Amending Resolution no 1050 of 29 september 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Lithuania's Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro


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  Oficialus vertimas
2007 12 04
 
 
 
 
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
RESOLUTION No 417
 
of 25 April 2007
 
AMENDING RESOLUTION NO 1050 OF 29 SEPTEMBER 2005 OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA ON THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL CHANGEOVER PLAN AND LITHUANIA’S PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE EURO
 
Vilnius
 
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania h a s  r e s o l v e d:
 
To amend Resolution No 1050 of 29 September 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 117-4235, 2005; No 75-2869, 2006) and to word it as follows:
 
 
 
“GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
RESOLUTION
 
ON THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL CHANGEOVER PLAN AND LITHUANIA’S PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE EURO
 
 
 
Having regard to the proposals made by the Commission for the Coordination of the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania, formed by Resolution No 592 of 30 May 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette), No 69-2471, 2005; No 1-20, 2007), in its meeting of 14 March 2007, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania h a s  r e s o l v e d:
 
To approve the appended:
 
1. National Changeover Plan;
 
2. Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                     Gediminas Kirkilas
 
Acting Minister of Finance                                                                 Zigmantas Balčytis
 
 
 
APPROVED by
Resolution No 1050 of 29 September 2005
of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
(as amended by Resolution No 417 of 25 April 2007 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania)
 
 
 
NATIONAL CHANGEOVER PLAN
 
 
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The aim of the National Changeover Plan (hereinafter referred to as “the Plan”) is to set out the key elements of the euro adoption process (changeover from the litas to the euro) in the Republic of Lithuania and the measures to ensure the protection of consumer interests, a smooth changeover and public awareness.
 
2. The Plan has been prepared having regard to the practice of the European Union countries in adopting the euro, the decisions adopted at the EU and national levels, and the experience gained through the re-introduction of the litas in the Republic of Lithuania in 1993.
 
3. The Plan was prepared in close cooperation between working groups that included representatives of institutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania, consumer, employer and business associations in charge of individual euro adoption-related issues.
 
The Plan sets out the key principles and elements of the euro adoption process, describes the preparation for this process and identifies the areas of responsibility of individual sectors as well as consumer protection measures.
 
 
 
II. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
 
LEGAL regulation in the European Union
 
4. The criteria and the decision-making procedure concerning the adoption of the euro are laid down in the consolidated version of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 2-2, 2004) and its Protocols (hereinafter referred to as “the Treaty”). Article 122(2) of the Treaty establishes that at least once every two years, or at the request of a Member State with a derogation defined in this Article (hereinafter referred to as “the derogation”), the European Commission and the European Central Bank in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 121(1) of the Treaty shall prepare convergence reports that assess whether the Member States meet economic and legal criteria of the adoption of the euro. Decisions concerning the abrogation of the derogation, the euro adoption date and the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the national currency shall be adopted by the European Union Council in accordance with the procedures laid down in Articles 121-123 of the Treaty.
 
5. The adoption of the euro and its use in the Member States of the euro area is regulated by the following European Union Council Regulations:
 
5.1. Council Regulation (EC) No 1103/97 of 17 June 1997 on certain provisions relating to the introduction of the euro (OJ 2004 Special edition, Chapter 10, Volume 1, p. 81) (hereinafter referred to as Regulation (EC) No 1103/97);
 
5.2. Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 of 3 May 1998 on the introduction of the euro (OJ 2004 Special edition, Chapter 10, Volume 1, p. 111) (hereinafter referred to as Regulation (EC) No 974/98) as amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 2169/2005 of 21 December 2005 (OJ 2005 L 346, p.1), in order to prepare a smooth changeover to the euro for the new European Union Member States;
 
5.3. Council Regulation (EC) No 2866/98 of 31 December 1998 on the conversion rates between the euro and the currencies of the Member States adopting the euro (hereinafter referred to as Regulation (EC) No 2866/98).
 
6. After the European Union Council adopts a decision on the abrogation of the derogation and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 will be amended to set the euro adoption date and the cash changeover date in the Republic of Lithuania and to specify whether a phasing-out period will be applied in the Republic of Lithuania. The irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the litas and the euro will be set in the Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2866/98.
 
 
 
harmonisation of the national law
 
7. With the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and to the Law on the Bank of Lithuania: the Law Amending Article 125 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 48-1701, 2006) and the Law Amending Articles 1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 19, 20, 25, 31, 33, 35, 36, 38, 47, 49, 50, 53, 54, 541, 55, Amending the Titles of Sections IV and V of the Law on the Bank of Lithuania, Repelling Articles 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 37 and Supplementing the Annex to the Law on the Bank of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 48-1699, 2006), by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on 25 April 2006, the national law of the Republic of Lithuania has been fully harmonized with Articles 108 and 109 of the Treaty and with the requirements of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank.
 
 
 
ADAPTATION OF THE NATIONAL LAW TO THE EURO ADOPTION
 
8. The Bank of Lithuania has drafted the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Adoption of the Euro, with the main principles of the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania (conversion of the litas to the euro, cash exchange, withdrawal of the litas from circulation, publication of the images of euro banknotes and coins, mandatory dual display of prices, etc.). The Law will be passed by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania only after the European Union Council adopts a decision on the abrogation of the derogation and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
9. By 1 December 2005, public authorities have reviewed and identified the legal acts that are to be adopted before the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania. Legal acts that are to be adopted before the adoption of the euro shall be reviewed at least one year before the adoption of the euro. New draft legal acts and draft legal acts amending the existing legal acts shall be submitted to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania at least four months and shall be adopted at least one month before the euro adoption date. This applies to all draft legal acts unless an earlier preparation date is set. These legal acts are classified as follows:
 
9.1. Legal acts that will be in force in the preparatory stage and regulate relations related to the mandatory dual display of prices, frontloading of euros to market participants. After the adoption of the euro these legal acts should be repelled; 
 
9.2. Legal acts that will be in force at the moment of the euro adoption and in the dual circulation period and regulate relations related to resolution of possible disputes over the dual circulation, as well as legal acts regulating labour or staff relations. These legal acts should be repelled after the end of the dual circulation period;
 
9.3. Legal acts that will ensure the use of the euro as legal tender  in all economic sectors of Lithuania and in private life after the adoption of the euro. These are legal acts related to the abrogation of the limitation set in the national law prescribing that the litas shall be the only legal tender, and legal acts applicable to the economic sectors listed in the draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania and intended to ensure the implementation of the provisions of that Law.
 
10. Technical amendments in legal acts (replacing references to the litas with references to the euro) will be carried out after the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
 
 
III. COORDINATING BODIES AND MEASURES
 
11. The main institutions responsible for the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania are the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Bank of Lithuania. The preparation of the Republic of Lithuania for the euro adoption is coordinated by the Commission for the Coordination of the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania set up by Resolution No 592 of 30 May 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and led by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania is the Chairman of the Commission, and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania have been appointed Deputy Chairpersons of the Commission.
 
12. Seven working groups have been set up for analysing various issues relevant to the adoption of the euro: Coordinating Working Group, Cash Working Group, Public Information Working Group, Working Group for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Affairs, Business Environment Working Group, Legal Issues Working Group, and Information Technology Working Group (Decree No 204 of 12 August 2005 of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, On the Approval of the Composition of Working Groups for Examining and Deciding Individual Issues Related to the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania, and Decree No 318 of 23 December 2005, On the Information Technology Working Group). The working groups include representatives from institutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania, and consumer, employer and business associations.
 
13. The Plan is the main instrument to coordinate practical preparations for the adoption of the euro. Guided by the Plan, public authorities shall plan and implement the necessary practical preparations for the adoption of the euro, as set forth in their own action plans related to the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
 
 
IV. KEY EURO ADOPTION PRINCIPLES AND ELEMENTS
 
PRINCIPLES
 
Continuity of Contracts and Financial Instruments
 
14. The changeover from the litas to the euro will not affect the continuity of transactions and financial instruments. After the changeover, all documents containing references to the litas will be valid until their original expiry date indicated therein. The value denominated in the litas will mean the value denominated in the euro as converted by applying the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro vis-à-vis the litas.
 
 
 
Consumer Protection
 
15. The adoption of the euro shall not affect economic interests of consumers. All possible measures will be taken to prevent wrongful conversion of prices, wages, pensions, social benefits, etc.
 
 
 
Self-Preparations by Economic Entities
 
16. Economic entities are responsible for ensuring their own organisational and technical readiness for the changeover, including the adjustment of their information systems. Costs incurred by economic entities in relation to the adoption of the euro will not be reimbursed.
 
 
 
Costs of the Changeover
 
17. The costs of the preparation for the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania, i.e. minting of euro coins, exchange of litas banknotes and coins for euro banknotes and coins, restructuring of the payment system, etc., will be covered by the Bank of Lithuania. The costs incurred by public authorities in relation to the adoption of the euro will be financed from the general appropriations of these authorities.
 
 
 
scenario, time periods and elements of THE changeover
 
18. Given the size of the State, the structure of its financial system and the experience in currency changeover gained by public authorities of the Republic of Lithuania through the re-introduction of the litas in 1993, no transitional period is planned (the euro adoption date and the cash changeover date fall on the same day). No phasing-out period is planned, either.
 
19. The main time periods and elements of the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania are as follows:
 
 
 
  Preparatory period
  7 months before the euro adoption date
  – EU Council decision on the abrogation of the derogation and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania
  6 months before the euro adoption date
  – beginning of the voluntary dual display of prices
  At least 120 days before the euro adoption date
  – beginning of the mandatory dual display of prices
  3 months before the euro adoption date
  – frontloading of euro coins to commercial banks
  1 month before the euro adoption date
  – frontloading of euro banknotes to commercial banks
  Dual circulation period
  Euro adoption date–
  – beginning of the free-of-charge exchange of the litas for the euro by commercial banks and the Bank of Lithuania
  15 days after the euro adoption date
  – the euro becomes a single legal tender in the Republic of Lithuania
  After the dual circulation period
  60 days after the euro adoption date
  – end of the free-of-charge exchange of the litas for the euro by commercial banks
  120 days after the euro adoption date
  – end of the mandatory dual display of prices
  Unlimited
  – free-of-charge exchange of the litas for the euro by the Bank of Lithuania
 
 
 
EURO ADOPTION DATE
 
20. 1 January of a respective year has been selected as the euro adoption date in the Republic of Lithuania. This date has been selected because it is the start of the new accounting period and the new fiscal year (that will enable to avoid extra labour costs and a higher risk of errors related to the handling of accounts and calculation of taxes and wages within the same year both in the litas and the euro). A lower economic activity and lower demand of cash at the beginning of the year have also been taken into consideration (this will facilitate the changeover process and minimise the risk of disruptions of the economic life). Moreover, 1 January is a favourable symbolic moment that will contribute to the information campaign and help the public to accept the single currency of the European Union.
 
 
 
CONVERSION of the Litas into the Euro AND ROUNDING
 
21. From the euro adoption date, every reference in legal acts, contracts and other documents to the litas will be considered a reference to the euro, and amounts in the litas will be considered amounts in the euro as converted at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas. The irrevocable conversion rate between the euro and the litas will be set in the European Union Council Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2866/98.
 
22. Conversion of the amounts in the litas into the euro and rounding at the moment of the euro adoption will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the European Union Council Regulation No 1103/97: in converting the litas into the euro the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas which consists of 6 significant figures and is set by the European Union Council will be applied; in making conversions this rate could not be truncated or rounded; the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas will be used both in converting the litas into the euro (dividing by the rate) and in converting the euro into the litas (multiplying by the rate), however, the inverse rate cannot be used; amounts to be paid or accounted for as converted into the euro shall be rounded to the nearest euro cent by applying an arithmetic rounding rule.
 
23. Tariffs, fees, commissions, and other similar amounts other than final amounts to be paid at the moment of the euro adoption will be converted into the euro and expressed with an accuracy of at least four decimals. More accurate principles of expression may be applied by public authorities under their own legal acts, or by contractual parties under their mutual agreements. Rounding to two decimals will be carried out only on the final monetary amount to be paid or accounted for.
 
24. Levies, fines or other similar payments may be re-set (in whole numbers in the euro or in other values convenient for use) by public authorities under their own legal acts, or by contractual parties under their mutual agreements. In setting new values of levies, fines or other similar payments, the digression from the values that would be obtained by converting the original values into the euro at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate shall be minimum, i.e. the adoption of the euro shall not become a pretext for increasing levies, fines and other similar payments.
 
25. When rounding the amounts that are not final amounts to be paid or when setting new values, the principle of continuity of contracts and financial instruments shall not be violated, i.e. final contractual amounts shall not be affected.
 
26. When converting wages, pensions and other social benefits, they shall be rounded to the nearest euro cent to the benefit of the recipient (when the digit following the last digit to be kept is bigger than zero, the last digit to be kept shall be increased by one) or a new value shall be set, which shall not be lower than the result of conversion of the original amount in the litas into the euro.
 
27. The procedure laid down in this Section shall be applied to all cases of converting the litas into the euro and rounding, unless legal acts lay down otherwise.
 
 
 
DUAL CIRCULATION PERIOD
 
28. From the euro adoption date, the euro will become the single legal tender, except for the defined dual circulation period of 15 calendar days, when payments in litas banknotes and coins will also be allowed. This duration of the dual circulation period has been proposed taking into consideration the technical capacity to frontload euros to banks and commercial enterprises and to collect the litas, the practice of the euro area countries in adopting the euro, and the experience of the Republic of Lithuania gained through the re-introduction of the litas. During the dual circulation period, the larger part of litas banknotes and coins will be exchanged into euro banknotes and coins or spent on goods or services.
 
29. From the euro adoption date, payments at automated selling (goods/services) sites, where inflows are registered and goods/services are sold without a cashier or other staff, will be possible in one currency only, either the euro or the litas. After expiry of the dual circulation period, payments at automated selling sites will be carried out only in the euro.
 
 
 
EXCHANGE OF THE CURRENCY
 
30. When exchanging litas cash into euro cash, the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the litas and the euro to be approved by the European Union Council will be applied. From the euro adoption date in the Republic of Lithuania, conversion of litas cash into euro cash and rounding will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1103/97.
 
31. Commercial banks will exchange litas cash into euro cash free of charge 60 calendar days after the euro adoption date, and the Bank of Lithuania – for an unlimited period.
 
 
 
Dual Display of Prices
 
32. In order to ease the transition to the euro as a new measure of value it is recommended to start a voluntary dual display of prices at least six months before the euro adoption date, i.e. after the EU Council makes a decision on the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas.
 
33. The period of the mandatory dual display of prices is 120 calendar days before and 120 calendar days after the euro adoption date. The form and means for the dual display of prices shall be selected by the seller of goods or the provider of services. The final price of a product or a service to be paid by the consumer shall be displayed both in the euro and in the litas. Dual display of prices should be easily understandable, non-misleading and should not contain any unnecessary information. 
 
34. Conversion of prices from the litas into the euro (before the euro adoption date) and from the euro into the litas (after the euro adoption date) and rounding will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1103/97.
 
35. In the period of the mandatory dual display of prices, bills for energy, utilities and maintenance services or payment notices issued to consumers by enterprises supplying energy (electricity, heating, hot and cold water, gas) and providing utilities, also by administrators of multi-storey dwelling houses and partnerships of such houses, will display the payable amounts both in the litas and the euro. In this period, information on the prices of energy and services and the amounts payable will be given, in the litas and the euro, either on the very bills/payment notices or on a separate sheet accompanying such bills/payment notices, at the discretion of the provider of services.
 
 
 
V. PRACTICAL PREPARATION
 
Public Sector
 
Redenomination of Securities
 
36. Taking into account the practice of the euro area countries, it has been decided to redenominate the nominal value of securities of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “GS”) for the blocks of securities held by a particular investor and to set a new nominal value of GS at 1 euro cent per unit. The nominal value of all GS issued in litas will be redenominated by dividing the total nominal value of securities held in each individual account of the particular investor, according to each security issue identification code, by the irrevocably fixed conversion rate, multiplying it by 100 and rounding to the whole figure. The result obtained will represent the number of securities with the nominal value of one euro-cent, held by the given investor. This is a technically simple and transparent method: the redenomination will have the lowest impact on the value of securities; therefore, no additional payments to compensate for the differences that might be created by rounding will be required, in contrast with other methods.
 
37. The procedure for the redenomination of the nominal value of GS will also be applied to other book-entry debt securities, unless the terms and conditions of the issue of such debt securities provide for another procedure for the redenomination of their nominal value.
 
38. The nominal value of convertible bonds will be redenominated for each bond individually. Its nominal value will be divided by the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas and rounded to two decimals, since the rate, at which convertible bonds are exchangeable into shares, has to remain unchanged.
 
39. The nominal value of equity securities will be redenominated by dividing the total nominal litas value of the issued securities of the same class and of the same nominal value by the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas and by the number of the issued securities of the same class and of the same nominal value, and rounded to two decimals. The redenominated nominal value of equity securities shall be expressed in the euro at the accuracy of whole euro cents.
 
40. The value of shareholders’ contributions and stakes will be redenominated for each shareholder’s contribution and stake by applying the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas.
 
41. At least six months before the euro adoption date, the Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Lithuania shall draft a Law regulating the conversion of authorised capital and securities of public and private limited companies into the euro and the procedures for amending their statutes, and will submit it to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
 
 
 
Taxes
 
42. Amounts payable (receivable) and other amounts specified in tax returns for tax periods beginning as of the euro adoption date, as well as for those tax periods beginning before the euro adoption date and expiring after the euro adoption date, will be given in the euro.
 
43. From the euro adoption date, tax amounts specified in the agreements between the tax administrator and taxpayers, in inspection reports and in decisions on the approval of inspection reports will be given in the euro, irrespective of the period which such amounts refer to.
 
44. From the euro adoption date, tax amounts overpaid during any tax period will be refunded to taxpayers in the euro.
 
45. All taxpayers’ obligations and overpayments in the litas outstanding as of the euro adoption date will be converted on the euro adoption date into the euro at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas.
 
46. At least six months before the euro adoption date, the Minister of Finance will approve, by an Order, new specimen tax stamps for marking cigarettes, on which the maximum retail price of cigarettes will be indicated in the euro. From the euro adoption date, it will not be allowed to sell goods which are already in circulation and on which the maximum retail price is indicated in the litas, at a price in the euro higher than the price obtained by converting the litas price into the euro price at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate.
 
 
 
Adaptation of Accounting
 
47. As of the euro adoption date, economic entities will keep records of their economic transactions and operations in the euro. Accounting documents will, as of the euro adoption date, be issued by indicating amounts in the euro.
 
48. Economic entities, whose financial year coincides with the calendar year, will draw up their financial statements for the year proceeding the euro adoption date, in the litas. On the euro adoption date, assets, liabilities, equity, financing shall be denominated in the euro. Economic entities, whose financial year does not coincide with the calendar year and the last day of the financial year comes after the euro adoption date, will draw up their financial statements in the euro. Such economic entities shall make an inventory of tax accounts as of the euro adoption date. Litas-denominated data of proceeding accounting periods included in financial statements drawn up in the euro shall be converted and indicated in the euro.
 
49. At least six months before the euro adoption date, the public institution Institute of Accounting of the Republic of Lithuania will prepare the Business Accounting Standard establishing requirements for accounting and financial reporting related to the adoption of the euro.
 
 
 
Adjustment of Information Systems
 
50. By the euro adoption date, information systems will be adjusted to process data in the euro. It is recommended to make efforts to ensure that the adjustments do not affect the existing functionality of information systems.
 
51. Before the euro adoption date, public authorities, institutions, enterprises and other organisations shall make the necessary preparations to ensure that the existing business management, accounting, reporting and other information systems are adjusted for payments, accounting and reporting in the euro, and to ensure continuity of operations after the adoption of the euro.
 
52. Each public authority has been obliged to develop its own internal procedure for the adjustment of its information systems for the adoption of the euro and regularly report to the Information Technology Working Group on the progress of adjustment of information systems.
 
53. From 2007, public authorities, institutions, enterprises and other organisations carrying out public procurement of information systems shall be obliged to ensure that the information systems being procured can adequately function after the adoption of the euro. All investment projects of procuring or upgrading information systems must be pre-agreed on with the Information Society Development Committee under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, which shall ensure the fulfilment of the requirement laid down in this paragraph.
 
54. Within their respective fields of activity, public authorities, institutions, enterprises and other organisations shall prepare, at least five months before the euro adoption date, new requirements and document forms, and inform data providers, consumers and clients on the changes related to the adoption of the euro. The institutions administering forms of statistical reporting documents and amendments thereof as well as managing official statistics shall prepare the procedure for harmonization of statistics, as indicated in paragraph 60 of this Plan. 
 
55. At the euro adoption date, all balances in assets, liabilities, equity and other amounts denominated in litas shall be converted into the euro; before that, the data in litas have to be saved.
 
56. Different reporting documents (financial, statistical and other types of reports, declarations, statements, etc.) to be prepared and delivered to public authorities for the period ending before the euro adoption date and, if required, for earlier periods, irrespective of the date of actual delivery, shall be drawn up in the litas, and documents, which contain data compiled after the euro adoption date, shall be drawn up in the euro.
 
57. It is recommended that as of the euro adoption date any financial calculations/reporting documents in the euro should be performed/drawn up by keeping the algorithms in the information systems unchanged and by using the data that refer to the periods before the euro adoption date as converted into the euro. A public authority transferring the data to another public authority electronically shall not convert the amounts accepted in the litas/euros into the euro/litas.
 
58. It is recommended that during the preparatory period and after the changeover, data should be provided, if required, in both currencies, intermediate calculations should be made in the litas (before the euro adoption date) or in the euro (after the euro adoption date) and only final amounts should be converted into the other currency.
 
59. It is recommended that the private sector should review and adapt for the adoption of the euro their business management, accounting and other systems which might be relevant for ensuring a smooth changeover and business continuity after the adoption of the euro.
 
 
 
Harmonisation of Statistics
 
60. The Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “the Department of Statistics”), the Bank of Lithuania, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and other public authorities managing the official statistics will adjust the procedures for managing the statistics, develop measures for collecting statistical data, preparing and distributing statistical information, and other measures for the management of statistics. The work will be coordinated by the Department of Statistics. Preparations will be made for publishing statistical information in the euro after the euro adoption date. Historical time series in the litas will be converted to the euro.
 
The statistics harmonisation procedure will be approved by an Order of the Director General of the Department of Statistics.
 
 
 
Prepaid Items (Transport Tickets, Postage Stamps, etc.)
 
61. Tickets of passenger transportation by water, railway and road transport on long-distance, suburban and local routes, the nominal value of which is displayed in the litas, will be valid four months after the euro adoption date.
 
Air transport tickets, the nominal value of which is displayed in the litas, will be valid six months after the euro adoption date.
 
62. Postage stamps (postage stamps valid in the Republic of Lithuania, post blocks, stamped envelopes and cards (postcards) and stamp aerogrammes), the nominal value of which is displayed in the litas, will be valid four months after the euro adoption date.
 
63. Sellers of transport tickets and postage stamps, the value of which is displayed in the litas, will be obliged to inform consumers, within 120 calendar days before the euro adoption date and afterwards, on the validity period of these transport tickets and postage stamps.
 
 
 
Input by Municipalities
 
64. Municipalities shall make preparations to ensure that the areas operated by them, especially public transport, function smoothly during the changeover. Enterprises founded by municipalities to provide public services are recommended to prepare action plans where special attention should be given to the activities carried out during the dual circulation period.
 
65. In order to avoid unjustified price increases in public administration and public services sectors ascribed to the competence of municipalities, it is recommended that municipalities should, at least three months before the euro adoption date, review and, if required, amend all contracts with public service providers by inserting a provision that fees charged for public services shall be rounded, at the moment of the euro adoption, to the benefit of the public and that they are not increased.
 
66. Government representatives in counties shall carry out administrative monitoring of preparations by municipalities for the adoption of the euro.
 
 
 
Bank of Lithuania
 
Euro Banknotes and Coins
 
67. The Bank of Lithuania shall be responsible for timely acquisition of euro banknotes and coins. During the preparatory period, the Bank of Lithuania shall agree with the European Central Bank and the national central bank of that state which will supply the euro banknotes, on the legal and logistics aspects of the acquisition of euro banknotes. A euro banknotes borrowing agreement will be signed with the European Central Bank. Euro coins for the Republic of Lithuania are planned to be minted by the private limited company Lithuanian Mint (hereinafter referred to as “the Lithuanian Mint”). The Lithuanian Mint is prepared to mint Lithuanian euro coins and Lithuanian euro cents; however it will be able to start doing it only after the European Union Council adopts a decision on the euro adoption in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
68. The Board of the Bank of Lithuania has approved three different plaster models to be used for the national side of euro coins, by Resolution No. 28 of 24 February 2005 On the Approval of Plaster Models of the National (Obverse) Side on Euro Cents and Coins Intended for Circulation. The symbol of the national emblem, the Vytis, surrounded with 12 stars will be depicted on the national side of all denominations of euro coins, along with the inscription Lietuva and the year of issue. The design elements on the national (obverse) side on euro cents and euro coins intended for circulation meet the Commission Recommendations on a common practice for changes to the design of national obverse sides of euro circulation coins and have been agreed on with the European Commission; the images of the national side will be published in the Official Gazette (Valstybės žinios) and the European Union Official Journal.
 
69. The Bank of Lithuania has drafted a cash changeover plan, which lays down the procedure for the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania at the moment of euro adoption, identifies main participants in the changeover process and their functions, regulates the acquisition and frontloading of euro banknotes and coins and other changeover-related issues.
 
70. The Bank of Lithuania will be prepared for frontloading of euro banknotes to commercial banks at least one month before the euro adoption date. Having evaluated the demand for euro coins in the Republic of Lithuania and the technically complicated frontloading process of euro coins, the Bank of Lithuania will be prepared for frontloading of euro coins to commercial banks at least three months before the euro adoption date. Preparations for the frontloading of euro banknotes and coins will be carried out in accordance with the Action Plan of the Cash Working Group.
 
71. As part of implementation of the Action Plan of the Cash Working Group, the Bank of Lithuania will, before frontloading euro banknotes and coins, discuss and agree, with commercial banks, on such issues as the demand for euro banknotes and coins to be frontloaded, the structure of denominations and deadlines for their frontloading. Having assessed the demand for euros to be frontloaded, the Bank of Lithuania will prepare the terms and conditions for the frontloading of euro banknotes and coins to commercial banks and will sign respective agreements. Payments by commercial banks to the Bank of Lithuania for the frontloaded euro banknotes and coins will be made by using the deferred debiting model in accordance with the Euro Frontloading Rules approved by Resolution of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. The Euro Frontloading Rules have been drafted by taking into account the needs and requests of commercial banks.
 
72. Commercial banks shall be sufficiently frontloaded with euros so that they can subsequently sub-frontload cash to their customers, first of all, trade and service enterprises and post offices run by the public limited company Lithuanian Post (hereinafter referred to as “the Lithuanian Post”). Euro Frontloading Rules shall serve as the legal basis for sub-frontloading contracts, as they lay down the main terms and conditions as well as requirements for such contracts. It is recommended that payments by Lithuanian trade and service enterprises for the sub-frontloaded euro banknotes and coins shall be made by using the above-mentioned deferred debiting model. The Bank of Lithuania and the Association of Lithuanian Trade Enterprises will coordinate actions to be carried out by Lithuanian trade and service enterprises and commercial banks as part of preparations for sub-frontloading.
 
73. One of the main cash changeover elements is the withdrawal of litas banknotes and coins from circulation. Given the relatively small quantity of banknotes (about 67 million) in circulation, the current infrastructure of commercial banks and their banknote processing capacities will allow a smooth acceptance and processing of banknotes. Among the features characteristic of Lithuania’s cash turnover is relatively high amounts of coins in circulation – more than 200 coins per capita. One of the solutions to the problem of limited capacity of commercial banks to accept and process litas coins might be the possibility, which is currently being negotiated with trade enterprises, that trade enterprises deliver the withdrawn coins directly to the Bank of Lithuania. It is projected that during the dual circulation period the public will exchange, at commercial banks and trade enterprises, at least 80% of litas in circulation. A smooth exchange of the litas into the euro in regional centres will be ensured by the existing well-developed network of commercial bank branches (about 650 bank offices).
 
74. People living in small towns and villages, also small entrepreneurs and those town people who will have failed to exchange currency at commercial banks during the free-of-charge exchange period will be able to do it at Lithuanian post offices (950 post offices covering the entire territory of the country).
 
75. The issue of safety will be addressed in coordination with the working group set up by Order No. 5-V-193 of 27 March 2006 of the Police Commissioner General, in charge of organising police activities with respect to offences and crimes relating to the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
76. Seeking to inform the public and cash handlers on the new currency and to envisage measures for the prevention of counterfeiting, the Bank of Lithuania has developed materials for Cash Handlers’ Training Programme. At the moment, training levels are being adjusted; training material will be selected in accordance with knowledge requirements, professional experience and education. Following the assessment of the number of cash handlers to be trained, it has been decided that the initial stage of the Cash Handlers’ Training Programme will deal with introductory information about peculiarities and security features of euro banknotes and coins, and later stages will be aimed at providing cash handlers with technical information and practical training, to ensure proper consolidation and use of the acquired knowledge.
 
77. The Bank of Lithuania, in cooperation with commercial banks, shall implement measures aimed at reducing the volume of cash in circulation. It is envisaged to organise campaigns of withdrawal of coins from circulation, to promote the earliest possible withdrawal of coins held by legal and natural persons, and to invite them to participate in various saving programmes.
 
78. During the dual circulation period, the Cash Changeover Monitoring Group of the Bank of Lithuania will monitor the implementation of the Cash Changeover Plan, i.e. the exchange of litas cash and the withdrawal of the litas from circulation, and promptly deal with any cash-related issues.
 
 
 
Payment System
 
79. As of the euro adoption date, the payment system of the Bank of Lithuania will process credit and debit operations and other payments in the euro only.
 
 
 
Exchange Rates
 
80. As of the euro adoption date, the Bank of Lithuania will publish, in the Republic of Lithuania, the exchange rates between the euro and the main foreign currencies set by the European Central Bank. The exchange rates between the euro and other foreign currencies will be set and published by the Bank of Lithuania.
 
 
 
COMMERCIAL BANKS
 
81. Commercial banks as well as foreign banks operating in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania (herein referred to as “commercial banks”) shall be fully prepared and adequately adjust their information and other internal systems to be able to properly inform and serve their customers.
 
82. Commercial banks are recommended to take additional organisational measures during the dual circulation period (i.e. a flexible work schedule, staff for special temporary assignments, etc.) and to encourage their customers to start returning litas coins held by legal and natural persons as early as possible.
 
 
 
Exchange of the Litas
 
83. Commercial banks shall be prepared to meet the demand of legal and natural persons for euro banknotes and coins. As of the euro adoption date, commercial banks shall dispense only euro banknotes and coins and stop dispensing litas banknotes and coins.
 
84. Commercial banks shall exchange litas into euros free of charge 60 calendar days after the euro adoption date. Upon expiry of this period, commercial banks will be entitled to charge a fee to be fixed by themselves for the exchange of litas into euros.
 
 
 
Customer Accounts
 
85. On the euro adoption date, deposits and other amounts in the litas held in all customer accounts with credit institutions shall be converted into the euro free of charge, applying the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the litas and complying with the conversion and other requirements established by the European Union legislation.
 
 
 
Interest Rates
 
86. As of the euro adoption date, every reference in legal acts, contracts and other documents to VILIBOR (Vilnius Interbank Offered Rate) shall be read as a reference to EURIBOR (Euro Interbank Offered Rate), except for interest rates on overnight loans. References to the overnight VILIBOR shall be read as references to eonia (Euro Overnight Index Average). Contracts may contain other provisions by agreement between the parties. Where a reference in contracts or other documents to VILIBOR refers to a period that starts before and ends after the euro adoption date, this expression of interest rates shall be used until the end of the period for which it has been calculated, unless the parties agree otherwise.
 
 
 
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
 
87. Commercial banks shall thoroughly adjust their ATM infrastructure to dispense euro banknotes and make sure that their ATMs are filled with euro banknotes as from the euro adoption date. Commercial banks shall ensure that the overall structure of denominations of euro banknotes in ATMs is dominated by low denominations.
 
 
 
Retail TRADE and services
 
88. Trade enterprises shall make preparations to be ready to work during the dual circulation period, i.e. to train their personnel accordingly.
 
89. Pursuant to the principles concerning the dual display of prices laid down in paragraph 33 of this Plan, sellers of goods (providers of services) shall start displaying prices of goods (services) in the litas and the euro at least 120 calendar days before the euro adoption date. During the dual circulation period, the prices displayed in the litas and the euro shall be paid in the currency of the payer’s preference.
 
90. Conversion of prices shall be performed according to the conversion and rounding rules laid down in paragraph 22 of this Plan; however, the rounding of the final price, i.e. the amount to be actually paid, down to the benefit of a consumer will not be considered a violation of price conversion rules.
 
During the dual circulation period, sellers of goods and providers of services shall accept payments either in the litas or the euro, but change should be preferably given in the euro only. Consumers will be encouraged to use more often payment cards and electronic payment methods.
 
91. When payments during the dual circulation period are made in the litas, receipt and expenditure vouchers, cash payment/acceptance vouchers and cash register receipts shall display amounts, where possible, both in the litas and the euro. If prices and other amounts on a cash register receipt are not displayed both in the litas and the euro, it will be considered, as of the euro adoption date, that such prices and other amounts are in the euro.
 
92. Business organisations will be encouraged to adopt the Code of Good Business Practice (Will); by signing (declaring) it, economic entities will express their commitment:
 
92.1. to convert prices correctly;
 
92.2. not to use the euro adoption as a pretext to raise prices;
 
92.3. not to conclude agreements that restrict competition;
 
92.4. to respect the commitment to non-discrimination on the basis of currency;
 
92.5. to accept the litas and seek to give change only in the euro during the entire dual circulation period;
 
92.6. to arrange the dual display of prices in the customer-friendly manner, to refrain from big sell-outs, etc.
 
93. Those trade enterprises, which will publicly declare their commitment to and follow the Code of Good Business Practice (Will), will be authorised to use a special logo of the Code (in advertisements, company attributes, etc.).
 
 
 
VI. Consumer PROTECTION
 
94. Dual display of prices will serve as an important safeguard in the favour of consumers against potential abuse and manipulation of prices.
 
95. The dual display of amounts to be paid in the litas will help customers get accustomed to the new measure of value. Employers and payers of pensions and social benefits shall, 120 days before the euro adoption, create the conditions for the payees of wages, pensions and social benefits to be informed, if they wish so, of these amounts in the euro.
 
96. Monetary amounts related to the payment of wages, pensions, social benefits (minimum hourly remuneration, minimum monthly wage, basic monthly wage, basic hourly remuneration, state social insurance basic pension, income insured, minimum level of living, state-supported income, state pension base, etc.) will be set in the euro to the benefit of the recipient. The public will be widely informed about the setting of these rates.
 
97. After the European Union Council adopts a decision on the abrogation of the derogation and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, a toll-free Euro Hotline will be launched to provide information on the preparations for the changeover and on the planned procedure of the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania. An adequate information campaign, mandatory dual display of prices, strictly regulated procedure of conversion of the litas into the euro and active participation of the public will help to prevent instances of abuse during the changeover.
 
98. As stipulated in Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro (hereinafter referred to as the “Public Information Strategy” or just “Strategy”) approved hereunder by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, conditions must be created for the public to get familiarised with denominations of the euro, possibilities of exchanging litas into euros, and the procedure of conversion. This will help the consumers to quickly check whether litas amounts have been converted into euro amounts (and vice versa) correctly. Information to be given by public authorities through mass media and other information channels will also be of much help here.
 
99. Consumers will be encouraged to use electronic methods of payment and to deposit cash in bank accounts. As of the euro adoption date, banks will dispense (pay) cash in the euro, not in the litas. It is recommended that cash for wages should be dispensed in low-denomination euro banknotes. Banks shall ensure that, from the euro adoption date, automated teller machines dispense euros only. Automated teller machines should be filled with low-denomination euro banknotes.
 
100. During the dual circulation period, the principle of non-discrimination of currencies shall be followed in determining and applying prices and rates. 
 
101. To prevent unjustified price increases on the grounds of euro adoption and other conversion-related violations of consumer rights, the following measures will be implemented as an integrated set:
 
101.1. business organisations will be encouraged to adopt the Code of Good Business Practice (Will), by which they will undertake a commitment to convert prices correctly and not to use the euro adoption as a pretext to raise prices and otherwise act against consumer interests;
 
101.2. the Department of Statistics will monitor changes in retail prices. During the period of the dual display of prices, prices in the litas and the euro will be recorded in accordance with the usual procedure, public authorities concerned and the public will be given statistical information on changes in prices of consumer goods and services by recording prices in the litas and the euro and assessing the impact of price conversion on the overall change in consumer prices. It will also prepare and disseminate information on retail prices of about 50 main uniform goods and services and on their price movements;
 
101.3. The National Consumer Rights Protection Council under the Ministry of Justice will investigate consumer complaints and establish violations of consumer rights;
 
101.4. The public will be constantly informed (via internet websites, in the press) about price monitoring results and cases of abuse.
 
 
 
VII. providing information to the public
 
102. The public shall be informed on the planned adoption of the euro in accordance with the Public Information Strategy aimed to adequately and comprehensively inform Lithuania’s society about the European Union single currency, the impact of its adoption on the national economy and the public, the preparedness of the Republic of Lithuania for the adoption of the euro and the planned procedure for the changeover. The Public Information Strategy also aims at creating conditions for the implementation, in a targeted and coordinated manner, of public information on the euro adoption and communication measures planned by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania and other public authorities and institutions.
 
103. The basic principle of implementation of the Public Information Strategy is the linking of the changeover process with the process of Lithuania’s accession and integration into the European Union. For the purpose of implementing the Strategy, public and public authorities shall be involved in the process of preparation for the adoption of the euro, and public economic awareness-raising measures shall be implemented.
 
104. Public authorities and institutions shall, within their competence, closely cooperate with different business associations in the field of providing information to the public.
 
105. Implementing the Public Information Strategy, the Republic of Lithuania shall cooperate with the European Union institutions and the euro area countries. On 8 November 2005, a Partnership Agreement was signed between the European Commission and the Republic of Lithuania for the organisation of information and communication campaigns on the changeover to the euro in Lithuania in the framework of the information and communication strategy on the euro and Economic and Monetary Union (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 6-195, 2006), according to which the European Commission is prepared to finance several joint public information measures. The European Central Bank is an important partner of Lithuania as it helps to familiarise the public with euro banknotes and coins and their security features. In order to take over best practices of the euro area countries in the field of providing the public with information at the time of adoption of the euro in these countries, Lithuania cooperates with institutions of the Netherlands and other euro area countries (under the Twinning Programme).
 
106. The Public Information Strategy will be implemented in the following three stages, with different intensity of the planned information activities and relevance of the topics:
 
106.1. at the start of the information campaign, the public will be informed on the impact of the single currency on the national economy and the public, on the degree of fulfilment of legal and economic requirements (convergence criteria) by the Republic of Lithuania, and, in general terms, on the euro and the euro area. Information on these subjects will be published in various publications and on the websites of public authorities; this will involve cooperation with TV and radio broadcasters, distribution of publications, meetings of experts with different groups of the public and organisation of various training courses;
 
106.2. The European Union Council’s decision concerning the abrogation of the derogation and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania will mark a start of the most intensive part of the campaign. At this stage, the public will be informed in detail on the euro adoption procedure, legislation of the European Union and the Republic of Lithuania on the euro adoption process, denominations and value of the single currency, security features of the euro, etc. The general public and individual target groups of the public will be informed through different information channels, such as TV, radio, press, outdoor posters; a special information package for all households; a toll-free Euro Hotline; special website; special publications for individual target groups; events, meetings and training courses;
 
106.3. The public shall be extensively informed on the adoption of the euro even after the changeover. By using the information channels mentioned in paragraph 106.2 of this Plan, it is envisaged to provide the public with comprehensive information about the progress and results of the changeover, further information about euro banknotes and coins and their security features, and to analyse other matters related to the adoption of the euro.
 
 
 
 
 
––––––––––––––––
 
APPROVED by
Resolution No 1050 of 29 September 2005
of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
(as amended by Resolution No 417 of 25 April 2007 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania)
 
 
 
lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the adoption of the euro
 
 
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro is a medium-term strategic planning document, the objective of which is to provide relevant and comprehensive information to the public of Lithuania about the single currency of the European Union and its impact on the national economy and the public, the preparedness of the Republic of Lithuania for the adoption of the euro and the planned euro changeover procedure; it is also aimed at creating conditions for the implementation, in a targeted and coordinated manner, of public information on the euro adoption and communication measures planned by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania and other public authorities and institutions (hereinafter referred to as the institutions concerned).
 
2. The original Strategy was approved by Resolution No. 1050 of 29 September 2005 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania On the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 117-4235, 2005) and was being implemented. This document is a revision of the Strategy in the light of the National Changeover Plan and results of public opinion polls; it takes into consideration the experience of the euro area Member States in organising information and communication campaigns on the adoption of the euro and the experience of Lithuanian institutions in this area and is presented in a new wording (hereinafter referred to as “this Strategy”).
 
3. The basic principle of implementation of this Strategy is the linking of the changeover process with the process of Lithuania’s accession and integration into the European Union. In implementing this Strategy, efforts are made to promote active participation of the public in the process of preparation for the euro adoption and to raise economic awareness of the public.
 
 
 
II. Current situation
 
Providing INFORMATION ON THE EURO to the public
 
4. Implementing the original Strategy, the institutions concerned have prepared, published and disseminated to the public a number of publications on the single currency of the European Union, the euro. Seminars and other events were organised and lectures were given to employees of educational establishments, businessmen, bank cashiers, public officers, consumers and other target groups in various places of the country. Meetings with local communities were held in various regions of the country, where representatives of the institutions concerned discussed issues of concern to the public and answered questions about the planned adoption of the euro in Lithuania.
 
5. Understanding that mass media is one of the most efficient sources of information on the preparation for the adoption of the euro, the institutions concerned regularly provided them with the euro area news and gave a large amount of information on the adoption of the euro and their activities in this field during the period of implementation of the original Strategy. The institutions concerned cooperated with the national television channels and public radio stations preparing and broadcasting cognitive programmes, specialised rubrics, information clips and other information materials. Therefore, the adoption of the euro was one of the most important topics in the mass media.
 
 
 
Public Opinion
 
6. On 4 to 8 September 2006, the international public opinion and market research company the Gallup Organization, commissioned by the European Commission, conducted a Eurobarometer survey, during which over 10 thousand people aged 15 years and above from the new European Union Member States were interviewed. Commissioned by the Bank of Lithuania, the Public Opinion and Market Research Centre, private limited liability company Vilmorus (hereinafter referred to as Vilmorus), conduced a survey in Lithuania (1009 Lithuanians aged 15 years and above from 20 cities and 68 villages were interviewed on 1 to 4 December 2006). The survey results showed that Lithuanians were increasingly better informed about the euro. According to the Eurobarometer survey results, the rate of Lithuanian population adequately informed about the euro adoption process was 31 percent in September 2005 and 40 percent in September 2006 (the average in the new European Union Member States is 40 percent). The Vilmorus survey showed that 44.4 percent of Lithuanians were adequately informed about the process and progress of the adoption of the euro. The Eurobarometer survey also showed that 43 percent of the population believed that the euro would have a positive impact on the national economy (in 2005, this figure was only 32 percent). A slight decline in the number of those negatively disposed towards the euro, from 59 percent in 2005 to 56 percent in 2006, was recorded.
 
7. The Eurobarometer survey showed that the country’s population (63 percent of those interviewed) would like to get information about the procedure and conditions of the adoption of the euro in Lithuania in advance; of these, 28 percent would like to get such information as early as possible and 35 percent would like to be informed several years before the adoption of the euro.
 
8. The Vilmorus survey discovered that Lithuania’s population know pretty well that the single currency of the European Union is the euro (95.9 percent of the interviewed). They also know that not all European Union Member States have adopted the euro (84.8 percent of the respondents). Although almost 71 percent of the population see Lithuania’s membership in the European Union as a positive development, only 43.8 percent see the euro as the single currency of the European Union, whereas 50.7 percent of those interviewed see it just as a monetary unit. 40.7 percent stated that Lithuania planed to adopt the euro in 2010, while only 39.9 percent of them thought that Lithuania was simply obliged to do so. Like in the earlier surveys, Lithuania’s population would rather postpone the changes: 40.8 percent of the respondents would like the euro to be introduced later than in 2010. The Vilmorus survey revealed that:
 
8.1. The most readily appreciated advantages of the adoption of the euro for Lithuanians were the following: no need to change currency while travelling within the European Union (this seemed important to 71.6 percent of the respondents); Lithuania will become a full-fledged member of the European Union (68.1 percent of those interviewed); the euro will facilitate payments between businessmen and their foreign partners (74.2 percent of the interviewed). Less weight was given to the fact that the euro is a reliable and stable currency (59.7 percent of the interviewed) and it will be easier to compare prices across the European Union Member States (62.9 percent of the respondents).
 
8.2. People very clearly see the biggest concerns related to the adoption of the euro: as much as 91.8 percent of the respondents are concerned about a potential rise in prices, 83.4 percent worry that their savings will depreciate and 69.4 percent are concerned about the loss of national currency in general. Generally, the concerns remain the same as those indicated in the earlier surveys commissioned by the Bank of Lithuania and in the regular Eurobarometer surveys carried out throughout the European Union.
 
8.3. Lithuanians were quite unanimous in their evaluation of information sources. They would most strongly trust such sources of information regarding the euro as: family members, relatives and acquaintances living in the Members States of the euro area (67.5 percent of the respondents); people from the countries which have recently adopted the euro (63.9 percent); economists (60.1 percent) and the Bank of Lithuania (58.7 percent of those interviewed). The least trustworthy sources were representatives of non-governmental organizations (12.3 percent), members of the Parliament (15.4 percent) and business representatives (16.4 percent of the interviewed). Surprisingly, the press gathered only a scant 26.1 percent.
 
8.4. Respondents rated the information about the euro in terms of its importance as follows: the most important information is about potential consequences of the euro adoption (88.1 percent), the practical information of the euro changeover (86.2 percent) and consequences of the euro adoption in other countries (71.2 percent).
 
8.5. The population were unanimous in their evaluation of information media and information channels: as much as 91.6 percent responded that they needed to be informed via television, 79.4 percent believed that information should come via radio, 78.4 percent would like to obtain information through the national press and 65.1 percent through the regional press. People were least interested in the information provided by libraries (22.8 percent).
 
9. A survey of opinion of Lithuania’s business community conducted by Vilmorus on 21 November to 8 December 2006 (commissioned by the Bank of Lithuania) covered 403 businessmen and company executives from various sectors. Businessmen generally had a positive view of Lithuania’s membership in the European Union (61 percent of the respondents), with an emphasis on a freer movement of goods and services, opening of new markets and the assistance of the European Union. Several negative aspects such as more bureaucracy and higher labour emigration were also indicated. This survey showed that:
 
9.1. Businesses were more positively-inclined towards the euro: 54.3 percent of the respondents were in favour of the single currency; on the other hand, 47.1 percent also welcomed the fact that Lithuania would fail to adopt the euro in 2007. Nevertheless, 32 percent of the respondents said they would like the euro to be introduced as soon as possible; together with those who wanted this to happen in 2009 or 2010, they made up more than 60 percent of the total number of the interviewed.
 
9.2. Businessmen believed that the adoption of the euro would allow Lithuania to become a truly full-fledged EU Member State. This factor was of concern to as much as 68 percent of the businessmen and was much more important than other factors related to the benefits of the euro adoption. In the context of the whole national economy rather than personal business, this factor was given even more importance: 75.4 percent of the respondents indicated this aspect as important.
 
9.3. Assessing the disadvantages of the euro adoption, businessmen (only 32.3 percent) indicated, inter alia, a possible rise in prices.
 
9.4. Most businessmen (as much as 79.5 percent) thought they should participate in the process of the adoption of the euro; of these, 44.4 percent indicated they should participate via business associations. 37 percent of the respondents knew about the Code of Good Business Practice underway for signature and only 27 percent believed that it might prevent price increase.
 
9.5. According to businessmen, the most trusted sources of information were: economists (70.5 percent of the respondents trusted them), people from the countries which have recently adopted the euro (68.5 percent), the Bank of Lithuania (67.2 percent of the respondents), and business associations (63.5 percent). The least trusted sources were members of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania (15.9 percent), emigrants (18.1 percent) and journalists (24.3 percent of those interviewed).
 
9.6. At present, it is most important for businessmen to get information on possible  consequences of the adoption of the euro (84.6 percent of the respondents), Lithuania’s preparedness (75.9 percent) and the adoption of the euro in other countries (72.5 percent of the interviewed). One year before the adoption of the euro, the most important information for them would be information about potential consequences of the adoption of the euro to business (92.6 percent) and the changeover process(92.3 percent of the respondents).
 
9.7. Businessmen ranked information media differently than the general public: 88.8 percent of the respondents would prefer to get information via the Internet, 84.9% – by the national press and 83.1 percent – by television.
 
10. On 4 to 8 September 2006, commissioned by the European Commission, the international public opinion and market research company The Gallup Organization conducted a Eurobarometer survey dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the introduction of the euro in the European Union Member States. More than 12 thousand people aged 15 years and above from the euro area Member States were interviewed. The survey revealed that:
 
10.1. After 5 years from the introduction of the euro, the euro was positively evaluated by 48 percent of the population of the euro area Member States. 38 percent considered that the euro created more problems than it gave benefits. 7 percent believed that the new currency changed nothing and 7 percent did not have any opinion on the issue.
 
10.2. The euro was positively evaluated by as much as 75 percent of the population in Ireland, 65 percent in Finland and 64 per cent in Luxembourg. The lowest percentage (38 percent) of those evaluating the euro positively was in Greece and the Netherlands. The least positive opinion about the euro was recorded in those states where the adoption of the euro coincided with the deceleration of economic growth.
 
10.3. As much as 81.4 percent of the respondents stated that prices had gone up after the adoption of the euro. Compared to the concern about a rise in prices, other negative changes seemed insignificant. 18.5 percent of the respondents believed that the euro aggravated their everyday life, 7 percent thought that it slowed down the growth of the national economy and increased the rate of unemployment, and 5 percent noted that it undermined the national sovereignty.
 
 
 
III. Organization of Activities
 
Institutional Framework
 
11. To ensure proper preparation of Lithuania for the adoption of the euro, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has set up, by Resolution No. 592 of 30 May 2005, a Commission for the Coordination of the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as “the Commission”). The Commission is composed of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania (Chairperson of the Commission), Minister of Finance (Deputy Chairperson of the Commission) and the Chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania (Deputy Chairperson of the Commission), Minister of Social Security and Labour, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, Minister of Agriculture, and General Director of the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Department of Statistics). The Commission’s objective is to ensure proper preparation for the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania. Seven working groups have been set up to deal with specific issues and submit conclusions to the Commission; these are the Coordination Working Group, the Public Information Working Group, the Cash Working Group, the Business Environment Working Group, the Consumer Rights Protection and Social Affairs Working Group, the Legal Issues Working Group, and the Information Technologies Working Group (Decree No. 204 of 12 August 2005 and Decree No. 318 of 23 December 2005 of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania).
 
12. The Public Information Working Group consists of representatives of public authorities such as the Bank of Lithuania, Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Ministry of the Economy, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Statistics, as well as consumers, businessmen and municipal institutions such as the Lithuanian Consumer Institute, Association of Lithuanian Trade Enterprises and Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania. The Public Information Working Group coordinates the implementation of the Strategy by public authorities, examines information submitted by authorities on the progress of implementation of the Strategy and provides information thereon, together with proposals for updating and supplementing the Strategy, to the Commission, taking into consideration the results of monitoring and evaluation of its implementation.
 
 
 
Cooperation with the EUROPEAN COMMISSION and the EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
 
13. The Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Lithuania take part in the meetings of managers of communication units of finance ministries and central banks of the European Union Member States, organised by the DG Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission to discuss issues related to the provision of information on the adoption of the euro to the public. The European Commission has also budgeted funds and offered different forms of cooperation for the implementation of various communication measures (under the Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the European Commission for the organisation of information and communication campaigns on the changeover to the euro in Lithuania in the framework of the information and communication strategy on the euro and Economic and Monetary Union, signed on 8 November 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 6-195, 2006) (hereinafter referred to as the Partnership Agreement), also under the Twinning Programme).
 
14. Under the Twinning Programme, other European Union Member States share their practical experience in the area of public information and other areas related to the adoption of the euro with Lithuanian institutions providing information on the euro to the public (the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Lithuania).
 
15. Under the Partnership Agreement, the European Commission finances and implements certain public information measures. On Lithuania’s side, responsibility for the implementation of the Partnership Agreement has been assigned to the Bank of Lithuania.
 
16. Representatives of the Bank of Lithuania participate in the Euro Cash Communication Working Group of the ECB Communications Committee. The Working Group coordinates issues related to the implementation of public information campaigns on euro banknotes and coins in the countries seeking to adopt the single currency of the European Union, discusses and adjusts information on euro banknotes and coins to be published, discusses the means of presentation of security features of euro banknotes and coins (booklets, posters, websites) and respective training materials for cashiers.
 
 
 
IV. Objectives
 
17. The following objectives are raised in this Strategy:
 
17.1. To inform the public about the adoption of the euro and related factors. Acting within their competence, the institutions concerned shall supply information to the public on all aspects of the adoption of the euro: impact of the euro adoption on the Lithuanian economy, principles of conversion in private and corporate bank accounts, balance-sheets and social benefits to the euro, denominations of euro banknotes and coins, banknote security features, currency exchange facilities.
 
17.2. To help the public to prepare for the adoption of the euro. While providing information to the public, institutions concerned shall create conditions for proper and timely preparation of the public for the adoption of the euro.
 
17.3. To contribute to a smooth adoption of the euro in Lithuania. The institutions concerned shall seek to ensure that the well-informed and euro adoption supporting public contributes to a smooth introduction of the euro; to form an attitude that only concerted action of all institutions concerned, active participation of the whole society and benevolent support of business enterprises will ensure a smooth adoption of the euro in Lithuania.
 
17.4. To form a positive approach of the public towards the future currency of Lithuania – the euro. The institutions concerned shall take care to prevent concerns of the well-informed society about the adoption of the single currency of the European Union, ensure understanding of the benefits of the euro adoption in Lithuania and seek public support and positive attitude towards the single currency of the European Union during the adoption of the euro in Lithuania and afterwards.
 
 
 
V. Key PRINCIPLes of PUBLIC Information and Communication
 
18. The main principle for the implementation of this Strategy is the linking of the process of the adoption of the euro with the integration to the European Union in general. Investigations suggest that target groups of the public do not link the adoption of the euro with the integration to the European Union. Information should aim at linking these processes and explain that the euro means closer integration to the European Union. Moreover, as surveys reveal, the public is concerned not about the euro itself, but about its too fast adoption and possible associated negative processes. Therefore, in providing information to target groups of the public the discussion in principle about the need to adopt the euro should not be returned to. It is sufficient to intimate that the adoption of the euro has already been provided for in Lithuania’s Accession Treaty and that it is a question of time, not principle. The adoption of the euro was postponed not because of doubts about benefits of the euro, but because of objective criteria which Lithuania did not meet at the time of assessment – May 2006. The connection of the ideas of the accession to the euro area and integration to the European Union aims at securing support of that part of the public which sees membership in the European Union as a positive development (around 70 percent). This idea should be reflected in visual materials, symbol and slogan(-s) used in the euro-related information-spreading activities. They will help target groups to catch more easily information on the adoption of the euro in the overall flow of information and identify it as a part of the euro information campaign. The general idea of the European Union should be followed in providing information to all target groups.
 
19. Secondary principles that facilitate smoother implementation of this Strategy are the following:
 
19.1. Involvement of social groups in the process of the adoption of the euro. This principle shall be applied with the aim of ensuring a more transparent and efficient utilisation of capabilities of individual social groups to participate in the process of practical dissemination of information and to perform control and supervision functions immediately after the adoption of the euro. Political organisations, non-governmental organisations and business associations could become especially important information partners of the institutions concerned. This principle would not only help to maintain more efficient feedback relations with target groups of the public, but would also help to promote the idea that adoption of the euro, like integration into the European Union, is a common concern to all citizens.
 
19.2. Raising economic literacy. Understanding of the main principles of the functioning of the economy would allow the public and target groups to perceive better the necessity of the adoption of the euro, to get rid of unreasonable fears related to the adoption of the euro and to make indirect benefits of the adoption of the euro visible. It is no less important for the public to know and understand that, in order to adopt the euro, it is necessary to comply with the financial stability criteria that also determine economic stability of the country. With the adoption of the euro, a country acquires more capabilities to maintain economic and financial stability. Dissemination of information on the Economic and Monetary Union would also contribute to this goal.
 
20. When highlighting the benefit of the adoption of the euro, it is important to pay more attention to explaining and publicising indirect benefits of the adoption of the euro (savings in currency exchange costs, cheaper borrowing in foreign markets, etc.).
 
21. In implementing this Strategy, the institutions concerned shall follow certain public information principles. The most important principles are the following:
 
21.1. Openness and transparency. The institutions concerned shall be open, accessible to everyone interested in the adoption of the euro, and always ready to answer, within their competence, any questions related to the adoption of the euro and to provide all possible information;
 
21.2. Feedback. The institutions concerned shall not only provide information to the public, but also carefully analyse and assess how this information is perceived by the public, and receive its feedback;
 
21.3. Unanimity. The institutions concerned shall consider properly, co-ordinate among themselves and aim to provide the public with uniform and coordinated information both at the level of managers and experts communicating with the public;
 
21.4. Quality of information. Information provided by the institutions concerned shall be timely, clear and easily understandable and tailored to each target group.
 
22. The institutions concerned shall prepare timely and comprehensive information on all issues that might arise during the implementation of the Strategy with regard to the adoption of the euro and ensure that it reaches the intended addressee. Practical aspects of the adoption of the euro are particularly important, since the public opinion must be based on knowledge and not on emotions alone. All target groups should receive comprehensive practical information on the euro and conditions for its adoption. It includes information on changeover procedures, dual circulation period, consumer protection mechanism during the changeover, as well as graphic images and descriptions of characteristics, identification marks and security features of euro banknotes and coins. Detailed explanations shall be made available to the public about the payment of wages, pensions and other benefits, payments for goods and services during the dual circulation period and afterwards, conversion in private and corporate bank accounts to the euro, etc. Particular focus in providing information on these issues should be given to the population of small towns and villages.
 
23. To ensure that the public appreciates the benefits of the adoption of the euro to the widest extent possible, it is very important to explain that prices will be converted to the euro according to strict rounding rules and that there are no reasons to fear a general rise in prices after the adoption of the euro, since the replacement of one currency with another in itself does not entail a price jump. It is also important to popularise the Lithuanian symbol on the national side of euro coins and to emphasize that this is a way to continue the tradition of the Lithuanian currency. Due attention should be paid to the presentation of the national sides of euro coins of all euro area Member States, since coins of other countries will eventually appear in circulation in Lithuania. When providing information to foreign media and other foreign institutions concerned about Lithuania's preparation for the adoption of the euro, the network of Lithuanian diplomatic missions and support of the European Union institutions should be used.
 
24. Language is also an important factor: information shall be prepared not only in Lithuanian, but also in the other languages used by the national minorities living in Lithuania (the Russian, Polish and other languages), by many foreign businessmen and tourists (the English language). Moreover, information shall be adapted for the disabled people.
 
25. Public opinion polls and media surveys suggest that the most effective sources and channels of information (television, press, brochures, etc.) shall have to be selected. Much effort shall be devoted to raising public awareness about where information on the adoption of the euro can be found.
 
26. In cooperation with the media, the institutions concerned shall not only respond effectively to the inquiries received, but also initiate scrutiny of topics associated with different euro adoption issues via the media and meetings of their representatives with various target groups of the public and make use of other tools and methods for the dissemination of information. The institutions concerned shall search for, collect and publish arguments proving the benefit of the adoption of the euro. This would not only raise the level of public awareness, but also help dispel doubts of a part of the public about the adoption of the euro. In addition, the institutions concerned shall initiate positive messages regarding the preparation of Lithuania for the adoption of the euro, both in Lithuania and abroad. It is necessary to seek to involve members of the public with authority in the public discussions about the adoption of the euro. However, in implementing this Strategy, care must be taken not to arouse too high expectations of the public that could not be implemented.
 
27. Provision of information to the public shall be co-ordinated both with public and private institutions in Lithuania and abroad, and focus shall be given to internal communication of institutions so that the staff of the institutions could adequately explain euro adoption-related issues. The staff and managers of the institutions concerned should disseminate only uniform and pre-agreed information on the adoption of the euro.
 
28. It is necessary to encourage commercial banks, business associations, consumer, disabled, youth and various other organisations that form the public opinion and disseminate information to actively support public awareness about the adoption of the euro. Advertising (creative and media) and public relations agencies shall have to be mobilised for the implementation of specific public information measures.
 
29. It is expedient to apply the experience of the institutions concerned gained during the information campaign for the referendum on membership in the European Union, other wide-scale public information projects, and the experience of international and euro-area institutions. It is particularly important to cooperate with the European Commission and the European Central Bank that play a significant role in making preparations for the adoption of the euro in new Member States of the European Union and in making and implementing decisions on the enlargement of the euro area.
 
30. In implementing this Strategy, it is expedient to follow and gather information on the experience of the new Member States of the European Union that intend to adopt or have adopted the euro and to disseminate it through the selected media.
 
Public information and communication measures are listed in the Annex to this Strategy.
 
 
 
VI. INFORMATION Categories
 
31. Given the wide range of information provided to the public and the variety of information (hot news highlights) and planning their effective presentation in due time and to a required addressee, several information categories shall be distinguished:
 
31.1. Promotion of economic literacy: information that helps the public to understand basic economic processes and their regularities and that creates an information base to grasp the meaning of the adoption of the euro;
 
31.2. Analysis of economic processes: information showing that certain fears of the public are not related to the adoption of the euro, since they depend on other economic processes;
 
31.3. Preparation for the adoption of the euro: information promoting interest in the adoption of the euro and other factors associated with the preparation for the euro adoption;
 
31.4. Consequences (results) of the adoption of the euro in Lithuania: information developing a favourable public opinion on the adoption of the euro;
 
31.5. Practical aspects of the adoption of the euro: information related to different aspects of the adoption of the euro, such as the value of goods and services in the euro, schedule of the national currency (cash and non-cash) changeover to the euro, denominations of euro banknotes and coins, euro banknote security features, etc.;
 
31.6. Experience of foreign states during and after the adoption of the euro.
 
 
 
VII. Target Groups
 
32. The main target of this Strategy is the whole population of Lithuania. However, taking into consideration the nature of activity, distinctive information needs and the accessibility of information dissemination channels, the following main target groups are distinguished:
 
32.1. The general public: the entire population of Lithuania who use currency and will be directly confronted with the changeover;
 
32.2. The media: Lithuanian national and regional media, foreign press, radio, television and the Internet;
 
32.3. Businessmen:  trade and services sectors;
 
32.4. Public authorities and public servants: not directly related to the adoption of the euro but able to disseminate information prepared by the institutions, through their communication channels;
 
32.5. Retired persons and persons eligible to social support: mostly unemployed population;
 
32.6. The youth: young people, mostly schoolchildren and students;
 
32.7. The disabled:  people with hearing, visual or other disabilities;
 
32.8. Ethnic minorities: representatives of ethnic minorities permanently residing in Lithuania;
 
32.9. People living in remote or single-house settlements;
 
32.10. Foreign nationals: residents of those states, from which the largest number of businessmen and tourists come to Lithuania, and residents of the neighbouring states;
 
32.11. Lithuanian citizens living in other states.
 
 
 
VIII. Information disseminators
 
33. Implementing this Strategy and trying to inform the public in a more comprehensive manner, the institutions concerned shall cooperate with other institutions and organisations as well. The main disseminators of information on the adoption of the euro prepared by the institutions concerned are the following:
 
33.1. Other state and municipal institutions: institutions not directly related to the adoption of the euro but capable of disseminating information prepared by the institutions concerned, through their communication channels, such as municipalities (through their public relations divisions), wards, social care and other institutions;
 
33.2. The media: national, regional, specialised (including the media in foreign languages), the main public opinion developers trusted by the public most of all; the media established by nationals of the Republic of Lithuania living abroad, operating in the euro area states;
 
33.3. Commercial banks: important disseminators of information to bank clients (depositors, borrowers, people exchanging the litas into the euro, etc.);
 
33.4 Education establishments: the main source of information for the youth;
 
33.5. Shopping centres and other trade and service centres: important public gathering places, where most people will encounter the new currency for the first time;
 
33.6. Large enterprises: potential sources of information on the adoption of the euro for their employees;
 
33.7. Business associations, consumer organisations and other non-governmental organisations uniting various interest groups, specialised information centres – important intermediaries in providing information to target groups and implementing specific information provision projects;
 
33.8. Libraries: Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, regional and municipal public libraries, libraries of science and studies institutions, school libraries (excluding higher educational institutions), special and other libraries – potential sources of euro adoption-related information for their readers;
 
33.9. Travel agencies and hotels: one of the most important sources of information for foreigners visiting Lithuania;
 
33.10. Police: a potential source of information on the use of euro banknotes and coins for Lithuanians and foreign visitors;
 
33.11. Public opinion leaders: politicians, businessmen, education and science workers, art and show business representatives active in the social life;
 
33.12. Political parties;
 
33.13. Post offices: institutions with a wide network providing postal and other services to the population.
 
 
 
IX. Stages of Implementation of the strategy
 
34. This Strategy will be implemented in three stages:
 
34.1. Stage One: the period of preparation that started in September 2005, when this Strategy was adopted, and will continue until the Council of the European Union makes a decision on the abrogation of the derogation regarding the temporary use of the national currency in the Republic of Lithuania and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania. This stage will cover the provision of information related to the adoption of the euro, highlighting of the importance of the preparation period, introduction of symbols and the slogan(-s) of the public information campaign, preparatory work for the intensive information campaign. The institutions concerned will hold discussions with businessmen, non-governmental organisations and communities in order to analyse their needs and concerns and to communicate relevant information on the euro area, its impact on the economy of Lithuania and possible indirect benefits both to the overall national economy and to an individual person. During this period, it is very important to keep regular contacts with the media and to start, through those information provision channels that are most trusted by the target audiences, a series of educational articles and broadcasts on macroeconomic processes and their impact on the life of each citizen and to show the results of the adoption of the euro in the new Member States of the European Union. These will be communicated to the media and the public of Lithuania. Particular attention is envisaged to the provision of information about the participation in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II, compliance with the Maastricht criteria, the European Central Bank and European Commission Convergence Reports and the decision of the Council of the European Union on Lithuania’s readiness for the adoption of the euro. At this stage, information provision activities will be intensified once Lithuania applies for membership in the euro area.
 
34.2. Stage Two: the period of preparation for the changeover, starting from the date when the Council of the European Union makes a decision on the abrogation of the derogation regarding the temporary use of the national currency in the Republic of Lithuania and the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania and finishing on the date of the adoption of the euro. This will be the most intensive stage of the information campaign. The link between the euro and the idea of the European Union in general will be promoted with more effort than ever before and with more focus on emotional aspects, by means of public relations and advertising. The benefit of the adoption of the euro will be emphasized. Actions at this stage will include events dedicated to the euro, communication of the changeover plan, and still more intensive live discussions with public groups in order to involve their representatives into the process of the adoption of the euro as potential assistants in monitoring and controlling price conversion and display procedures. Agreements to be concluded with business organisations will be made public.
 
34.3 Stage Three: the period starting on the day of the adoption of the euro and lasting six months after the adoption of the euro. The public will be informed about price monitoring results and given other information related to the adoption of the euro; public opinion polls will be conducted in order to analyse the approach of target groups towards the new currency and euro adoption-related processes.
 
 
 
X. Monitoring and Assessment of Effectiveness
 
35. Effectiveness of the public information activity will greatly depend on the decisions of the institutions concerned related to the changeover procedure, as well as on the image of the euro in the euro area and in the European Union Member States outside the euro area.
 
36. In implementing this Strategy and the public information and euro adoption-related communication measures provided therein, the institutions concerned shall regularly monitor and assess the following factors: information presented in the media (in terms of quantity and quality); public opinion on the planned adoption of the euro in Lithuania; reasons behind the opinions and information needs; inquiries received; other external factors (the extent of involvement of business associations and non-governmental organisations in the provision of information to the public about the adoption of the euro in Lithuania; assessment of the euro in the countries that have adopted the euro and in the countries that have not adopted it; confidence in Lithuanian government institutions and public authorities and in the media; the opinion of the European Union institutions on the adoption of the euro in Lithuania; general economic and political situation in the country).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Annex
 
to the Lithuania’s Public Information and Communication Strategy for the Adoption of the Euro
 
 
 
PUBLIC Information and Communication measures
 
 
 
 
 
  No.
  Measures
  Description
  Target groups
  Stage of implemen-tation
  Institutions concerned
  N.B.
  1.
  Public opinion polls
  Periodic public and business opinion polls in order to find out their attitude towards the adoption of the euro in Lithuania and reasons behind the opinions, to identify public information needs and to evaluate the efficiency of public information and communication measures provided for in this Strategy.
   
  I, II, III
  Bank of Lithuania
  In addition to surveys commissioned by the Bank of Lithuania, public opinion polls commissioned by the European Commission and the European Union institutions will be examined.
  2.
  Media monitoring
  Regular monitoring of the Lithuanian and foreign (if possible) media, analysis of the information provided and the issues discussed in the media in relation to the adoption of the euro, identification of the needs for information on the adoption of the euro.
   
  I, II, III
  Ministry of Finance, all other institutions concerned within their competence
  Commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, daily material on the Lithuanian media monitoring in relation to the adoption of the euro will be prepared and distributed to other institutions concerned.
  3.
  Preparation of FAQ and answers on the adoption of the euro
  Regular preparation of FAQ, which the institutions concerned will exchange and regularly update.
  Various target groups
  I, II, III
  All institutions concerned within their competence
   
  4.
  Developing symbols for the euro information campaign
  To help the public to catch the relevant information in the overall flow of information provided through all communication channels and by different institutions and to identify it as a part of the euro information campaign, symbols and a slogan (slogans) for the information campaign will be developed.
  General public
  I
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  5.
  Provision of information on the adoption of the euro to the media
  Regular provision of information to the media (Lithuanian national and regional, foreign and specialised) on various issues related to the adoption of the euro in Lithuania: public opinion, legal acts adopted or underway, decisions of the institutions concerned, compliance with the Maastricht criteria, timing of the adoption of the euro, currency exchange facilities, etc. Information will be provided through notices, interviews of the managers and experts of the institutions concerned, press conferences, presentations, websites and visits of media representatives to the euro area states.
  The media
  I, II, III
  All institutions concerned within their competence
   
  6.
  Provision of information on the adoption of the euro directly to target groups, preparation of answers to inquiries
  Educational seminars, lectures about the adoption of the euro for the media, businesses, non-governmental organisations, public servants, cashiers and other target groups; regular processing of inquiries received by the institutions concerned and preparation of answers to the inquiries on the issues of the adoption of the euro; answers by post, e-mail, telephone, etc.
  The media, public authorities and their staff, businessmen, elderly population, the disabled, the youth, foreign nationals, other specific target groups
  I, II, III
  All institutions concerned within their competence
   
  7.
  Publications:
   
   
   
   
   
  7.1.
  Publication about the euro
  Comprehensive annual publication with latest information on the adoption of the euro in Lithuania (in the Lithuanian, Russian, Polish and English languages)
  General public
  I, II
  To be prepared and distributed by the Bank of Lithuania and, if necessary, other institutions concerned
  Distributed directly through mail boxes, with press publications, through information disseminators, directly to target groups
  7.2.
  Publications of the European Central Bank and the European Commission
  Publications of the European Central Bank and the European Union institutions about the euro and the Economic and Monetary Union in the Lithuanian language
  General public
  I, II, III
  To be prepared and printed by the European Central Bank and the European Commission, distributed by the Bank of Lithuania and, if necessary, other institutions concerned
  Distributed directly through mail boxes, with press publications, through information disseminators, directly to target groups.
  7.3.
  Publications for target groups
  Publication of booklets, posters, information sheets for target groups (children, national minorities, elderly population); relevant latest information on the euro adoption and the euro area news
  Various target groups
  II
  To be prepared, printed and distributed by all institutions concerned within their competence
  Distributed directly through mail boxes, with press publications, through information disseminators, directly to target groups.
  8.
  Development of a general website www.euro.lt for the presentation of the adoption of the euro and for the latest information on the euro adoption process and the membership in the European Union
  Development and regular updating of the website presenting all information related to the adoption of the euro prepared by the institutions concerned. The website’s section on the adoption of the euro will be uploaded by the institutions concerned with the news, legal acts, decisions, graphical representations of the euro banknotes and coins, their security features, currency exchange timetables, the calculator, the FAQ, etc. This website will contain links from all institutions concerned, as well as links to other websites with useful information on the euro.
  General public, the media, businessmen, public authorities and their staff, the youth, foreign nationals, other target groups.
  I, II, III
  Bank of Lithuania, the Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, other institutions concerned.
  The Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania acting as the administrator of the website is responsible for developing the website content management system and for posting the general symbols of the information campaign on the website. The Bank of Lithuania is responsible for the content of information about the euro and its updates.
  9.
  Provision of information on the adoption of the euro on the websites of the institutions concerned
  The institutions concerned will present on their websites the main information on the euro adoption in Lithuania, related decisions and legal acts of the institutions, etc.
  General public, the media, businessmen, public authorities and their staff, the youth, foreign nationals, other target groups.
  I, II, III
  All institutions concerned
  The institutions concerned will be given the right to post on their websites uniform design links to the section of the website www.euro.lt with comprehensive information on the adoption of the euro, euro banknotes and coins and their security features.
  10.
  Preparation of information for the blind and the visually impaired
  Information in Braille and/or audio information about the euro adoption
  The disabled
  II
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  11.
  Setting-up of euro stands
  Setting-up of the European Commission information stands with illustrated information about the Economic and Monetary Union, at educational establishments and institutions concerned
  General public, public authorities and their staff, the youth
  II
  Bank of Lithuania
  To be coordinated by the Bank of Lithuania
  12.
  Organisation of the conference “Lithuania’s Path Towards the Euro” (preliminary title)
  Organisation of an international conference dedicated to the review of Lithuania’s preparedness for the adoption of the euro and the impact of the adoption of the euro on the economy
  General public, the media, businessmen, public authorities and their staff, the youth, foreign nationals
  I, II
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  13.
  “Europhone” (800-line)
  Free telephone hotline (800-line), “Europhone”, providing all relevant information prepared by the institutions concerned, related to the adoption of the euro.
  General public
  II, III
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  14.
  Advertising
  Information through the press, television, radio, outdoor and internet advertising, on euro banknotes and coins and their security features, currency exchange facilities, etc.
  General public
  II, III
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  15.
  Organisation of “Eurobus” visits
  A van or another vehicle decorated with special euro symbols, visiting towns and regional centres of Lithuania (at the main gathering places) and distributing publications on the adoption of the euro, souvenirs, etc.
  General public
  II
  Bank of Lithuania
   
  16.
  Production of euro souvenirs
  Production of souvenirs (ties, office supplies, etc.) decorated with euro symbols.
  General public
  I, II, III
  Bank of Lithuania
  Souvenirs will be distributed by information disseminators directly to target groups.
  17.
  Internal communication
  Latest information on the adoption of the euro for the staff of the institutions concerned, to be provided through internal communication channels (internal publications of the institutions, the Intranet, etc.).
  Public authorities and their staff
  I, II, III
  All institutions concerned