Evaluation of the Impact of the EU Structural Support on the Competitiveness of Lithuanian Economics

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The topic of competitiveness is becoming increasingly significant in the context of modern economics. Considering intensive processes of globalisation alongside with competitive pressure amongst the countries, competitiveness has become a necessary condition for successful economic and social development of any country. Only by creating, enforcing and maintaining international competitiveness of the country, rapid economic growth during the long term is achievable. Amongst the other urgent issues, the European Union (further the EU) public policies are also focused on competitiveness. After the failure to implement the Lisbon strategy and become “the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy”, the EU declared its new competitiveness aims in the long-term strategy Europe 2020. Promotion of competitiveness is one of the fundamental aims and priority directions of the EU structural policy. The EU structural support is engaged as one of the public policy measures to promote the competitiveness of the member-states. In this context, it is purposeful to research whether the structural support is used efficiently and whether it actually contributes to the implementation of the defined aims. Under the order of various Lithuanian institutions, numerous studies on the efficiency of the EU structural support have been carried out. Nevertheless, by analysing the impact of the EU structural support, insufficient attention has been paid to the aspect of competitiveness. Considering the fact that Lithuania has entered the third programming period 2014-2020, evaluation of the EU structural investment in the country has become even more topical - for successful implementation of the aims raised for this new period, the analysis of the previous results is relevant. This determined formulation of the research problem: what impact does the EU structural support have on the competitiveness of Lithuanian economics? The empirical research has revealed that the EU structural support has a positive impact on Lithuanian gross domestic product growth, promotes foreign direct investment, research and development expenditure and increases the number of operating entities during 2004-2014 period.

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