The Distribution of EU-Funded Projects Relating to Social Policy in Lithuanian Municipalities in 2004–2006 and 2007–2013
Keywords: European Union, social policy, Lithuanian social policy
AbstractFrom the start of membership in the European Union (EU), Lithuania implemented two EU funding periods, from 2004 to 2006 and from 2007 to 2013. The current funding period for 2014–2020 is not covered. During each period, different goals were raised. The first period was dedicated for infrastructure projects which was important to provide the basis for further development. Mostly social service centers, pre-primary education institutions, elderly care centers, schools and other social service infrastructure have been improved or developed. During the second financing period, the aim of projects was to develop social dialogue, services and service quality assurance, life-long education and human resources. Because of the absence of knowledge how EU-funded projects are distributed by Lithuanian municipalities this article attempts to answer this question. This article presents the distribution of EU-funded social policy projects in Lithuanian municipalities. All projects are quantitatively mapped. The analysis of the maps divides municipalities into five categories according to the number of implemented projects. During the first funding period, projects were unevenly distributed in municipalities, but the gap between the major cities of Lithuania was quite proportional to the size of municipalities. During the second funding period, Vilnius and Kaunas municipalities increased the number of realised projects by four and five times, respectively. For the whole period 2004–2013, the largest potential of EU-funded projects was realised in the two major cities of Lithuania, Vilnius and Kaunas, with a disproportionate gap between them and both the third largest city and other municipalities.