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Lithuanian public opinion and the EU membership

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Author(s): Elena Dragomir

Journal: Revista Româna de Studii Baltice si Nordice
ISSN 2067-1725

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 295;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Lithuania | EU accession | public opinion | survey

ABSTRACT
During the early 1990s, following the restoration of independence, Lithuania reoriented in terms of foreign policy towards West. One of the state’s main foreign policy goals became the accession to the EU and NATO. Acknowledging that the ‘opinion of the people’ is a crucial factor in today’s democracy as it is important and necessary for politicians to know and take into consideration the ‘public opinion’, that is the opinion of the people they represent, this paper brings into attention the public support for the political pro-West project. The paper is structured in two main parts. The first one presents in short the politicians’ discourse regarding Lithuania’s accession to the EU and its general ‘returning to Europe’, in the general context of the state’s new foreign policy, while the second part presents the results of different public opinion surveys regarding the same issue. Comparing these two sides, in the end, the paper provides the answer that the Lithuanian people backed the political elites in their European projects. Although, the paper does not represent a breakthrough for the scientific community, its findings could be of interest for those less familiarized with the Lithuanian post-Cold War history, and especially for the Romanian public to whom this journal mainly addresses.
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