The Baltic Region

2021 Vol. 13 №1

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Response of the Lithuanian municipalities to the First Wave of COVID-19



This article analyses the response of Lithuanian local authorities to the first wave of COVID-19 with a special focus on the economic support measures they took. The main goal of this in-depth study is to compare the economic response measures included in the action plans of Riga and Tallinn, two large Lithuanian municipal administrations, as well as to analyse the narrative developed in the two cities. The methodology of this research is based on the review of literature, the analysis of action plans, and a case study. The Vilnius and Klaipėda city municipalities adopted action plans to support residents and businesses. Although there are many measures the plans have in common, they differ in the context and scope of application. Municipalities are willing to grant exemptions from various fees and taxes. They have used innovative measures: Vilnius allowed the opening of outdoor cafes, the practice, which was observed by global media. According to the research findings, the actions of municipal authorities can be successful, as municipalities are closer to the residents and can respond to their needs and those of entrepreneurs more quickly and flexibly. The approval of COVID-19 management action plans by municipalities has contributed to the narrative of recovery and hope.