The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №2(24)

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Lithuania's Lonely Leadership 2.0.



The article scrutinizes Lithuanian foreign policy within the framework of the regional leadership concept first introduced in the early 2000s. The reasons of failure of the first leadership attempt in 2004—2008 are analyzed, as are the reasons behind the revival of the concept in 2010 and onwards. While the overall economy seems to be on the mend and the relationships with the adjacent countries (Poland, mostly) are improving, Lithuanian leadership, argues the author, is still very much a subcontract one: it follows the model of “export democracy”, has a narrow agenda and is implicitly geared towards curtailing the influence of its eastern neighbor. The escalation of violence and further development of social and economic crisis in Ukrane make a European-style reform (where Lithuania is a selfproclaimed expert) even less relevant, and confrontational rhetoric towards Russia may lead to economic losses and contribute to rising political tension in the region.


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