Lithuania’s foreign policy in the public policy cycle: efficient evaluation is still missing
Keywords: Lithuania, foreign policy, evaluation, formation, public policy
AbstractThe Activity Report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania for 2017 declares that Lithuania’s foreign policy is effective and claims that public opinion is the most important criteria for measuring its effectiveness. The article analyses Lithuania’s foreign public policy cycle, with the focus on its formation and evaluation peculiarities. It argues that the cycle of Lithuanian foreign public policy is stagnating since its evaluation stage lacks efficiency and misses critical evaluations. The lack of strategic documents does not allow defining core foreign policy goals and in this matter to evaluate their achievement. The ambiguous goals in lower level documents prevent critical evaluation because of political interests. Lithuanian foreign policy is the outcome of close cooperation between President’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs which limits criticism between institutions. The Seimas provides greater criticism only when initiative is showed by the opposition. Foreign policy remains the sphere of responsibility of the political elite which has broad consensus and has differences in their views on a tactical level. Media and experts, for the most part, avoid critical evaluations of foreign policy as they want to remain in the dominating discourse and keep close contacts with state institutions. The current evaluation environment and tools are not sufficient to make changes at the agenda-setting stage of foreign policy.