Lithuania

VI - Euro Plus Pact

On March 11, 2011 the Heads of State or Government of the Eurozone endorsed the Pact for the Euro. At the 24/25 March 2011 European Council, the same Heads of State or Government agreed on the Euro Plus Pact and were joined – hence the ‘Plus’ – by six others: Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania (leaving only the UK, Czech Republic, Sweden and Hungary out).
The objective of the pact is to foster competitiveness, foster employment, contribute to the sustainability of public finances and reinforce financial stability. In the Euro-Plus-Pact the Heads of State or Government have entered into commitments on a number of policy areas, in which member states are competent.   
(
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/120296.pdf)

Negotiation
VI.1
What political/legal difficulties did Lithuania encounter in the negotiation of the Euro-Plus-Pact, in particular in relation to the implications of the Pact for (budgetary) sovereignty, constitutional law, socio-economic fundamental rights, and the budgetary process.

Being a non-eurozone Member State Lithuania did not participate at the negotiations of the Euro-Plus-Pact in March 2011. Nevertheless, it was among the six non-eurozone Member States which joined the Pact without being able to negotiate its terms and conditions. This suggestion to join the pact in the mode of “take it or leave it” was described by the minister of foreign affairs A. Ažubalis as arrogant.[1] Lithuania still agreed to join as the Euro-Plus-Pact was viewed as reflecting its interest to proceed towards becoming a part of the eurozone. President D. Grybauskaitė expressed her support to the Euro-Plus-Pact stating that it promotes employment, fosters business growth and, last but not least, ties the hands of those who may want to make excessively populist decisions.[2]

In its reply to this particular question, the Ministry of Finance commented that ҅during the negotiations Lithuania supported enhancing of the economic coordination for the sake of stability of the EU and of the eurozone. It was important for Lithuania to ensure that at this stage new criteria of membership in the eurozone were not created and that the following principles of the Pact were implemented: 1) direct taxes remained a part of national competence, 2) new initiatives were to comply with existing EU instruments (eg Europe 2020, European Semester, Stability and Growth Pact) and EU provisions of internal market 3) the European Commission and the EU Council in its relevant formations should be actively engaged in the process of surveillance of the implementation of the Pact.҆

Miscellaneous
VI.2
What other information is relevant with regard to Lithuania and the Euro-Plus-Pact?

No other relevant information.

 

[1]  ELTA, “Prezidentė: „Euro plius“ paktas bus naudingas Lietuvos žmonėms”, [President: “Euro-Plus-Pact will benefit the Lithuanian people” 25-03-2011],  http://ekonomika.tv3.lt/naujiena/prezidente-euro-plius-paktas-bus-naudingas-lietuvos-zmonems-6062.html#ixzz3gRpvs4j9

[2] Ibid.; ‘Lithuania joins EU’s new economic pact barring economic populism’, 29 March 2011 http://www.lithuaniatribune.com/5998/lithuania-joins-eus-new-economic-pact-barring-economic-populism-20115998/