President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: OECD encourages Lithuania to accelerate the implementation of the welfare state objectives

2020-11-24

President Gitanas Nausėda and Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Jose Angel Gurria discussed the OECD Economic Survey of Lithuania focusing on the analysis of Lithuania's social and economic situation and identifying challenging areas. The OECD study addresses management the COVID-19 crisis, Lithuania's education, social exclusion, loan problems, lack and quality of public investment, lack of local coordination and the green economy.

“This study comes at a very opportune time when Lithuania is going through the change of government and fighting the spread of the pandemic. The insights of the survey can be of great use to the new government to prepare both the Government's program and its implementation plan”, the President said.

The findings and recommendations echoed the goals of the vision for the welfare state presented by the President in October. The President had emphasized that he wanted to see a strong, fair, green and innovative Lithuania that could effectively tackle social exclusion, income inequality, flawed tax system and difficulties in the education system.

“The OECD survey confirmed that Lithuania needed economic and social transformation, starting with the education system. The focus on education is at the heart of my welfare state, and I started the implementation by proposing a legislative package for Equal Starting Opportunities to ensure equal access to education in early childhood”, said the President reminding that in ten-years he expected the quality of education in Lithuania to be among the twenty best-rated in the world.

The President's vision of the welfare state identified the need to increase public investment through a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, and this need is reiterated in the recommendations of the OECD survey as a means of improving economic situation in the country. According to the President, 14.5 billion euros of EU investment negotiated in July is an unprecedented opportunity to achieve this goal as well as a way to achieve a breakthrough in innovation and development of green economy.

The President also welcomed the OECD recommendation to promote regional convergence. In the President's view, the memorandum signed by all political parties in September on strengthening of financial independence of regions was the beginning of major regional changes, and the next-generation EU investments opened vast opportunities for municipalities to invest in smart city and smart region solutions.

President Nausėda and OECD Secretary General Gurria also discussed the idea of the Lithuanian national promotional bank. The aim of consolidating the existing public funding institutions in Lithuania to make financial services more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises, including in times of crisis, is also addressed in the OECD survey.

“I fully agree with the findings of the OECD survey stating economic benefits of secure promotional banks or strategic funds. These institutions would facilitate the implementation of Lithuania's long-term development strategy and provide credit to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as enable effective use of opportunities provided by The Recovery and Resilience Facility of the EU. This can lead to a reinvestment cycle with long-term benefits”, the President said.

The OECD survey showed that the growth rate of retirement pensions in Lithuania is less than 50 percent and well below the OECD average. The President reminded of the initiatives aimed at increasing pensions and well-being of low-income workers.

Concluding the conversation with the Secretary General of the OECD, the President emphasized that for reforms to succeed, Lithuania needed not only to ensure the quality of the process and strengthen analytical capacity in the public sector but also to enhance social dialogue, citizen involvement and access to public data.

The online launch of the OECD Economic Survey of Lithuania was attended by Minister of Finance Vilius Šapoka, leader of the Freedom Party Aušrinė Armonaitė and public policy expert Vitalis Nakrošis.

You can find the OECD Economic Survey of Lithuania 2020 here.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2020.11.24 09:20

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