Conditionality and compliance in Lithuania: the case of the best performer

Klaudijus Maniokas


Data from monitoring reports of the European Commission consistently indicate that Lithuania is among the best performers in transposing and implementing EU law. This article analyses whether this is really the case. Through two case studies – the second gas Directive 2003/55/EC and the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant – the paper attempts to verify and explain the results of the monitoring report and finds that, in reality, implementation appears more problematic. Non-compliance due to neglect at the administrative level is not an issue, as the process of EU law implementation in Lithuania is well organized. Special planning and monitoring mechanisms and tools developed to ensure transposition and implementation of the acquis remained in place in Lithuania after EU accession. On the other hand, these mechanisms are unable to cope with cases of voluntary non-implementation, which is now practiced more often than previously. However, fear of sanctions and reputational damage has replaced pre-accession conditionality as the main driver of compliance, and effectively limits the number of cases of voluntary non-implementation.


Europeanization; non-majoritarian institutions; policy coordination; political science

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