneficiaries are able to revise their banking and personal data
on the NPA website;
*
requirements applicable to beneficiaries under specific measures
of the RDP 2007–2013 were simplified.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, following the requirement of the
Common Provisions Regulation to ensure that (project) beneficiaries
are provided with the possibility to submit all information to bodies
responsible for administration of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds
using electronic data exchange systems as well as to ensure that
equivalent information is not required repeatedly, administrative
burden for EAFRD and EMFF beneficiaries will be further reduced
through the following actions:
*
efficient drawing on the good practice in the reduction of
administrative burden gained in the 2007–2013 programming period
(constantly);
*
analysing the process for administration of applications in order
to identify and remove unnecessary and redundant processes/actions
with the aim to employ IT systems the administration of
application in the most efficient manner (2nd half, 2014);
*
ensuring that the information system administered by the NPA
allows applicants to connect to the information system and receive
the required data on the status of the administration of EAFRD and
EMFF-funded projects (2nd half, 2014);
*
developing an information system for services provided by agencies
and bodies regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture, which would
ensure a two-way communication between the applicant and the NPA
(2nd half, 2014);
*
a wider application of simplified costs (2nd half, 2014);
*
upgrading the existing information system by installing maximum
automation of processes (in terms of administration, on-site
checks) (basic works in 2nd half, 2014; later – ongoing);
*
reinforced cooperation with other public authorities to reduce the
number of repeated visits to beneficiaries by different
institutions (constantly).
3. INTEGRATED APPROACH TO TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT
=================================================
The integrated approach to territorial development addresses
challenges to sustainable territorial development as specified in
Section 1.1.2.3 ‘Territorial Development’.
The country’s economic potential together with the largest employment
opportunities it brings is focused on five major cities. These cities
have the potential to tackle unemployment problems in a wider region.
To achieve this goal, it is crucial to effectively use conversion
possibilities in former industrial territories, the investment
potential of urban sub-centres, pericentres and centres, creating jobs
for urban population and population from the surrounding areas.
Depopulation (in particular, in shrinking cities) leads to reducing
economic activity, limited accessibility of services and environmental
problems resulting from inefficiently used urban and social
infrastructure.
Adaptation to demographical changes and balancing of migration flows
will be ensured by converting the existing abandoned or ineffective
infrastructure (including liquidation of pollution, refurbishing and
reusing of former contaminated sites) and improving its functionality,
raising the quality of living environment and living conditions.
Misbalanced economic structure in small and medium-sized cities,
surrounding regions and municipalities do not ensure sufficient
employment opportunities. The labour market of smaller municipalities
is characterised by narrow specialisation, high dependency on specific
sectors and enterprises (mostly, manufacturing).
Preconditions for the diversification of urban economic activities and
employment are created by the productivity of manufacturing and
related sectors as well as wages (purchasing power) in traditional
industrial centres that are increasing faster than in any other
sectors. However, using this potential to the fullest to help larger
part of the society integrate into the labour market requires
promoting the diversification of economic activities in small and
medium-sized cities. It also requires functional and well used city
centres attracting large numbers of visitors.
Social and economic potential of cities cannot be used because of poor
interaction between cities (especially small and medium-sized cities)
and surrounding territories, large differences in accessibility
(geographical exclusion), inefficient local or regional public
transport system (covering both the regional centre and surrounding
territories). They also cause environmental problems in cities
(environmental pollution, transport noise).
For this reason, cities will firstly have their economic activities
stimulated. Investments will be targeted at urban redevelopment
(conversion) and territorial development, raising the quality of
living environment and living conditions, integrating these
territories and improving their accessibility, leading to increasing
employment opportunities in the entire metropolitan area and region
(through the implementation of sustainable urban development actions).
Small and medium-size cities, especially in more remote regions, will
have a high-quality, clean and safe living environment, which is
necessary for addressing demographical problems, maintaining qualified
workers (ensuring the development of basic economic sectors in
future), exploiting the potential of sites of attraction for better
investment environment and new jobs, and improving mobility
opportunities for people living in these cities or surrounding
territories.
Demographic problems, poverty, poor accessibility of public services
are in particular evident in rural areas. A low education level and a
lack of entrepreneurship are among the major causes of unemployment in
remote, usually rural areas. Moreover, a large share of the employed
rural population works in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries
sectors. The development of untraditional (alternative) rural economic
activities is still insufficient and together with sluggish job
creation leads to slow employment growth among the rural population.
As the experience in implementing the LEADER method (see Annex 4) in
rural and fisheries areas show, community-led instruments contribute
to effective solution of many problems in small areas.
Sustainable and resource efficient economic growth that contributes to
job creation may be ensured by inclusive actions taken to restore
target territories (cities or parts thereof) and increase the
attractiveness of living and investment environment.
Investments into urban areas to ensure their complexity and input,
address economic, social, demographical, environmental and climate
change-related problems will come in a form of integrated territorial
investments (ITIs). ITI-based investing will help create a development
strategy adapted to individual challenges and potential of every
territory (an integrated territorial development programme), covering
both complex (URBAN-type) and sectoral (transport, environment, social
inclusion, employment) measures to address typical problems and
improve the interaction of territories.
Although the EAFRD and the EMFF will not be used directly for ITIs,
cooperation projects among LAGs of urban, rural and fisheries areas
will be supported.
Coordination of investment actions (by the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund)
aimed at urban development and ESF-supported actions with partners
engaged in CLLD and the involvement of such partners into the planning
of investments will help ensure an integrated approach at the local
level.
All ITI programmes will be drafted and implemented in consultation
with communities and socio-economic partners of urban and target
territories. As a result, parts of these programmes focused on fight
against social exclusion and solution of unemployment problems by
direct support will also be implemented as CLLD. All they have to do
is to identify the main challenges, tasks and priority areas of joint
actions.
Figure 2. Integrated territorial development model
Grupė 3
Addressing challenges related to the development of rural areas
require community-led initiatives (which are most effective in small
residential areas with strong relations among residents). With this
regard, the implementation of community-led initiatives and the
application of the bottom-up approach will continue in rural areas in
2014–2020. LEADER (CLLD) is aimed at balanced and integrated
territorial development, tackling social, economic, environmental,
educational and cultural problems, eliminating social and economic
gaps between urban and rural areas.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, the development of fisheries
areas based on good practice will be further continued as
community-led initiatives.
Recently, Lithuanian regions (not only) that depend on fishery have
been experiencing significant economic and social difficulties:
shrinking income from fishing, growth of unemployment, obvious ageing
tendencies among qualified employees living and working in the regions
dependant on fishing. To ensure the sustainable development of
Lithuanian fisheries areas, it is crucial to cover three equally
important elements, namely environmental protection, economic
development and social development. A compromise must be found among
environmental, economic and social objectives set for these areas to
reinforce regional competitiveness, improve welfare of the local
population and raise the quality of living environment. The aim is to
focus efforts of fishing-dependent areas on the value-added of the
fisheries business and the diversification of activities as well as
the implementation of the regional dimension of the CFP, while
ensuring effective and proper use of the EMFF within the context of
integrated CLLD and supporting balanced territorial development.
Higher environmental quality in fisheries areas is a requisite for
raising the quality of life among the local population and promoting
entrepreneurship, making regions more competitive, attractive and safe
for future generations. Cooperation will be promoted among fisheries
areas to enable them to exchange good practice and knowledge.
ESF-funded CLLD will be implemented in urban areas (municipal centres
and cities with the population over 6,000). CLLD will be implemented
as mandatory part of ITIs in target territories in larger cities,
where ITIs support sustainable urban development actions. The aim in
other cities is to ensure the complementarity between CLLD and ITIs,
regional and local strategies (during the selection process).
3.1. Integrated approach to the use of support for the territorial
development of specific sub-regional areas
------------------------------------------------------------------
3.1.1. Community-led local development (CLLD)
3.1.1.1. General concept
Urban areas. To increase the investment attractiveness of cities and
contribute in this way to their integrated economic growth, ESF
resources will be earmarked under priority 8 ‘Increasing social
inclusion and support to fight against poverty’ of the Operational
Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 and implemented
through CLLD as mandatory part ITIs in target territories of larger
cities.
Effective contribution of activities implemented as CLLD to ITIs
supporting integrated sustainable urban development actions and other
ITI programmes requires changes in the implementation of supported
activities, related to the social element of ITI programmes, namely,
the involvement of inactive social groups (those who are not looking
for a job or studying, long-term unemployed) from urban areas or their
parts into the labour market (with a help of the society, NGOs, social
partners). The aim is to make these persons actively look for a job,
study or work, while enterprises and associated business structures
participating in the project would create better employment
opportunities for them. NGOs and local government would receive more
help from the community in dealing with other social problems.
Looking at the experience in implementing the LEADER method in
2007–2013, some of the ESF-supported investments in cities, directly
related to local issues, will be implemented under the top-down
approach – addressing such challenges as social exclusion and poverty
in isolated urban territories, integrated urban regeneration
(promoting employment in small and medium-sized cities) via LDSs.
Specific LDSs designed by LAGs are selected based on their input and
compliance with integrated territorial development programmes and
other strategic documents applicable to territories (including
regional development plans).
Rural areas. In the 2007–2013 programming period, as the application
of the LEADER method was picking up speed and there was no relevant
experience, this method was implemented in a limited scale, i.e. LDS
objectives and measures had to be related exclusively with RDP
2007–2013 Axis III ‘The quality of life in rural areas and
diversification of the rural economy’. In the 2014–2020 programming
period, however, the scope of LEADER (CLLD) will be expanded. Rural
LAGs have the right to plan measures which, subject to specific needs
of LAG territories identified by a case analysis, contribute to the
implementation of different RDP objectives and priorities.
The main objectives set to the LEADER (CLLD) method include promoting
social inclusion and combating poverty (thematic objective 9 of the
Common Provisions Regulation), promoting rural entrepreneurship, youth
inclusion and employment (thematic objective 8 of the Common
Provisions Regulation).
LDS or LAG cooperation projects could also pursue other objectives,
such as the promotion of social and organisational innovation, the use
of IT among community members, agricultural enterprises, the use of
RES, environmental infrastructure, including green infrastructure,
lifelong learning, the preservation of biodiversity. Striving for
these objectives will contribute to the implementation of thematic
objectives 1-6 and 10 of the Common Provisions Regulation.
LEADER (CLLD) is primarily aimed at balanced integrated territorial
development in rural areas through the implementation of priority 6 of
EU rural development, promoting social inclusion, combating poverty
and economic development in rural areas. The implementation of LEADER
(CLLD), especially LDSs, will help implement other priorities of EU
rural development. Specific target areas for priorities of EU rural
development, which may be chosen and implemented through LEADER, are
set out in the RDP 2014–2020.
Fisheries areas. Lithuanian fishing-dependent regions have been facing
many economic and social difficulties. The reasons are mostly the same
as described when discussing problems of other Lithuanian sectors
(effects of the economic crisis, etc.). The EU support used for
coordinating fishing capacities with fishing resources and thus
contributing to the sustainable use of fishing stocks significantly
reduced fishing capacities in the open Baltic Sea and at the coasts of
the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon, and enterprises and/or their
workers retiring from fishing had to adapt to changes. To keep the
balance between fishing capacities and resources and ensure the
sustainable use of resources, the quantitative development of the
fisheries sector is virtually impossible. Even though the competition
for fishing resources partially reduced after some of the participants
in the fisheries sector retired, one of the most acute problems—old
and economically inefficient vessels—still remains. Limited efficiency
of many fisheries enterprises lead to a situation where it becomes
increasingly difficult to make a living of fishing in Lithuania and
young people are little interested in this activity. Workers in the
fisheries sector often lack active involvement in the creation of
their own welfare and initiation of the effective development of the
fisheries sector. In this context, the involvement of communities in
the management of the fisheries sector and the creation of public
goods is one of the most effective instruments enabling sustainable
development of fisheries areas and better quality of life on the basis
of local initiatives and partnerships. One of the key aspects in the
creation of value-added is the promotion of cooperation and
partnership among fisheries areas, the private sector and the public
sector.
The principle of CLLD is applied in the fisheries sector to achieve
thematic objective 8 of the Common Provisions Regulation. The
following objectives to be implemented through CLLD will contribute to
the implementation of specific tasks of ‘Increasing employment and
territorial cohesion in fisheries areas’ of EMFF Union priority
‘Increasing employment and territorial cohesion’: increasing
added-value, creating jobs, and promoting innovation at all stages of
the fisheries and aquaculture supply chain; supporting diversification
and job creation in fisheries areas, in particular in other maritime
sectors; promoting lifelong learning and creating jobs in fisheries
areas; increasing environmental resources in fisheries areas,
including combating climate changes and fostering the heritage of
fishing in fisheries areas.
3.1.1.2. CLLD territory
Urban areas. When supporting CLLD, the priority is given to
territories where ITIs and integrated sustainable urban development
actions are implemented.
CLLD is a mandatory part of ITIs for territories of integrated
sustainable urban development actions, i.e. target territories
identified in 5 major cities (up to 7 target territories, with the
average population of 30,000–40,000 each).
In the competitive selection of strategies other ITI implementation
territories are prioritised (in the category of small and medium-sized
cities, which includes cities with population over 6,000 and smaller
municipal centres):
*
identified target territories (in these areas CLLD is implemented
as part of ITIs, where the CLLD strategy contributes to the
integrated territorial development programme);
*
territories related with target territories;
*
target territories identified in 2007–2013 (territories of
transitional period).
CLLD-supported actions may also be implemented in other cities with
population above 6,000 and smaller municipal centres (including parts
of large cities, small towns and medium-sized cities where ITIs will
not be implemented), where they are clearly conducive to the
implementation of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’
Investments in 2014–2020 (selecting strategies through tender).
A territory of an urban LAG refers to a part of a city, a city with a
population above 6 thou, a city with the status of a municipal centre,
or an agglomeration of several cities, with the population above 6,000
or with the status of a municipal centre, with the total population
from 6,000 to 150,000.
An exception is provided for to ensure the contribution of CLLD to the
implementation of ITIs in territories where integrated territorial
development programmes are run, i.e. in cities with the population
above 6,000 and in smaller municipal centres. The population in most
of the Lithuanian municipal centres is under 10,00 (25 of 55 municipal
centres). In sparsely populated areas, however, these cities perform
the same functions and deal with the same challenges as larger urban
centres.
The aim is to implement LDSs in socially, economically, and
geographically single territories, but this would be virtually
impossible if geographically separated cities whose communities are
not connected with each other in any way are artificially merged.
In case of extraordinary conditions (very sparsely populated areas,
natural obstacles, large distances to the closest city or
agglomeration, population changes) which prevent from forming a LAG
where at least 6,000 people live, even LAGs with a smaller population
can draw up LDSs if the body coordinating CLLD in urban territories
deems they are fit to do so.
Rural areas. In the framework of 2014–2020 programming period the
selection of LDS will be based on the conditions that will ensure that
the support is granted to the highest quality LDS. In a competitive
selection of LDS particular emphasis will be on their quality (quality
of the LAGs' partnership, scope of community involvement, consistency
of goals and measures with the specifics of the territory, etc.) In
accordance with the LDS assessment method, score will be granted for
individual parts of the strategy (the LDS with the score less than 70
out of 100 will be excluded). The outcome of the selection will
determine the number of LDS to be implemented in rural areas and their
territorial coverage. LDS selection model is described in RDP
2014–2020.
A territory of a rural LAG refers to an area with the total number of
population from 6,000 to 150,000 covering residential rural areas
(small towns, villages and single-homestead settlements), as well as
towns with population under 6,000 (except for municipal centres). The
density of population in rural areas where LDS will be implemented is
very small - 15.7 person/km2 and comprises only one third of the
country's average (in EU-27, the average density of population in
rural areas is 51 person/km2). Taking into consideration a small
density of the population in rural areas in Lithuania as well as the
fact that rural areas are dominated by wooded territories which is the
reason why villages are remote and scattered, it is appropriate to
implement LDS of rural areas in the LAG represented territories
covering the population of at least 6,000 but not exceeding 150,000.
The possibilities of more efficient participation in the development
processes of the place of residence and the community is hence
facilitated for the population of rural areas thereby consistently
contributing to the implementation of sustainable development policy.
The good practice of the 2007–2013 period shows that small rural LAGs
representing territories with population from 6 to 10 thou, by
mobilising active community organisations, other NGOs and
representatives of the civil society are capable of efficient and
smooth organisation of people for joint actions, strategic planning of
local development and implementation of specific actions (if the
boundaries of the territories represented by rural LAGs created in the
context of 2014–2020 coincided with the boundaries of the
administrative territories represented by the municipalities, there
would be 4 rural LAGs representing population from 6 to 10 thou:
Pagėgiai, Kalvarija, Kazlų Rūda and Druskininkai).
In addition to that, social partners consider (2012 survey of LAGs of
rural areas and fishery sector) that the structure of the territories
represented by rural LAGs in 2007–2013 should be maintained without
restricting 'bottom up' initiatives, building of new partnerships and
freedom of establishment, the good practice should be continued
enabling to implement LDS in socially, economically and geographically
integral territories coinciding with municipal boundaries. In
2007–2013 99% of the territories represented by rural LAGs coincided
with the territories of the administrative units (municipalities).
Such coinciding of the LAGs with the territories of the administrative
units (municipalities) in the 2007–2013 programming period (compared
to the implementation of pilot LDS implemented in 2004–2006
programming period in accordance with the Single Programming Document
of Lithuania) has led to smooth and efficient implementation of LDS,
more active interest and involvement of the people into the
implementation of the strategies and satisfaction with LAGs’
activities and benefit provided for the specific territory.
Fisheries areas. A fishery and aquaculture region refers to a region
covering a seaside, bank of a river or a lake, including ponds and
river basins, where many employees work in fishery or aquaculture
sector, which from the functional point of view is geographically,
economically and socially related and designated for this purpose by
the state.
It is vitally important that the territory of the fishery and
aquaculture region is clearly defined – conformity of the territory to
the definition of the fishery and aquaculture region is analysed at
municipal level, the territory may cover a municipal territory and a
part of other or several municipal territories (territories may be
subordinated to townships, the boundaries of which are established by
the Republic of Lithuania Law on Territorial Administrative Units of
the Republic of Lithuania and Their Boundaries). The number of
municipalities within the fishery and aquaculture region is not
limited. However, the population limit in the fishery and aquaculture
region should be not less than 10 thousand and not more than 150
thousand. Due to exclusive concentration of fishing business, the
derogation in this regard should be applied to Neringa Municipality
and Klaipėda City Municipality.
The derogation is granted, as Neringa is an exclusive region with less
than 3 000 inhabitants, where about 2% of population work in the
fishery sector. Kuršių Nerija (where Neringa town is situated) is
announced as the national park territory, where till the beginning of
the 20th century the settlements consisted exclusively of fishing
villages. This is a unique and significant territory in terms of
fishing heritage with exclusive concentration of the employed in
fishing business. According to the data for 2013, about 8% of the
employed in the Lithuanian fishery and aquaculture sector work in
Klaipėda City and about 7% – in Neringa. The fisheries products
produced by enterprises registered in Klaipėda City represent about
75% of total national production, where the only seaport of Lithuania
is situated where the caught fish is unloaded by fishing vessels, the
auction of the initial sale of fishery products is organised, the
fishing vessels servicing infrastructure is created.
In Neringa during the period of 2007–2013 such local projects
following the long-standing tradition of fishing as rational reduce of
the population of cormorants; arrangement of the ethnographic fishing
homestead to exhibit cultural heritage; equipping the quay for fishing
needs; establishment of fishing charters to develop tourism and etc.
were implemented for the benefits of the fishing society. In Klaipėda
City during the period of 2007–2013 such locals projects as clean-up
of the banks of the Smiltelė River and Danė River; preparation of the
ancient boat to follow traditions of fishing; projects promoting
consumption of fish products were implemented. Similar projects of
lasting value and allowing to emphasise exclusivity of the regions
notably dependent on fishery could not be implemented in 2014–2020 if
had these regions not been recognised to be the regions of fishery and
aquaculture.
3.1.1.3. CLLD sources of financing
Urban areas. CLLD in urban areas will be funded by the ESF. The
estimated budget is LTL 50 million (EUR 15 million, of which EUR 6
million are earmarked for the sustainable development actions
implemented in target territories of 5 major cities); for the first
call for applications, strategies will be selected within 2 years
after the approval of the Partnership Agreement. The CLLD model has
not been applied for rural areas before, therefore in the mid of the
implementation period, if applicants are very active, additional
funding for the second call for applications may be considered. In
such a case, strategies will be selected by the end of 2017.
CLLD complements measures/projects initiated by local government
(including those implemented as ITIs) by measures/projects that are
relevant for the community. The main urban infrastructure (water
management, transport, etc.), however, should not be a CLLD object.
CLLD in urban areas should be limited to ESF-supported investments.
Rural areas. The LEADER (CLLD) measure is implemented in rural areas.
At least 5% of funding it receives from the EAFRD (the exact amount is
indicated in the RDP). Rural LDSs will be selected and approved in
line with in Article 33.4 of the Common Provisions Regulation.
Fisheries areas. In the programming period 2014–2020, around 17.4% of
the EMFF funding will be allocated to the CLLD instrument in fisheries
areas.
Multi-funding and CLLD. Possibility for bisectoral integrated LDSs
funded by the EAFRD and the EMFF is provided for those LAGs, the
territory of which covers rural areas and fisheries areas. Such LAGs
must meet relevance requirements set to LAG partnership (rural areas
and fisheries areas), LDSs, LAG territories and public finance
management capacities. LDSs financed by several funds will be selected
in accordance with similar selection principles applied to LDSs
financed by one fund. Where the implementation of the LDS selected is
supported by more than one fund, a controlling fund will be selected.
In such a case, running costs of the LDS implementation and active
adaptation costs will be covered by the controlling fund. The
controlling fund (the EAFRD or the EMFF) will be determined during the
selection of two-sectoral LDSs.
3.1.1.4. CLLD integrated approach
Coordination of top-down investment actions as part of the ITIs aimed
at urban development and supported by the ESF will help ensure an
integrated approach at the local level. It has been envisaged that
ITI-based integrated territorial development programmes will be
subject to mandatory consulting with the community, social and
economic partners. For the purpose of shaping LDSs, their content is
determined by the bottom-up approach, which means that the initiative
belongs to the LAG which also involves representatives from the local
government (with no power of majority). When selecting LAG-initiated
strategies for financing, their input into the implementation of ITI
objectives or other national or regional development objectives
(established in regional development plans) will be assessed, thereby
ensuring the synergy between the resources available to the central
government, the local government and LAGs.
At least 5% of the financing earmarked for LDSs of urban LAGs must be
devoted to projects that are aimed at common objectives and for the
results of which to be achieved a related mirror project must be
implemented in the territory of another LAG (for instance, training in
accordance with agreed curricula delivered in several territories of
the LAGs based in urban, rural and fisheries areas). A maximum 10% of
the financing earmarked for LDSs of urban LAGs may be devoted to the
implementation of cooperation projects (where actions are implemented
together with partners from the territory of other LAGs and steps over
the boundaries of the LAG’s area).
Integrated approach on a local level is also ensured by the
implementation of LDSs supported by the EAFRD and the EMFF in
overlapping territories of the LAGs based in rural and fisheries
areas, where two-sectoral LAGs (representing rural and fisheries
areas) decide to draft and implement them. Synergy among the EAFRD,
the EMFF and the ESF will also be ensured by these additional means:
*
Granting EAFRD, EMFF and ESF resources to projects aimed at
cooperation of LAGs from different sectors (i.e. rural, fisheries,
urban and mixed LAGs representing more than one sector);
*
Enabling LAGs and communities from all sectors to be applicants
under certain measures of the EAFRD, the EMFF and the ESF, which
could be more efficiently delivered through initiatives and
efforts by people or communities formed by them;
*
Ensuring an integrated approach when using the ESI Funds in a
specific sub-regional territory where several LAGs are bordering
or overlapping and several ESI Funds are used:
*
during the selection of LDSs, when assessing their complementarity
to strategic documents (regional development plans and integrated
territorial development programmes) implemented in a specific LAG
territory;
*
in case of urban CLLD, by supporting cooperation projects (as an
integral part of a LDS) beyond the CLLD territory, which
contribute to stronger city-city, city-suburb or city-urban area
links and solution of common challenges.
3.1.1.5. Coordination of CLLD implementation, the role of LAGs
As part of coordination of the strategies implemented by urban LAGs
and promoting cooperation of these LAGs:
CLLD in urban areas will be coordinated and administered by the
Ministry of the Interior (which will perform functions of an
intermediary body).
The body coordinating CLLD in urban areas will assess whether a LAG is
eligible to prepare and implement a strategy before providing
preparatory support.
The Ministry of Agriculture will administer and coordinate the
implementation of LEADER (CLLD) in rural areas and CLLD in fisheries
areas.
Role of rural LAGs. The aim is to have rural LAGs that are open and
transparent organisations which initiate rural development processes,
introduce innovative ideas, reinforce urban-rural relations,
disseminate the good practice and encourage the involvement of
inhabitants within a LAG territory. A LAG must ensure partnership and
cooperation among three sectors—nongovernmental (civil society),
business and local government—based on transparency, openness, new
members and proper coordination of public-private interests. Rural
LAGs, drafting and implementing LDSs, bring together their
communities. They also perform tasks set out in Article 34.3 of the
Common Provisions Regulation.
As to fisheries areas, LAGs responsible for the implementation of LDSs
of the fisheries areas they represent through local projects take part
in decision-making processes, cooperate with social and economic
partners, maintain territorial and international cooperation contacts,
participate in training, provide guidance. Local projects are proposed
and implemented by local applicants from the fisheries area.
LDSs drafted by LAGs will be selected and approved by Joint LDS
Selection Committees. LDSs of LAGs representing rural and fisheries
areas will be selected by a Joint LDS Selection Committee which must
include representatives from rural development and the fisheries
sector. Selection committees will consist of representatives from
sectoral ministries (in charge of the relevant area), the Ministry of
Agriculture, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Social
Security and Labour (as ministries responsible for the coordination of
the policy of national communities), social and economic partners, the
Managing Authority of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds.
Coordination mechanism of territorially overlapping LDS. Taking into
consideration the potential territorial overlapping between the
territories where unisectoral LDS of rural LAGs and unisectoral LDS of
fishery LAGs are implemented as well as between LDS of urban LAGs and
LDS of fishery LAGs, efforts will be made to ensure complementarity
and synergy of territorially overlapping LDS and elimination of double
funding risk:
*
At the LDS preparation stage: communication and cooperation
between LAGs preparing LDS in overlapping territories is required;
LDS must contain information about its compatibility,
complementarity and synergy with the LDSs of other LAGs approved
in the relevant LAG’s territory;
*
At the LDS evaluation stage: the institutions evaluating LDSs of
different sectors must cooperate and share information about the
territories and the contents of the evaluated LDS (priorities,
goals, objectives and the supported measures); by communicating
with the LAGs having submitted the LDSs they must take actions to
secure complementarity and synergy of LDSs and elimination of
double funding risk;
*
At the LDS approval stage: Where the territory envisaged by an LDS
submitted to an LDS selection committee overlaps with the
territory of an already approved/ submitted for approval LDS, then
a justified conclusion of the institution having evaluated the LDS
concerning complementarity and synergy of the overlapping LDS as
well information about the measures to prevent double funding must
be submitted to the LDS selection committee along with the LDS
evaluation report;
*
At the LDS implementation stage: the institutions involved in the
supervision of LDS implementation must cooperate and share
information about the ongoing local projects of the LDS, including
data sharing of IT systems as specified in section 4.1 of the
Partnership Agreement.
3.1.1.6. Preparatory support
Urban areas. Since CLLD-based actions have not been undertaken in
urban areas so far, there are no relevant LAGs and urban communities
do not have traditions of joint actions, the application of the CLLD
instrument would be impossible without preparatory support.
Preparatory support in urban areas should be provided:
*
at the initial stage – to raise awareness about opportunities for
exploiting the CLLD instrument in urban areas;
*
within 12 months after establishing a LAG – to build capacities
among LAG members in drafting LDSs.
Rural areas. Drawing on the fact that institutional system of LAGs in
rural areas is already in place, preparatory support will be oriented
towards the drafting of LDSs, including capacity building, training,
public relation actions, participation and cooperation within the
network.
Fisheries areas. Following Article 35.1(a) of the Common Provisions
Regulation, the EMFF will also support preparatory support, including
capacity building and training in order to draft and implement the
CLLD strategy. Support will be provided to training actions of local
stakeholders; exploratory studies on a certain area; costs related to
the drafting of the CLLD strategy, including consulting costs and
costs for actions which are related to consulting with stakeholders
for the purpose of the strategy; administrative costs of organisations
applying for preparatory support during the preparation period
(operating costs and human resources costs).
3.1.2. Integrated territorial investments (ITIs)
Financing will be available to up to 15 integrated territorial
development programmes oriented to territorial specificities and
implemented as ITIs:
*
programmes of 5 major cities: investments will be concentrated
based on issues faced by target territories with the population
between 30,000 and 40,000; sustainable rural development actions
specified in Article 7 of the ERDF Regulation to tackle the
economic, environmental, climate, demographical and social
challenges affecting urban areas;
*
10 regional programmes aimed at target territories within a
category of small and medium-size cities (one or several cities
per region).
Integrated territorial development programmes are financed by the
ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund. Additional resources will come
from state and municipal budgets. It is also expected to mobilise
private investments through public-private partnership initiatives.
Target territories of the 5 major cities are identified in accordance
with the principles listed in Section 3.1.3.
In the category of municipal centres and cities with population from
6,000 to 100,000 (except for the 5 major cities):
In the cities (target territories) to be identified by the ITI
coordinating body (the Ministry of the Interior) based on quantitative
criteria (consistent with the problems to be addressed) in
consultation with regional development councils. The key qualities
(criteria) to be taken into consideration when distinguishing target
territories include:
*
low economic activity;
*
imbalanced economic structure (high dependence on raw materials or
manufacturing) and low economic diversity (which does not allow
for sufficient employment in the city or regional territory);
*
significant depopulation due to migration or insufficient
demographical change.
Transition target territories (cities). They refer to regional centres
of economic growth (7 towns) and municipal centres of problemic
territories (14 cities) identified in 2007–2013 programming period,
where investments into urban infrastructure (in terms of their
contents similar to supported sustainable urban development actions)
were made in 2007–2013. They will be subject to limited transition
measures under thematic objective 8 and actions under thematic
objectives 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 ensuring sustainability of the
achieved results.
ITIs are also implemented in:
*
the territories related with target territories (for activities
beyond the target territory and related to sustainable transport,
green infrastructure solutions or ESF activities);
Integrated territorial development through ITIs (covering activities
implemented through CLLD) directly implement thematic objective 8 (all
ITIs) and thematic objective 9 (compulsory part of programmes of the 5
major cities), also contribute to thematic objectives 3-7 and 10
(according to challenges typical for each territory).
Actions to be implemented as ITIs will address complex and
multi-sectoral problems by concentrating investments under the
territorial principle (in target territories).
The requirement for territorial concentration may be omitted (when
identifying related territories) where projects stepping beyond the
territory boundaries clearly contribute to the implementation of
objectives and targets set in the integrated territorial development
programme (for instance, through the development of a public transport
system, the introduction of green infrastructure solutions, the
promotion of cooperation among territorial communities, etc., where a
clear contribution is made to the integration of the relevant part of
the city or strengthening of the communication between the urban and
suburban areas).
In the implementation of ITIs:
*
Municipalities responsible for a particular city are responsible
for the initial selection of actions (on the basis of detailed
action plans for integrated territorial development programmes).
On the basis of programmes drawn by municipalities and approved by
ITI coordinating body intermediate bodies will make project
pipelines. Municipalities of the 5 major cities are also
responsible for the identification of target territories in
accordance with the principles set out in Section 3.1.3.
*
Regional development councils (consisting of municipal mayors,
delegated members of municipal councils and a representative
appointed by the Government) ensure municipal partnership in
implementing joint actions, including coordination of projects
covering more than one municipality.
*
The ITI coordinating body (the Ministry of the Interior) which,
according to the Law of the Republic of Lithuanian on Regional
Development, is responsible for coordinating the implementation of
the regional policy, also selects target territories in the
category of municipal centres and cities with the population from
6,000 to 100,000 (except for the 5 major cities), adopts
integrated territorial development programmes and coordinates
their implementation.
Table 11. Preliminary distribution of support to ITIs, except for the
support provided for in Section 3.1.3 (total amount)
Priority axes of the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’
Investments in 2014–2020
Fund
Preliminary amount (EU support) (EUR)
Promoting competitiveness of small-and medium-sized business
ERDF
25,000,000
Promoting energy efficiency and production and use of renewable energy
sources
ERDF
85,000,000
Cohesion Fund
50,000,000
Environmental protection, sustainable use of natural resources and
adaptation to climate change
ERDF
25,000,000
Cohesion Fund
50,000,000
Promoting the infrastructure of sustainable transport and main
networks
ERDF
30,000,000
Cohesion Fund
30,000,000
Promoting high-quality employment and participation in the labour
market
ERDF
116,427,000*
Promoting social inclusion and supporting the fight against poverty
ERDF
30,000,000
ESF
8,480,000**
Promoting public awareness and boosting the potential of human
resources
ERDF
35,000,000
ESF
5,000,000
Total
489,907,000
* For the implementation of ITIs in small and medium cities (cities
with population 6,000–100,000 and smaller municipal centres)
**For the implementation of CLLD ITIs in small and medium cities
(cities with population 6,000–100,000 and smaller municipal centres),
as well as other ESF supported activities of thematic objective 9 in
accordance with integrated territorial development programmes (healthy
ageing, improvement of public health, aid to marginal groups).
3.1.3. Sustainable urban development, including the urban areas where
integrated sustainable urban development actions are to be implemented
Sustainable urban development actions are implemented as ITIs.
Integrated territorial development programmes are designed for defined
parts of the 5 major cities where the population is between 30,000 and
40,000 and for the related territories where sustainable urban
development actions address regional development issues.
The responsibility for drafting these programmes (drafting an
integrated territorial development programme, designing guidelines for
CLLD strategies, identifying specific projects and/or groups of
projects) is delegated to municipalities (cities). It means that
cities are responsible for the selection of projects.
Parts of the major cities (target and related territories) where
integrated territorial development programme will be implemented are
determined by the municipality subject to the approval of the ITI
coordinating body. When identifying target territories, a priority
will be given to densely built and populated territories which are
connected to the city centre by functional links (potential new
sub-centres) and face environmental and social challenges. The
criteria include:
*
the potential for urban and economic development (distance from
the city centre, density of public transport routes, concentration
of public service providers, area of territories suitable for
conversion, etc.);
*
social and demographical challenges (ageing population,
criminality, social pathologies, large share of socially
vulnerable population, socially isolated communities (the Roma)
and other territorially concentrated social issues);
*
environmental and climate change challenges (air and water
pollution, contaminated territories, traffic, energy efficiency in
public infrastructure, etc.).
Table 12. Indicative allocation at national level to integrated
actions for sustainable urban development under the ERDF*
Fund
The indicative allocation at national level to integrated actions for
sustainable urban development (EUR)
Proportion of the total allocation to the Fund (%)
ERDF
204,700,000
5.85
(ESF)
6,001,000
0.53
210,701,000
4.55
* Preliminary allocation of funding for 2014–2020 under Priority 7
(investment priority – „Supporting employment-friendly growth through
the development of endogenous potential as part of a territorial
strategy for specific areas, including the conversion of declining
industrial regions and enhancement of accessibility to and development
of specific natural and cultural resources“) and Priority 8
(investment priority – Implementing CLLD strategies) for the target
territories of 5 major cities (sustainable urban development actions)
under the Operational Programme for the European Union Structural
Funds’ Investments.
3.1.4. Main priority areas for cooperation, under the ESI Funds,
taking account, where appropriate, of macro-regional strategies
Today, many of the challenges faced cross national borders. Properly
addressing them requires planning inter-state actions and cooperation
in a constructive and coordinated manner. The EUSBSR, the aim of which
is to tackle common challenges faced by countries of the Baltic Sea
Region in a coordinated manner and to use the potential of the region
more effectively to improve the welfare of the region’s population,
while contributing to better economic, social and territorial cohesion
within the EU, is a perfect platform for such coordinated
interregional cooperation.
Within the framework of the EUSBSR and its action plan, Lithuania
coordinates the implementation of the following priority areas,
actions and flagship projects:
‘Transport – improving internal and external transport links’
(coordinated by the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and
Communications together with the Swedish Ministry of Enterprises,
Energy and Communications) and ‘Crime – fighting cross-border crime’
(coordinated by the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior together with
the National Police Board of Finland).
The Ministry of Agriculture coordinates the implementation of the
action ‘Enhance the combined effects of the rural development
programmes’ of the priority area ‘Agri – reinforcing sustainability of
agriculture, forestry and fisheries’ (coordinated by the Finnish
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry).
Lithuania is also the leader of 8 flagship projects in the
implementation of priority areas of the EUSBSR ‘Innovation’, ‘Energy’,
‘Crime’, ‘Education’, ‘Shipping’ and horizontal action ‘Sustainable
development and bioeconomy’.
As indicated in the report from the European Commission on the
implementation of the EUSBSR (June 2011) and conclusions of the
Council (November 2011, June 3012, October 2013), the linking of the
strategy with the available sources of financing, especially the ESI
Funds, is of utmost importance for the successful implementation of
the strategy. Considering this fact and the need to ensure an
integrated intersectoral approach, which also plays an important part
in implementing the EUSBSR, priorities of the ESI Funds and ETC
programmes for the 2014–2020 programming period have been formed with
regard to objectives of the EUSBSR and priorities provided for in its
Action Plan. Other activities planned are as follows:
*
Setting a priority criterion for project selection at the level of
the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in
2014–2020 measures to give a priority to projects that contribute
to the implementation of the EUSBSR. Based on that criterion, a
project will be treated as contributing to the EUSBSR provided
that its subject is in line with the priority areas, horizontal
actions and/or flagship projects listed in the EUSBSR Action Plan
and its implementation involves an international partner. A
project may also be found contributing to the EUSBSR where it has
a cumulative impact, which means that a project together with
other similar projects undertaken in other countries contributes
to the implementation of priority areas, horizontal actions and/or
flagship projects listed in the EUSBSR Action Plan. To ensure that
this selection criterion functions properly, applicants will have
to specify the project’s contribution to the implementation of the
EUSBSR and the expected impact with regard to the EUSBSR.
*
Where needed and where Member States express a common interest,
launching, where applicable, joint calls for project applications
contributing to the implementation of the EUSBSR. Carrying out
cooperation projects implemented under the ECT cross-border
cooperation and international cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region
programme will support initiatives of Lithuanian partners, which
contribute to the implementation of the EUSBSR.
*
Adapting the existing monitoring system of the EU financing
instruments to the EUSBSR to ensure consistent monitoring of the
implementation of the EUSBSR supported by the ESI Funds and ECT
programmes and precise evaluation of the contribution of the ESI
Funds to the EUSBSR. Also, where relevant, indicators specified in
the EUSBSR Action Plan and their target values will be tailored to
the national context and linked to indicators of the ESI Funds,
taking into consideration the indicators of Europe 2020.
*
Regularly reporting in implementation reports of the Operational
Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020, the RDP
2014–2020, the Fisheries Operational Programme and ECT programmes
the contribution of the ESI Funds to EUSBSR objectives.
Addressing of challenges identified in Section 1.1 more effectively
requires, where relevant, cooperation with other countries from the
Baltic Sea Region. For this purpose, given the implementation of
EUSBSR objectives, the following areas of cooperation have been
foreseen for the 2014–2020 programming period: research and
innovation; improving competitiveness among SMEs; environmental
protection; increasing energy efficiency; combating climate change;
transport; ICT; international exchanges in the areas of employment,
education and training. The cooperation in these areas will contribute
to all three objectives of the EUSBSR: ‘Save the Sea’ (environmental
protection, combating climate change), ‘Connect the Region’ (energy,
transport), ‘Increase Prosperity’ (research and innovation, SMEs,
education, training and employment). As to the transport sector,
cooperation with Poland, Estonia and Latvia is planned for the purpose
of building connections as part of the priority project ‘Rail Baltica’
envisaged in the EUSBSR Action Plan in the priority area ‘Transport –
improving internal and external transport links’. It should be noted
that, where needed and where a clear value-added is evident, when
implementing joint projects with other countries, a certain share of
funds could be spent outside the territory of the programmes as laid
down in article 70.2 of Common Provisions Regulation. Such a
possibility is provided for in the Common Provisions Regulation.
It should be mentioned that when jointly implementing the Operational
Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020 funded by the
ESF, the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund, the contribution to the EUSBSR
objective ‘Save the Sea’ will be made by measures aimed to preserve
biodiversity and landscape, improve the quality of bodies of water,
minimise adverse impacts of shipping on the environment, ensure the
proper quality of drinking water, landscaping, etc. Contribution to
the second EUSBSR objective ‘Connect the Region’ will be made by the
measures focused on modernising the transport infrastructure,
developing internal and external transport networks, minimising the
negative impact of transport on the environment, improving the
efficiency of the transport system, promoting energy efficiency and
the use of RES, etc. Contribution to the third EUSBSR objective
‘Increase Prosperity’ will be made by the measures targeted at
promoting SME entrepreneurship, cooperation between business and
scientific sectors, upgrading R&D infrastructure, increasing
innovation capacities among enterprises, promoting
internationalisation and academic mobility of studies, combating
climate change-induced changes, raising employment, etc.
As part of the implementation of the 2014–2020 rural development
policy and the drafting of the new RDP funded by the EAFRD, efforts
will be made to ensure maximum synergy between the objectives and
measures of the RDP with the objectives of the EUSBSR. Drafting
proposals on how to link national rural development programmes with
the objectives of the EUSBSR is also facilitated by the action
‘Enhance the combined effects of the rural development programmes’
(Coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture) of the priority area
‘Agri – reinforcing sustainability of agriculture, forestry and
fisheries’. EUSBSR objective 1 ‘Save the Sea’ and objective 3
‘Increase Prosperity’ will also be directly supported by
environment-related rural development measures of the RDP 2014–2020
aiming at reducing pollution, improving the quality of water,
protecting biodiversity, promoting green farming, as well as by
measures promoting the spread of the environment-oriented farming
practice. EUSBSR objective 3 ‘Increase Prosperity’ will receive a
contribution from the RDP measures aimed at the promotion of
entrepreneurship and innovation; knowledge transfer and innovation;
increased resource efficiency (recycling of production waste for
re-using, etc.); investments into research and innovation. EUSBSR
objective 3 will also be pursued through promoting all forms of
cooperation, in particular supporting cooperation between the
currently functioning national rural networks of the region,
encouraging relations between regional communities and local action
groups as well as initiating and supporting other network-based
cooperation structures at national and regional levels. In the
2007–2013 programming period was observed that a LEADER-type measure
aimed at the promotion of territorial and international cooperation
within the region and beyond was significantly contributing to the
implementation of the EUSBSR objectives since cooperation was usually
developed between partners of LAGs in the region. In the 2014–2020
programming period, this measure will further contribute to the
implementation of the EUSBSR objective ‘Increase Prosperity’.
The EMFF will contribute to the implementation of EUSBSR objective 1
‘Save the Sea’ through promoting the collection of waste from sea by
fishermen (removal of the lost fishing gear and waste discharged into
the sea); supporting efforts to better manage or protect the maritime
biologic resources; drafting, developing and monitoring technical and
administrative measures, arranging for and implementing protection
measures foreseen in the CFP Regulation (multi-annual protection
plans, etc.); improving and adapting new technologies or
organisational knowledge (including improved fishing methods and
selectivity of fishing gear); reducing environmental impacts of
fisheries and ensuring more sustainable use of maritime resources;
ensuring adequate and sustainable fisheries management. The
implementation of EUSBSR objective 3 ‘Increase Prosperity’ and
priority area ‘Innovation – exploiting the full potential of the
region in research and innovation’ may produce synergies with the EMFF
measures providing for investments into projects aimed at developing
and adapting innovation in fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors,
developing new or significantly improved fisheries and aquaculture
products, adapting new technologies as well as developing and
introducing new or improved processes, methods, management and
organisation systems. To ensure synergy and complementarity between
Europe 2020, the EUSBSR, the EMFF and other ESI Funds, the Fisheries
Operational Programme foresees synergies between specific objectives
and identified measures of the EUSBSR and the Operational Programme.
Lithuanian border regions participate in cross-border cooperation
programmes with Latvian and Polish border regions, also in the South
Baltic Cross-border Co-operation Programme together with German,
Danish, Polish and Swedish regions and municipalities along the Baltic
Sea. The main thematic objectives of ECT programmes at the Lithuanian
border are as follows: thematic objective 6 ‘Protecting the
environment and promoting resource efficiency’, thematic objective 8
‘Promoting employment and supporting labour mobility’, thematic
objective 9 ‘Promoting social inclusion and combating poverty’,
thematic objective 11 ‘Enhancing institutional capacity and ensuring
an efficient public administration’ (paying closer attention to
general capacity of the provision of public services). In addition to
other objectives, the South Baltic Programme has important objective 3
‘Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs, the agricultural sector (for
the EAFRD) and the fisheries and aquaculture sector (for the EMFF)’.
Three key thematic objectives (1, 6 and 7) of the ECT international
cooperation in the Baltic Sea programme, in which Lithuania will take
part with another 10 countries from the Baltic Sea Region, will
contribute to the achievement of EUSBSR objectives, support joint
cooperation programmes with the aim to address challenges faced by
countries from the Baltic Sea Region (putting an emphasis on flagship
projects).
4. ARRANGEMENTS TO ENSURE EFFICIENT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARTNERSHIP
AGREEMENT
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4.1. Assessment of the existing systems for electronic exchange and
possibilities to share all information by electronic exchange only
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In the 2007–2013 programming period, the use of information systems
enabled a significant qualitative shift which resulted in reduced
administrative burden for project beneficiaries and improved
efficiency of bodies responsible for administration of EU support. In
the 2007–2013 programming period, the reduction of administrative
burden was mainly related to the introduction of electronic forms and
electronic data exchange with applicants, project beneficiaries and
bodies responsible for administration of EU support.
One of the most significant improvements in information systems for
the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds administration is the development
of a DEW for project beneficiaries. The DEW is the main tool to
provide e-services to project beneficiaries:
*
The DEW is used for electronic data exchanges between project
beneficiaries and implementing bodies (the DEW is used for
completing and submitting payment requests, post-implementation
project reports, in case of ESF-funded projects – reports on
project participants. The DEW generates partially filled-in
electronic forms in relation to project administration);
*
The DEW also includes project monitoring and management functions
relevant to project beneficiaries (it provides information about
project contracts, spending of the budget, payments made for the
project, etc.);
*
The DEW can provide information on the actions performed by bodies
responsible for administration (status of verification of a
payment request, etc.);
*
The DEW is used for sending notices to project beneficiaries.
In the 2007–2013 programming period, the DEW was not meant to be used
by the applicants. However, applicants used electronic application
forms with partially filled-in information and installed automated
checking of the input data which facilitated the filling-in of
applications.
In the 2014–2020 programming period, applications for support from the
ERDF, the ESF and/or the Cohesion Fund will be submitted
electronically via the DEW. Those who registered on the DEW will
receive information and advisory service before submitting their
applications in an electronic format, and the period for providing
information will be shorter. The DEW will ensure that all applicants
quickly receive information on the progress of the evaluation of
applications, the adjustments to be made and the decisions made. Once
a document is submitted through the DEW, it will not have to be
re-submitted together with the application. Links with other public
data registries are expected to be developed to ensure that the
applicants are not requested to provide information which bodies
responsible for administration can obtain or verify themselves. The
DEW will store explanations sent to applicants in an electronic
format, which will ensure the traceability of information in case of a
dispute. The DEW is expected to allow informing project beneficiaries
on the results of the checks carried out, violations identified or
requirements to return the support or any part of it. It is also
envisaged that project beneficiaries will be informed immediately
about any legal changes that can affect the implementation of their
projects.
In case of the EAFRD paying agency, the information system to be used
is designed for the provision of e-services by bodies and agencies
falling within the regulatory area of the Ministry of Agriculture. It
will be analogous to the DEW. The ŽŪMIS will allow for a two-way
communication between applicants and the EAFRD paying agency:
receiving messages, sending inquiries, submitting explanations, adding
additional documents, etc. It is expected that after the expansion of
functionalities, the ŽŪMIS will also be used for EMFF-funded measures.
In the 2007–2013 programming period, the SFMIS was one of the main
tools for administration of the Structural and Cohesion Funds and was
used by bodies responsible for administration at all support
administration stages. The SFMIS helps bodies responsible for
administration to properly manage and control the EU Structural and
Cohesion Funds and to avoid time consuming paper-based data
administration processes. The SFMIS helps ensure that all data
necessary for the financial management, monitoring, supervision, audit
and evaluation of the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds are collected
and stored in one system. The SFMIS was widely used for administering
the operational programmes 2007–2013 (registration of applications;
administration of contracts; monitoring of project implementation;
registration of the findings from checks; costs eligibility control;
payments, etc.) and for monitoring the implementation (providing
information on the progress of project implementation and spending of
the funds earmarked for the operational programmes 2007–2013, a wide
range of reports; collection of data on monitoring indicators;
monitoring the implementation of financial plans).
Despite a significant progress made in developing the information
system in the 2007–2013 programming period, currently all data
provided in an electronic format are also provided in printed
documents because the system does not have a safe electronic
signature, tools for data exchange with other national databases and
registries are poorly developed, the DEW is not used for information
exchange with applicants, not all information on a project is provided
in an electronic format. The development and adapting of the
information system for the 2014–2020 programming period will focus on
the elimination of these shortfalls.
Further developments and improvements of the information systems in
the 2014–2020 programming period will be based on the current system,
capitalising on best practices of the 2007–2013 programming period and
further expanding the lacking functionalities.
The main areas for the development of the SFMIS and the DEW:
*
Adapting the DEW to both project beneficiaries and applicants;
*
Guaranteeing electronic data exchange, eliminating printed
information and using pre-defined standardised forms more widely;
*
Using electronic signature for electronic data and documents
exchange between authorities administering EU support on the one
hand and between project beneficiaries and applicants on the
other;
*
Ensuring greater interoperability – wider integration of the SFMIS
with databases of other public authorities and automated data
verifications with other (external) information systems without
asking applicants and project beneficiaries to provide information
which is held in other public databases and registries;
*
Ensuring that equivalent information is submitted only once –
within the established framework, the SFMIS will enable bodies
responsible for administration of EU support to exchange
information about applicants and project beneficiaries and not
request to re-submit equivalent information for several times;
*
Ensuring electronic communication between implementing bodies,
applicants/project beneficiaries;
*
Developing a system for electronic documents and data storage,
ensuring access to documents and data on project beneficiaries and
their projects, enabling to assess the eligibility of costs and
carry out audits using data and documents accessible through the
SFMIS only;
*
Ensuring the widest possible standardisation and electronisation
of different administration processes and maximising efficient use
of the SFMIS in the work of bodies responsible for administration
of the EU Structural Funds.
In 2014, basic modules of the new system will be developed covering
the submission and evaluation of applications, contracting, payments
and the declaration of expenditure to the European Commission. Taking
into consideration that the introduction of e-signature and
e-documents storage functionalities would require significant changes
in DEW and SFMIS, the possibility for the applicants and project
promoters to submit all information about projects in electronic
format will be secured through further development of the existing
functionalities, in particular in DEW, in 2015.
Table 13. Indicative schedule for the adaptation of the information
system to the 2014–2020 programming period
Process
Finalisation of the process on SFMIS2014
Year, quarter
Key 2014–2020 EU Structural and Cohesion Funds administration
processes
Planning of measures and calls
Quarter III, 2014
Submission and registration of applications
Quarter III, 2014
Assessment of applications
Quarter III, 2014
Conclusion, amendments and termination of contracts
Quarter IV, 2014
Payments
Quarter IV, 2014
Declaration to EC
Quarter IV, 2014
Adapting SFMIS2014 for exchange of electronic documents and data, and
further development
Adapting of DMS for submission of electronic documents and data,
development of a storage for electronic documents
Quarter I–II, 2015
Administration of recoveries
Quarter I–II, 2015
Administration of audits, on-site checks
Quarter III–IV, 2015
Monitoring of financing plans, processes
Quarter III–IV, 2015
The SMFIS is not and will not be used for the EAFRD and the EMFF in
the 2014–2020 programming period. In the 2014–2020 programming period,
an information system for the administration of support to the
Lithuanian agriculture and fisheries sector will be developed on the
basis of the database of a KPPAIS module. It will ensure that all data
related to the administration of support to rural development and the
fisheries sector are collected and processed, and all information is
available. It will also accelerate the administration of support to
rural development and the fisheries sector, ensure the security of
data, enable to rapidly generate and prepare reports to be submitted
to relevant EU and Lithuanian institutions, etc. However, there is a
need for integration with the SFMIS for data exchange (it is important
for double financing) and therefore a feasibility study will be
conducted.
The information system for the administration of the Lithuanian RDP
and the Fisheries Operational Programmes is hosted on the NPA website
at http://www.nma.lt/. NPA website users may review information on
their applications submitted under measures of the RDP and the
Fisheries Operational Programme (status of applications, checklists,
inconsistencies identified in the applications for support on declared
holdings, information on on-site checks), financial information and
correspondence with the NPA as well as to revise the contact and bank
details, submit certain applications and other documents in an
electronic format.
The most important development of e-services in the short run is
related to the possibility to submit applications and other documents
in an electronic format. For this purpose, the functionality of the
information website is being further expanded and a project
‘Transferring services of bodies and agencies within the regulatory
scope of the Ministry of Agriculture into the electronic media’ has
been launched. The implementation of this project will cut
administrative burden for agricultural and fisheries entities pursuing
services rendered by bodies and agencies within the regulatory scope
of the Ministry of Agriculture. Once this project is implemented, the
NPA will be able to use electronic media to receive applications under
measures of the RDP and the Fisheries Operational Programme;
applications for national support; payment requests with regard to
support to rural development and the fisheries sector and project
implementation reports; develop two-way communication between the NPA
and applicants/beneficiaries by electronic means.
It is intended to allow for data exchange between the SFMIS and the
KPPAIS for prevention of double financing when assessing the
eligibility of the applications submitted and paying costs incurred by
project beneficiaries. Also, it is planned to further improve the
interface between the SFMIS and the KPPAIS to accelerate data exchange
between these information systems and their integration, and make it
as effective as possible.
______________________
1 Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre,
Technopolis Group, Ernst & Young, Interim Progress Report on the
Implementation of Joint Research Programmes and Interim Monitoring
Report of Joint Research Programmes, 2 July 2012.
2 Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre,
Technopolis Group, Ernst & Young, Presentation of Valley Monitoring
Group ‘Progress of Implementation and Operational Planning of R&D
Infrastructure Development Projects’, 12 February 2013.
3 Knowledge Economy Forum. ‘Study on Assessment of Operations and
Feasibility of Expansion of Science and Technology Parks (2011–2016)’.
Research, 2010; Public Policy and Management Institute, Knowledge
Economy Forum, ‘Evaluation Services of Lithuanian Science and Business
Collaboration effectiveness and Coordination of Funding
Opportunities’. Final summary of evaluation report, 20 December 2011.
4 European Commission, Research and Innovation Performance in EU
Member States and Associated Countries: Innovation Union progress at
country level. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union,
2013.
5 Joint Research Centre, The 2012 EU Industrial R&D Investment
Scoreboard. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union,
2012.
6 Eurostat data, Innovation statistics. Information online:

7 Statistics Lithuania, Development of Innovation Activities 2010.
Vilnius, 2012.
8 Statistics Lithuania, Development of Innovation Activities 2010.
Vilnius, 2012.
9 Eurostat data, Innovation statistics. Information online:

10 Statistics Lithuania, Expansion of Innovative Activities 2010,
Vilnius, 2012.
11 BGI Consulting, Assessment of Efficient Participation of Lithuania
in European Research Area: Study of Potential of and the Measures for
the Private Sector‘s Investments into R&D in Lithuania. Final report,
25 November 2011.
12 Resolution No 650 of 6 June 2012 of the Government of the Republic
of Lithuania approving the recommended classification of research and
development stages, Official Bulletin, No 66-3344.
13 Public Policy and Management Institute, Knowledge Economy Forum
‘Evaluation Services of Lithuanian Science and Business Collaboration
Effectiveness and Coordination of Funding Opportunities“. Final
summary of evaluation report, 20 December 2011.
14 For further information please see
http://www.mosta.lt/lt/sumani-specializacija/tyrimai-ir-ataskaitos
15 Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre,
‘Research Potential in Lithuania’, Background discussion paper to
support development of Smart Specialisation Strategy in Lithuania.
Vilnius, 2013, .
16 Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre,
‘Current Strengths and Future Growth Potential in Lithuania‘s
Economy’, Background discussion paper to support development of Smart
Specialisation Strategy in Lithuania. Vilnius, 2013, .
17 In Lithuania, rural areas refer to villages, towns and cities with
population under 6,000 (except for municipal centres).
18 Survey of Lithuanian senior form pupils’ opinion about general
education and studies. Rait, March 2012.
19
20 According to the data from the study of the Research and Higher
Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre conducted in 2012, for the
last three years social partners give a lower evaluation to
competences of graduates of higher education institutions who
graduated than their identified needs.
21 Eurostat, 2013.
22 Assessment of the implementation of priority 4 of the Operational
Programme ‘Human Resources Development’ (final report). 2011. Public
Policy and Management Institute
23 http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/index.asp.
24 Assessment of confidence in public and municipal institutions and
establishments, and service quality, Ministry of the Interior, 2012.
.
25 Data from a population survey conducted by Transparency
International, Lithuanian Chapter from December 2010 to February 2011.
26 Transparency International, Corruption Perception Index 2012 <
http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results>.
27 EU Justice Scoreboard. EC, 2013 .
28 The World’s Business School INSEAD, 2009-2010.
29 Report on the survey of economic entities on the assessment of the
performance of supervisory institutions, commissioned by the Ministry
of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, Socialinės informacijos
centras UAB, 2013 >.
30 Monitoring the application of quality management methods in public
institutions/establishments in Lithuania. Ministry of the Interior,
2012
31 Data from the report on the implementation of the Digital Agenda
for Europe Scoreboard published by the European Commission in June
2013.
32 The analysis has been commissioned by the Information Society
Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and
Communications when designing the Model for the Development of
Broadband Connection Infrastructure and Promotion of the Use of
Services.
33 Feasibility study ‘Development of Broadband Infrastructure in Rural
Areas’. Public institution ‘Broadband Internet’, 2012.
34Lithuanian National Computer Emergency Response Team CERT-LT,
‘Summary of CERT-LT activities in 2011’, 18/01/2012, .
35 EC, Europe 2020. Commission Communication, COM(2010)

36 3% of the population.
37 ISDC survey data, 2012
38 According to the list of State Information Systems and Registers
which is operated by the Information Society Development Committee
under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, .
39 European Social, Legal and Economic Projects, ‘Expanded Assessment
of the Impact of the Draft Law on Management of State Information
Resources of the Republic of Lithuania’, May 2011, Vilnius.
40 Statistics Lithuania.
41 The World Bank, ‘Doing Business 2014’. <
http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings >.
42 World Economic Forum, ‘The Global Competitiveness Report
2010-2011’.
.
43 European Commission, ‘SBA Fact Sheet 2013. Lithuania’. .
44 Information provided by ‘Enterprise Lithuania‘.
45 European Commission, ‚SBA Fact Sheet 2012. Lithuania‘.<
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2012/lithuania_en.pdf
>
46 Lithuania’s Development Strategy ‘Lithuania 2030’.
http://www.lietuva2030.lt/images/stories/2030.pdf
47 European Commission, ‚SBA Fact Sheet 2013. Lithuania‘. .
48 European Innovation Scoreboard 2013, .
49 Database of indicators, Statistics Lithuania, .
50 World Intellectual Property Organization, „The Economic
Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in Lithuania“, 2012,
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/copyright/en/performance/pdf/econ_contribution_cr_lt.pdf
51 Feasibility study ‘The Potential of Economic Stimulation by
Projects Under the NIP of Creative and Cultural Industries’.
52 Martinaitytė, E., Kregždaitė, R., ‘Impact of Creative Industries on
Economic Development’, Vilnius: 2013, University of Mykolas Romeris,
Studies of Social Sciences, 5(4), p. 1094–1108., ISSN 2029–2244.
53 The data of the state enterprise Agricultural Information and Rural
Business Centre.
54 The data of the state enterprise Agricultural Information and Rural
Business Centre.
55 Study ‘Impact of EU Support on Agriculture and Rural Development’,
UAB ‘Ekonominės konsultacijos ir tyrimai’, 2013 m.
56 Eurostat, energy intensity of the economy, gross inland consumption
of energy divided by GDP (kg of oil equivalent per EUR 1,000)
.
57 Eurobarometer, ‘Attitudes of European entrepreneurs towards
eco-innovation’. Analytical report, 2011,
.
58 Recommendations for farmers on adaptation measures for the expected
increase of climate extremes, European Regional Policy Institute,
2011.
59 UAB ‘Smart Continent’, ‘Potential Social-Economic Impact of the EC
Proposal for ILUC Directive on the Lithuanian Biofuel Production
Sector and the Analysis of Second Generation Production Potential’.
Final report, 14 October, 2013.
http://www.enmin.lt/lt/activity/veiklos_kryptys/atsinaujantys_energijos_saltiniai/ILUC_galutine_ataskaita_su_pataisymais_v02.pdf
60 Directive of the European Commission setting biofuel consumption
targets for Member States until 2020.
61 Government of the Republic of Lithuania, National Development
Programme 2012
62 Statistics Lithuania, 2012
63 Population’s income and living conditions 2012, Statistics
Lithuania, 2013.
64 51% of the Lithuanian population thinks that they eat unsuitable
food (Vilmorus, 2011).
65 ‘Lithuanian Health Statistics 2012’, 2013.
66 ‘Lithuanian Health Statistics 2012’, 2013.
67 Online access: .
68 Population’s income and living conditions 2012, Statistics
Lithuania, 2013.
69 Lithuania’s Healthcare Programme for 2014-2020, online:
70 Online access:
http://www.sam.lt/go.php/lit/Medicinos-personalo-skaiciaus-poreikio-ir-darbo-kruvio-pilotines-dienos-fotografijos-analize-placiau/1185
71 Jasilionis, D., Stankūnienė, V., ‘Social and Economic Mortality
Differences in the Lithuanian Population’, 2011.
72 Population’s income and living conditions 2012, Statistics
Lithuania, 2013.
73 ‘Death Causes 2012’, Health Information Centre of the Institute of
Hygiene, 2013.
74 ‘Lithuanian Health Statistics 2012’, Health Information Centre of
the Institute of Hygiene, 2013.
75 ‘Health of the Lithuanian Population and Activities of Healthcare
Institutions 2012’, Health Information Centre of the Institute of
Hygiene, 2013.
76 Population’s income and living conditions 2012, Statistics
Lithuania, 2013.
77 Here and further in the text: small and medium-sized cities include
municipal centres and cities with the population ranging from 6,000 to
100,000 (except for five major cities); five major cities are Vilnius,
Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys. Cities with the population
under 6,000 and without the status of an administrative centre are
deemed to be rural areas.
78 Here and further in the text: except for agricultural, financial
mediation, public administration and defence activities.
79 Strategy for the Development of the of Drinking Water Supply and
Management of Wastewater 2008-2015, as approved by the Resolution No
832 of 27 August 2008 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
80 ‘Lithuanian Agriculture and Food Economy, 2012’. Lithuanian
Institute of Agrarian Economics, 2013.
81 Green Paper: Future of Rural Areas in Lithuanian. Vilnius, 2010.
82 Priority 1 of the EU rural development policy is fostering
knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural
areas. The areas of intervention are as follows: (a) fostering
innovation and the knowledge base in rural areas; b) strengthening
research and innovation links in agriculture, food production and
forestry, including efforts to improve environmental management and
environmental performance.
83 Priority 6 of the EU rural development policy is promoting social
inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas.
The areas of intervention are as follows: (c) enhancing accessibility
to, and use and quality of ICT in rural areas.
84 Priorities 2 and 3 of the EU rural development policy include
enhancing the competitiveness of all types of agriculture and
enhancing farm viability, as well as promoting innovative farming
technologies and sustainable forest management, food chain
organisation, including processing and marketing of agricultural
products, animal welfare and risk management in agriculture.
85 Priority 5 of the EU rural development policy is to promote
resource efficiency and support the shift towards a low-carbon and
climate-resilient economy in the agriculture, food and forestry
sectors. The areas of intervention are as follows: (c) facilitating
the supply and use of renewable sources of energy, by-products,
wastes, residues and other non-food raw materials for the bio-economy;
(d) reducing nitrous oxide and methane emissions from agriculture; (e)
fostering carbon sequestration in agriculture and forestry.
86 Priority 4 of the EU rural development policy is to restore,
preserve and enhance ecosystems dependent on agriculture and forestry.
The areas of intervention are as follows: (a) Restoring and preserving
biodiversity (including in Natura 2000 areas and areas of High Nature
Value farming) and the state of European landscapes; (c) improving
soil management.
87 Priority 6 of the EU rural development policy is promoting social
inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas;
areas of intervention are as follows: (a) facilitating
diversification, creation of new small enterprises and job creation,
and (b) promoting local development in rural areas.
88 Communication of the Commission to the European Parliament, the
Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee
of the Regions Towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion -
including implementing the ESF 2014-2020, COM(2013) 83 final.
89 Social Protection Committee, A Voluntary Quality Framework for
Social Services, SPC/2010/10/8 final.
90 Commission Staff Working Paper ‘Schools for the 21st Century’,
Brussels, 11.07.07 SEC(2007)1009.
91 Commission Staff working document ‘The partnership principle in the
implementation of the Common Strategic Framework Funds - elements for
a European Code of Conduct on Partnership’ [SWD(2012) 106 final]. The
document can be downloaded from the following link:
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docoffic/working/strategic_framework/swd_2012_106_en.pdf
92 A list of members of the Lithuanian Rural Networks, approved by
Order No 3D-180 of the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of
Lithuania of 19 March 2009.
93 Regulation (EU) No 1287/2013 of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 11 December 2013 establishing a Programme for the
Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises
(COSME) (2014 - 2020) and repealing Decision No 1639/2006/EC (OL
347/33, 20 12 2013).
94 The number of employees has been reassessed on the basis of
percentage of the functions related to EU Structural Funds
administration to derive the number of employees corresponding to
100%.
123