Is Lithuania becoming ‘just another boring Nordic country’?

Dr. Gitanas Nausėda
President, Dr. Gitanas Nausėda

During his first term as the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves announced that Estonia should aim to become ‘just another boring Nordic country’. Easy said than done, Estonian national politics is turning Estonia into a regular Visegrad – rhetoric country. What the last elections tell about Lithuania, is Lithuania becoming a boring Nordic country?

It appears that the new Estonia’s cabinet is nowhere close to befitting the word ‘boring’.  Luckily the Estonians’ still have a ‘boring’ President. However, having in mind that the President of Estonia has only a symbolic role in the pyramid of power it is alarming. 

Nevertheless, the Estonians voted ‘boringly’ in the European Parliament elections, which is encouraging.  Lithuanians, on the other hand, showed that they are becoming a ‘boring’ country.  The far-right and Eurosceptic political forces gathered less than ten per cent from all votes. Lithuania does not have active far-left parties/movements on our political horizon, yet.

‘Boring’ Presidential campaign and ‘boring’ candidates

Another factor brightens the political mood: Lithuanian presidential campaign was as ‘boring’ as it could get. Even the first tour with nine hopefuls was very civilised and respectable.  The second presidential elections tour saw the two candidates who were competing with each other on positive messages regarding Lithuania’s place in the EU and NATO. One of the most common questions to the ‘boring’ second tour centre-right tour candidates was ‘what divides you and what are the differences between you two?’

Dr. Gitanas Nausėda, the President-elect will take the office on July 12.  This is a long time in politics, and the current Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, who was third in the first round, has promised to resign. We might notice the resignation, and also a split in the ruling Farmers and Green party.

Nevertheless, it looks as populism is in decline in the Lithuanian politics, and we will not see extreme right or left representatives in our Government for a foreseeable future.  Very likely even after the Parliamentary elections in 2020.  However, it remains to be seen if Lithuania could enter the ‘boring Nordic’ club, at least in political tradition and behaviour. We could only hope but the trends are encouraging of Lithuania becoming a boring Nordic country.

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