Impact on growing GDP and national macroeconomic indicators
In 2007–2013, investments made by the EU Structural Funds significantly contributed to the mitigation of negative effects of the global economic crisis that hit in 2008. Together with the government's structural reforms (tightened fiscal management, restructuring of state-owned companies), reoriented exports and growing domestic demand, these investments helped to manage the negative effects of the crisis and stabilise the national economy.
According to EUROSTAT data, in 2014 Lithuania’s GDP per capita (based on purchasing power parity) was 75% of the EU-28 average. Without investments from the EU Structural Funds the latter figure would have been 3.8pp lower and would have made for 71%.
Between 2007 and 2013, investments made by the EU Structural Funds significantly contributed to the national GDP growth, increasing it by 20% on average, and created over EUR 10.3 billion of additional nominal GDP during the period of 2007–2015. It is estimated that each invested Euro brought EUR 1.38 of nominal GDP in returns. This return on investment will continue growing and by 2020 will reach 1.6.
The EU Structural Funds played an important role in the foreign direct investments (FDI) attraction process and in 2007–2015 contributed to a 16.5pp higher FDI to GDP ratio, compared to a scenario without investments.
Impact on employment quality
- Almost 266,000 jobs were created or preserved by projects financed by the EU Structural Funds in 2007–2015. Slightly more than half (53%) of all the jobs created were temporary (short-term). 47% of the jobs were preserved for over a year after the project implementation and therefore could be considered long-term or permanent jobs.
The absolute majority (92%) of all the jobs declared by projects was created by measures financed by the European Social Fund. Good results in the field of employment were also a result of 2.5 times higher financing planned for the implementation of active labour market policy measures to deal with unemployment which increased in 2009–2010. Following the intervention, 45% of all participants remained in the labour market for over a year.
With a lack of skilled labour, new jobs in different companies barely increased the total number of people working in the economy, i.e. the jobs created or preserved using the EU Structural Funds usually replaced or pushed out other jobs in the economy. Thus, the net impact of investment on employment in 2007–2015 was 33,000 new jobs. More than half (61%) of them are of high or very high quality.
- EU investments contributed to the improving employment trends in the country. Between 2007 and 2015, the labour force participation rate increased by 6.2pp (from 67.9% to 74.1%). Investments were used to increase the qualification of workers and improve access to employment.
Impact on the quality of life
Between 2007 and 2015, the average annual added value created by Lithuanian counties was 0.4–0.83pp higher than it would have been without EU investment. EU investments had the greatest impact on the added value growth in Vilnius, Kaunas and Šiauliai counties. However, if calculating the impact per capita, the biggest benefits were enjoyed by people in Tauragė, Utena, Alytus and Šiauliai counties.
- With a help of EU investments, the quality of life was better in many Lithuanian municipalities in 2014 compared to 2007 (the quality of life index improved in 42 municipalities). Major improvements were felt in health and education services, the quality of public infrastructure and living environment and security, i.e. those aspects of the quality of life which received most of the EU investments in 2007–2013.
- More detailed information can be found at: Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the achievement of goals and objectives set up in the operational programmes for 2007–2013