The Impact of Lithuania on EU Council Decision-Making
Volume 6, Issue 1 (2008), pp. 91–123
Pub. online: 18 November 2008 Type: Article Open Access
18 November 2008
18 November 2008
The article presents the results of the research which, in a defined sense, aimed at estimating and characterizing Lithuania's impact on EU Council decisions. Two tasks were tackled during the research. First, it was intended to identify the position of Lithuania and preferences of its representatives within the informal EU decision-making network. Second, it was sought, if possible, to evaluate the capability of Lithuania "to make an impact" on the EU Council decisions at least in two aspects (political-teleological and administrative-organizational).
In the course of the research it was established that the Lithuanian representatives in the EU Council most often informally communicate with their neighbours, i. e. the Baltic and Scandinavian countries and especially with Poland; therefore, they remain at the periphery of the informal EU Council decision-making network. Lithuania's interests have a rather narrow specialization and, consequently, it remains only slightly "interesting" for the core decision-makers. This, however, does not give grounds to claim that Lithuania's influence is null and void.
This situation is also partially affected by the problems associated with the capabilities of Lithuania "to make an impact," which were recorded in the respondents' questionnaires. However, alongside certain teleological and administrative problems, it should also be stated that after in-depth interviews and opinion polls, the research data revealed quite a few positive aspects and tendencies. That is why the problems that were noticed and identified during the research do not seem to be fatal or irresolvable.
Finally, apart from all the relativeness of the results obtained, the present research was important not only in terms of its content, but also in the methodological sense. The formulated methodology and approbated methods that are efficient for the research of informal communication as well as its manifestations and can be related to the degree of the impact of the member state might serve as the basis and the starting point for further studies of similar character.