VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government is presenting its annual report to the parliament on Thursday.
"Every four years, with the change of the ruling majority, the government faces a paradox because it can only account for its first three weeks in office," Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said.
"Since the former government's performance was assessed [by voters] in the Seimas election, in this report we chose [...] to present a broad overview of the state of the state, economy and society", she said.
Since the 18th government took office in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts to bring it under control had to be placed at the top of the agenda, the prime minister said.
As a result of the pandemic, Lithuania's total exports declined to 28.6 billion euros last year, from 29.6 billion euros in 2019, with exports of Lithuanian-origin goods alone down by 4.8 percent. Unemployment grew by 2.2 percentage points to 8.5 percent, and the employed population shrank by 1.5 percent. However, gross monthly wages rose by 9.6 percent to 1,421 euros, according to the report.
The government says it is committed to ensuring that businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have access to assistance.
"The planned state support for businesses affected by COVID-19 amounts to over 330 million euros," the document says. "Efforts have been made to reform the areas of innovation and data opening, and to strengthen the representation of Lithuania's economic interests in the world."
The government plans to focus on five reforms during its term of office: an overhaul of the civil service, the so-called Millennium Schools progress program, the EDtech digital education transformation initiative, and the development of innovation ecosystems in science centers, innovation agencies and mission-based science and business innovation programs, and of a long-term care services model.
The Statute of the Seimas requires that the government's annual report outline its near-term priorities, too.
All members of the Cabinet must be present at the presentation of the report.
After the prime minister presents the annual report to the Seimas, it will be discussed by all parliamentary committees. A special plenary debate is scheduled for June 8, to be followed by a vote on a resolution.