OPINION

Anti-corruption policy in Lithuania

Soon the day will come when the new EU member states sign the Accession Treaty in Athens. Lithuania, as well as the other applicant countries, has been on the lengthy but sustainable way towards achieving this goal. Our country met the challenge of carrying out significant structural reforms, developing the national economy and adjusting its national law to European Union law. Of course, it will take time to make the disparities that occurred during the 50 years behind the Iron Curtain disappear. We are happy about the speed of the changes and their assessment in the European Commission’s Regular Progress Report. There is one more occasion that makes us proud of our country. It is the Open Society Institute report «Monitoring the EU Accession Process: Corruption and Anti-corruption Policy.» The report is a result of a year of research into EU enlargement by the Open Society Institute in Budapest, established by the US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros a decade ago. The OSI is one of the most effective and respected think tanks operating in the former Soviet bloc. The OSI report says that Lithuania has formulated one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated anti-corruption strategies in the region. «Its national anti-corruption strategy,» the report says, «could serve as a model for the other countries.» Referring to interesting, and in general correct, comments made by Mr Spyros Payiatakis recently published in your daily newspaper (November 11) and his impressions on the capitals of the future EU countries, I would like to note that they would have been more close to the truth if the reporter, when speaking about corruption, were referring to the above-mentioned conclusion of OSI report. DAINIUS JUNEVICIUS, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania