Reference : The Europeanisation of the Lithuanian party system: an uneven and limited process
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
The Europeanisation of the Lithuanian party system: an uneven and limited process
Pigeonnier, Anne-Sylvie mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Sixth Pan-European Conference on EU Politics
from 13.09.2012 to 15.09.2012
ECPR Standing Group on the European Union
University of Tampere
[en] Europeanization ; political parties ; Lithuania
[en] The paper deals with the Europeanisation of the Lithuanian political parties from 1995 until today. The research question is to evaluate whether the European Union (EU) had an impact on the party system in Lithuania: How did the Lithuanian parties develop contacts with their European counterparts? Do they have one or several visions of the “Return to Europe”? How do they use the EU dimension in the internal arena? Are some parties more “Eurosceptic”? Presenting a framework for the analysis on Europeanisation and party systems, Ladrech (2002) identified five areas: (1) policy/programmatic content, (2) organisation, (3) patterns of party competition, (4) party-government relations, and (5) relations beyond the national party system. This paper focuses on the topics 1 and 5. First, it is explained, how the Lithuanian party system has integrated into the pan-European political parties’ networks. The “traditional” Lithuanian parties, established in the 1990s, have developed deep and stable contacts with their European counterparts. The “new” parties, founded in the beginning of the 2000s, have waited until Lithuania’s EU accession to take position in the European arena. Secondly, the paper analyses the content of the parties’ manifestos on the EU dimension in the pre- and post-accession period. From 2000, most of Lithuanian parties take into consideration the EU as a new environment. Their manifestos present a uniform and consensual vision of the European integration. After 2004, the EU almost disappears from the manifestos prepared for national elections. Lithuanian parties focus on the defense of national interests and seek to Europeanise the energy issue, in order to break Lithuania’s energy dependence towards Russia. All in all, the investigation of these two areas reveals that the EU has a small impact on the Lithuanian party system, mainly because of the strong consensus in the elite on the EU matters.

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