On the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania


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Official translation
4 April 2014
 
Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
RESOLUTION NO 604
 
of 26 June 2013
 
ON THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL CHANGEOVER PLAN
AND PUBLIC INFORMATION ON THE EURO ADOPTION
AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY OF LITHUANIA
 
Vilnius
 
With regard to Paragraphs 34 and 50 of the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania by Resolution No XII-51 of 13 December 2012 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 149-7630, 2012), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:
1. To approve the following (as appended):
1.1. The National Changeover Plan.
1.2. The Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania.
2. To repeal the following:
2.1. Resolution No 1050 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 29 September 2005 on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 117-4235, 2005).
2.2. Resolution No 665 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 3 July 2006 on the Amendment of Resolution No 1050 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 29 September 2005 on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 75-2869, 2006).
2.3. Resolution No 417 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 25 April 2007 on the Amendment of Resolution No 1050 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 29 September 2005 on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 49-1898, 2007).
2.4. Resolution No 1584 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 10 November 2010 on the Amendment of Resolution No 1050 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 29 September 2005 on the Approval of the National Changeover Plan and Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 133-6796, 2010).
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                               Algirdas Butkevičius
 
 
Minister of Finance                                                                       Rimantas Šadžius
 
APPROVED by Resolution No 604 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 June 2013
 
 
NATIONAL CHANGEOVER PLAN
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The aim of the National Changeover Plan (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) is to envisage the key principles, scenario, time periods for the 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 information as well as dissemination of information at international and European level.
2. The Plan has been prepared having regard to the practice of the European Union Member States in adopting the euro, the decisions adopted at European and national levels, as well as evaluating the experience gained through the re-introduction of the litas in the Republic of Lithuania in 1993.
3. The Plan has been prepared in close cooperation with the euro adoption working groups, which include the representatives of ministries of the Republic of Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania, Government institutions, social and economic partners and the representatives of other institutions. The Plan establishes the key principles and elements, preparation for the euro adoption, indicates areas of responsibility of individual sectors and measures for consumer protection.
 
II. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
 
I. EU Legal Framework
 
4. The criteria of the euro adoption and the procedures for adopting the decisions on the euro adoption have been established by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (OJ 2012 C 326) and Annexes thereof (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty). Article 140(1) of the Treaty establishes that at least once every two years, or at the request of a Member State with a derogation defined in Article 139 of the Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the derogation), the European Commission and the European Central Bank in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 140(1) of the Treaty shall prepare reports on convergence that assess whether the Member States meet all economic and legal criteria of the euro adoption. Decisions to abrogate a derogation, a euro adoption date and the irrevocably fixed conversion rate between the euro and the national currency shall be adopted by the EU Council on the basis of the procedures laid down in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 140.
5. The adoption of the euro and its use in the Member States of the euro area is regulated by the following EU 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) with amendments by Council Regulation (EC) No 2595/2000 of 27 November 2000 (OJ 2004 Special Edition, Chapter 10, Volume 1, p. 261);
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) with the latest amendments by Council Regulation (EC) No 670/2010 of 13 July 2010 (OJ 2010 L 196 p. 1), in order to facilitate the introduction of the euro by the new EU 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) with the latest amendments by Council Regulation (EC) No 671/2010 of 13 July 2010 (OJ 2007 L 196 p. 4). After the EU Council adopts a decision on the abrogation of a derogation and the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, Council Regulation (EC) No 974/98 of 3 May 1998 on the introduction of the euro will be amended, where the date of the euro adoption and the date of the cash changeover in the Republic of Lithuania will be determined, and it will be indicated that a “phasing-out” period is not applicable in the Republic of Lithuania. The irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro will be set by the Council Regulation (EC) amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2866/98.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
II. Legal Convergence
 
6. The reports on convergence prepared on May 2012 by the European Commission and the European Central Bank state that the national legislation of the Republic of Lithuania is not fully compatible with the Treaty and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank (the ESCB/ECB Statute). They specify two incompatibilities with the requirements for  EU national central bank independence: the ownership of the property of the Bank of Lithuania should be held by the Bank of Lithuania, and the Republic of Lithuania Law on National Audit Office (Official Gazette, 1995, No 51-1243; 2001, No 112-4070) should clearly define the scope of control conducted by the National Audit Office, without prejudice to the activities of the Bank of Lithuania's independent external auditor competences, as provided in Article 27.1 of the ESCB/ECB Statute. Aiming at full harmonisation of the national legislation of the Republic of Lithuania with the Treaty and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, appropriate laws of the Republic of Lithuania should be amended.
 
Amendments to the Section:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
III. ADAPTATION OF NATIONAL LEGISLATION TO THE CHANGEOVER
 
7. The Bank of Lithuania will revise the prepared draft Republic of Lithuania Law on the Euro Adoption in the Republic of Lithuania, where the key provisions of the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania (conversion of litas to euro, cash changeover of litas, withdrawal of litas from circulation, publication of the images of euro banknotes and coins, mandatory dual display of prices in litas and euro, etc.) will be stipulated, and submit it to the Ministry of Finance.
8. By 1 February 2014 public authorities and bodies within the sphere of competence shall consider the legal acts that are to be adopted and the current legal acts that are to be amended before the date of the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
81. The new draft legal acts and the draft legal acts amending the current legal acts should be prepared and submitted to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania at least 5 months before the euro adoption date, and they should be adopted at least 2 months before the euro adoption date, unless otherwise provided by the Action Plan for Implementation of the National Changeover Plan or other legal acts.
82. The legislative provisions stipulating values in litas shall be amended after the EU Council officially approves the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas.
83. The legal acts that will regulate relations related to the mandatory dual display of prices, sub-frontloading of euro to market participants during the preparation period for the adoption of the euro after the changeover will be repealed.
84. The legal acts that during the dual circulation period will regulate relations related to resolution of possible disputes over the dual circulation will be repealed after the end of the dual circulation period.
85. The legal acts ensuring the use of the euro as legal tender and payment instrument in all sectors of the Lithuanian economy as well as in the private sector after the euro adoption date and abrogating the limitations on the sole use of litas for payments and settlements should be adopted before the date of the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania and come into force since the date of the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
9. State institutions and agencies, when preparing and submitting to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania draft legal acts that are necessary for the adoption of the euro, must strive only to replace the references to litas with references to euros and convert values in litas to values in euros according to the rounding rule, which shall be stipulated in the Law on the Euro Adoption in the Republic of Lithuania.
 
Amendments to the Section:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
III. Coordination of the EURO Adoption
 
10. In order to ensure the adequate preparation for the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania there shall be formed:
10.1. The Commission for the Coordination of the Adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Lithuania chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), which shall deal with strategic issues related to the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania; the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania are the members of the Commission;
10.2. The Working Group for the Coordination of Actions for the Euro Introduction; the members of the Working Group shall be the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the heads of the groups specified in paragraph 10.3 of the Plan , and, if necessary, the representatives of the agencies, institutions and organisations of the Government of Lithuania as well as the members of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania;
10.3. Six working groups for dealing with individual issues related to the introduction of the euro and submission of proposals, accountable to the Working Group for the Coordination of Actions for the Euro Introduction:
10.3.1. The Cash Working Group formed by the Bank of Lithuania. The Cash Working Group shall deal with co-ordination of issues related to ensuring of the sufficient quantity of euro banknotes and coins, distribution thereof and withdrawal of litas banknotes and coins from circulation;
10.3.2. The Public Information Working Group formed by the Bank of Lithuania. The Public Information Working Group shall coordinate the activities of public authorities with the aim to adequately and comprehensively inform the public of Lithuania about the single currency of the European Union, the impact of its introduction on the national economy and the population, the preparedness of the Republic of Lithuania for the changeover and the planned procedure for the introduction of the euro.
10.3.3. The Working Group for Monitoring Lithuania’s Fulfilment of the Convergence Criteria for the Adoption of the Euro formed by the Bank of Lithuania. The Working Group for Monitoring Lithuania’s Fulfilment of the Convergence Criteria for the Adoption of the Euro shall prepare the assessment of Lithuania’s economic and financial indicators’ fulfilment of the convergence criteria on a quarterly basis and submit it to the Commission, Working Group for the Coordination of Actions for the Euro Introduction and the Ministry of Finance;
10.3.4. The Working Group for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Affairs formed by the Minister of Social Security and Labour. The Working Group for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Affairs shall deal with issues related to consumer rights protection at the moment of the changeover;
10.3.5. The Business Environment Working Group formed by the Minister of Economy. The Business Environment Working Group shall deal with issues related to the preparedness of the business society for the changeover and the business society contribution to the smooth changeover process in Lithuania.
10.3.6. The Legal Issues Working Group formed by the Minister of Justice. The Legal Issues Working Group shall deal with issues related to compliance of the Lithuanian legal system with the requirements for the adoption of the euro.
11. The Working Groups referred to in paragraph 10.3 of the Plan shall include the representatives of ministries, the Bank of Lithuania, Government agencies, social and economic partners as well as representatives of other institutions.
12. The Plan is the main coordinating document on practical preparations for the adoption of the euro. Following the provisions of the Plan, public authorities shall plan and implement the necessary practical steps for the adoption of the euro that are laid down in the Action Plan for Implementation of the National Changeover Plan and action plans related to the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania approved by public authorities.
 
IV. Key EuRO introduction principles, SCENARIO and time periods
 
I. PRINCIPles
 
13. Continuity of Contracts and Financial Instruments
The changeover from the litas to the euro will not violate the principle of continuity of contracts and financial instruments. All documents with references to the litas will be valid for the total validity term indicated therein following the changeover. The value in litas will mean the value in euro converted by applying the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas.
14. Principle of Conversion of Litas to Euro 
Prices, amounts in litas at the moment of the changeover, cash at the moment of the changeover will be converted to euro and rounding thereof will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Council Regulation (EC) No 1103/97: in converting litas to euro, the conversion rate of euro to litas irrevocably fixed by the Council of the European Union and consisting of 6 significant figures will be applied.
15. Consumer Protection
The adoption of the euro should not be against the economic interests of consumers. All possible measures will be taken to prevent abuse in converting prices, wages, pensions, social benefits, etc.
16. Consumer Safety
Consumers should be protected against potential abuses and offences related to the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania. The public and cash handlers will be informed about the new currency, its security and identifiable characteristics; practical training will be conducted in order to learn to identify the new currency.
17. Preparation of Economic Entities
Economic entities (natural and legal persons engaged in economic-commercial activities) are responsible for their organisational and technical preparation for the changeover, including the adaptation of their information systems to the euro.
18. Costs of the Changeover
The costs of the preparation for the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania related to the minting of euro coins, exchange of litas banknotes and coins to euro banknotes and coins, restructuring of the payment system, and other similar costs of the Bank of Lithuania will be covered by the funds of the Bank of Lithuania. The costs of public authorities related to the adoption of the euro will be covered from appropriations for these authorities. The costs related to the adoption of the euro incurred by economic entities will not be reimbursed.
 
II. Euro introduction SCENARIO and TIME periods
 
19. Given the size of the state, the structure of its financial system and the experience in the currency changeover gained by public authorities of the Republic of Lithuania through the re-introduction of the litas in 1993, the envisaged euro introduction scenario is without a transitional period (the date of the euro adoption coincides with the date of the cash changeover). No “phasing-out” period is envisaged.
20. The main time periods for the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania:
 
Preparatory period
 
 
 
30 days following the adoption of the EU Council decision on the  irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas

beginning of the period of the mandatory dual display of prices.  
3 months  before the euro adoption date

beginning of the frontloading of euro coins to banks.
2 months before the euro adoption date        

beginning of the frontloading of euro banknotes to banks.
1 month before the euro adoption date     

beginning of the period for sub-frontloading of euro banknotes and coins to bank customers.
1 month before the euro adoption date         

beginning of the advance sale of euro coin starter kits to the public for the price no higher than the price calculated according to the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas.
 
 
 
Dual circulation period
The euro adoption date

beginning of exchange of litas to euro free of charge at banks, post service provision sites determined by Public Limited Company  Lietuvos paštas (hereinafter referred to as the Lithuanian Post Office) and the Bank of Lithuania.
15 days following the euro adoption date                    

dual circulation period.
 
 
 
Period after the end of the dual circulation period
60 days following the euro adoption date         

exchange of litas cash to euro free of charge at the Lithuanian Post Office.
6 months  following the euro adoption date         

exchange of litas cash (banknotes and coins) and centas coins to euro free of charge at all bank branches.
6 months following the half year after the euro adoption date        

exchange of litas banknotes to euro free of charge at bank branches in the list to be determined by the Bank of Lithuania.
1 year following the euro adoption date        

period of the mandatory dual display of prices.
Unlimited  

exchange of litas cash to euro free of charge at the Bank of Lithuania.  
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
III. EURO ADOPTION DATE
 
21.  The envisaged target date for the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania is 1 January of a respective year. This provision has been adopted taking into consideration the factor of the start of the new period of accounting and the fiscal year which will enable to avoid extra labour costs and greater errors related to the handling of accounts and calculation of taxes and wages in the litas and the euro within the same year. Lower economic activity and lower cash demand at the beginning of the year have also been taken into consideration (this will facilitate the process of the currency changeover and minimise disruptions in the order of economic life). Moreover, 1 January is a favourable symbolic moment that will facilitate the information campaign and help the public to accept the single currency of the European Union.
 
IV. CONVERSION of Litas to Euro AND ROUNDING
 
22. Since the euro adoption date every reference in legal acts, contracts and other documents to litas will be considered a reference to euro, and amounts in litas will be converted at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas. The irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas will be determined by the EU Council Regulation partially amending Regulation (EC) No 2866/98.
23. Conversion of amounts in litas to euro and rounding thereof will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1103/97: in converting litas to  euro, the conversion rate of the euro to the litas irrevocably fixed by the EU Council which will consist of 6 significant figures will be applied; this conversion rate may not be truncated or rounded when making conversions; the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas will be used both in converting litas to euro (dividing by the rate) and in converting the euro to litas (multiplying by the rate), but the inverse rate may not be used; payable or the carrying amounts of cash converted to euro should be rounded to the nearest euro cent under arithmetic rounding rule.
24. In converting wages, pensions and other social benefits from litas to euro to the benefit of the recipient, the amounts should be rounded to the nearest euro cent (the last digit must be increased by one unit if the following digit is greater than 0) or a new amount not lower than the amount received by converting the amount in litas to euro is determined.
25. Tariffs, rates, fees, commissions and other similar amounts expressed in litas (euro) that are to be converted to euro (litas) are converted and expressed in euro (litas) with an accuracy of the same decimal places they were expressed in litas (euro). Public authorities and municipal institutions in accordance with the procedure established by legal acts or the parties subject to mutual agreements may apply more accurate expressions. Only the calculated final amount payable or the carrying amount of cash will be rounded to two decimal places.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
26. New amounts of levies, fines or other similar payments (in euro without euro cents or as other amount convenient for use) may be fixed by public authorities under their own legal acts or by contracting parties subject to mutual agreements. In establishing new amounts of levies, fines or other similar amounts, the digression from those amounts resulting after the conversion at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas should be minimum, i.e. the adoption of the euro should not become a reason for increasing the amounts of levies, fines and other similar amounts (the contracted parties are recommended to follow this rule). New amounts of administrative fines will be calculated following the rule to be established by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania in adopting the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Euro Adoption in the Republic of Lithuania. Courts or other institutions making decisions on fines, at least 40 days before the euro adoption date, will indicate amounts of fines imposed by decisions on the imposition of fines not only in litas, but also in euro at the conversion rate for fines fixed in the Republic of Lithuania by the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Euro Adoption in the Republic of Lithuania.
27. When rounding the amounts that are not final amounts payable or establishing new amounts, the principle of continuity of contracts and financial instruments may not be violated, i.e. the final amount set in the contract may not be influenced.
28. The procedure laid down in this section is applied to all cases of conversion of litas to euro and rounding, unless otherwise provided by legal acts.
 
V. DUAL CIRCULATION PERIOD
 
29. From the euro adoption date the euro will become the single legal tender, which is obligatory accepted when making payments, except for the defined dual circulation period of 15 days, when payments in litas banknotes and coins will also be allowed. The duration of the dual circulation period has been proposed taking into consideration the technical capacity of frontloading and sub-frontloading of euro to banks and institutions providing goods and services and withdrawal of litas, practices of the euro area countries in the adoption of the euro and the experience of the Republic of Lithuania gained through the re-introduction of the litas in 1993. During the dual circulation period, the larger part of litas banknotes and coins will be exchanged to euro banknotes and coins or spent when purchasing goods or services.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
30. At automated trading (service provision) sites (ATMs network), where inflows are registered and goods are issued/sold (services are provided) without a cashier or other employee, also payments for taxi services for 15 days as of the euro adoption date will be possible only in euro, if for 15 days as of the euro adoption date there is no possibility to make payments in both currencies (in litas and euro). After the expiry of the dual circulation period, the euro will be the single legal tender of payment at automated trading (service provision) sites, also for payment for taxi services.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
VI. Cash changeover
 
31. Litas cash will be exchanged to euro free of charge:
31.1. 6 months  following the euro adoption date  in all bank branches – litas banknotes as well as litas and cent coins;
31.2. 6 months following the half year after the euro adoption date  in bank branches in the list to be determined by the Bank of Lithuania – litas banknotes;
31.3. 60 days following the euro adoption date in the Lithuanian Post Office – litas banknotes as well as litas and cent coins;
31.4. Unlimited following the euro adoption date – in the Bank of Lithuania.
 
VII. Dual Display of Prices
 
32. The period of mandatory dual display of prices starts 30 days following the adoption of the EU Council decision on the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro and continues for 6 months after the euro adoption date. The form and means for dual display of prices are chosen by the supplier of goods or the provider of services. The price to be paid by the consumer for a product or service is displayed both in litas and euro with indication of the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro officially adopted by the EU Council. Prices are displayed in litas and in euro not only in commercial or service provision sites, but also in advertisements of goods and services if they display the price of a product or service. The dual display of prices in litas and euro should be easily understandable, may not be misleading or containing any unnecessary information.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
33. During the period of the mandatory dual display of prices the payable amounts in energy, utilities and maintenance service bills or payment notices submitted to consumers by companies supplying energy (electricity, heating, hot and cold water, gas) and rendering utility services, multi-apartment buildings administering companies and apartment owner associations should be displayed in litas and euro. Information on energy and service prices in litas and euro as well as the amounts payable within this period at service provider’s choice should be displayed in the same bills or payment notices or on an extra page added to bills or payment notices.
 
V. PUBLIC Sector
 
I. REDENOMINATION OF SECURITIES
 
34. Taking into account the practice of the euro area countries, the nominal value of securities of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as GS) will be redenominated according to the portfolio of securities owned by a particular investor and a new nominal value of GS will be established as equal to 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 emission identification code, by the irrevocably fixed conversion rate, multiplying it by 100 and rounding to an integer. 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 has the lowest impact on the value of securities, therefore, no additional payments to compensate differences in rounding are required that would be necessary in applying other methods.
35. The procedure for the redenomination of the nominal value of GS will be applied also to other intangible debt securities, unless the terms and conditions of the emission of debt securities provide for a different procedure for the redenomination of the nominal value.
36. 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 of the litas to the euro and rounded to two decimal places, since the ratio at which convertible bonds are exchangeable into shares should remain unchanged.
37. The nominal value of equity securities will be redenominated as follows: the total nominal value in litas of the issued securities of the same category and of the same nominal value will be divided by the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro and by the number of the issued securities of this category and of the same nominal value and rounded to two decimal places. The redenominated nominal value of equity securities will be indicated in euro at the accuracy of euro cents (in an integer).
38. The value of share contributions and stakes will be redenominated as follows: the value of each share contribution or its stake will be redenominated at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro.
39. At least 6 months before the euro adoption date the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania will prepare and submit to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania a draft law regulating the procedure for re-denomination of the value of the authorised capital and securities to euro and for amendment to the Statutes of public limited and private limited companies.
 
II. TAXES
 
40.  Payable (refundable) and other amounts specified in tax returns for tax periods that will begin from the euro adoption date, also for tax periods that will begin before the euro adoption date and end after the euro adoption date will be displayed in euro. After the euro adoption, all the declared data and the amounts payable to the budget (refundable from the budget) both in primary tax returns and in adjusted tax returns submitted by taxpayers for tax periods that began and ended before the euro adoption date will be displayed in litas. The final result of tax returns provided in litas (payable and refundable) amounts, i. e. tax liabilities that are fulfilled after the euro adoption date will be converted to euro by the tax administrator. In case of declaration of advance corporate tax, if the changeover of the settlement currency occurs during the year, the single currency for the whole period should be used, i.e. advance corporate tax declarations for the whole period should be filled in and adjusted by displaying amounts in litas.
41. Tax amounts in agreements between the tax administrator and taxpayers, inspection reports, decisions on the approval of the inspection report from the euro adoption date will be displayed in euro, irrespective of the period for which the tax amounts are calculated.
42. The tax amounts overpaid during all tax periods from the euro adoption date will be refunded to taxpayers in euro.
43. All taxpayer defaults and overpayments accumulated in litas before the euro adoption date will be converted on the euro adoption date at the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro.
44. At least 6 months before the euro adoption date new tax stamp specimens for labelling cigarette packs, which will display the maximum cigarette retail price in euro, will be approved by an Order of the Minister of Finance.
 
III. ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING
 
45. From the euro adoption date economic entities and public entities will handle their financial accounting in euro. From the euro adoption date accounting documents should be issued by displaying the amounts in euro.
46. Economic entities and public entities whose financial year coincides with the calendar year will prepare their financial statements for the last year before the euro adoption in litas. On the euro adoption date, assets, liabilities, equity, financing amounts should be expressed in euro. Economic entities whose financial year will not coincide with the calendar year and whose last day of the financial year will come after the euro adoption date will draw up their financial statements in euro. The figures of financial statements expressed in litas for previous reporting periods prepared in euro should be converted and expressed in euro.
47. At least 6 months before the euro adoption date the Minister of Finance will approve the public sector accounting and financial reporting standard for public entities, and the Authority of Audit and Accounting will approve a business accounting standard for economic entities on the requirements for accounting and financial reporting related to the adoption of the euro.
 
IV. ADAPTATION OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
 
48. Before the euro adoption date information systems will be adapted to process/ handle data in euro. It is recommended to seek that in adapting information systems to the adoption of the euro the existing information system functionalities are not changed.
49. Public authorities, institutions, companies and other organisations must be prepared before the euro adoption date that the used financial management, accounting, reporting and other information systems are adapted to settlements, preparation of accounting and reporting in euro, also ensure the continuity of operations of these systems after the euro adoption date.
50. Each public authority prepares an action plan for adapting information systems administered by it, where the required actions, their implementation deadlines, administrative units (persons) responsible for their implementation are specified, and at least 12 months before the euro adoption date submits it to the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications which monitors the implementation of the aforementioned action plans.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
51. Public authorities, institutions, companies and other organisations since 2007, in carrying out public procurement of information systems, must ensure that the purchased information systems are suitable for work after the adoption of the euro. All investment projects initiated by these institutions with the aim to purchase or modernise information systems should be coordinated with the Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications which should ensure the implementation of the provisions laid down in this paragraph.
52. Public authorities, institutions, companies and other organisations, within their field of activity, at least 5 months before the euro adoption date should prepare new forms of documents, establish the requirements for completion thereof and inform the data providers, consumers and clients on the changes related to the adoption of the euro. The forms of statistical reporting documents and amendments thereof should be prepared by official statistics handling institutions in accordance with the procedure for statistics harmonisation laid down in paragraph 57 of the Plan.
53. On the day of the euro introduction balances of assets, liabilities, equity and other final amounts expressed in litas should be converted to euro, after the data in litas is saved in the information systems.
54. Different documents of reporting character (financial, statistical and other types of reports, declarations, statements, certificates, etc.) formed in information systems for the period ending before the euro adoption date and, where appropriate, for previous periods, irrespective of the data submission date, should be prepared and submitted to public authorities by displaying amounts in litas, whereas in the documents that will be formed using the data accounted  after the euro adoption date - by displaying these amounts in euro.
55. It is recommended that from the euro adoption date in making financial calculations or forming reporting documents in euro to leave the algorithms in the information systems unchanged and to use the data for the periods before the euro adoption date converted to euro. A public authority, when transferring the data to other public authority electronically, should not convert the amounts accepted in litas (or euro) into the amounts in euro (or litas).
56. It is recommended that during the preparatory period and after the date of the changeover, where appropriate, the data in dual display of currencies is provided, while interim calculations are made in litas (before the euro adoption date) or in euro (from the euro adoption date), and only final amounts are to be converted into the other currency.
 
V. STATISTICS HARMONISATION
 
57. Statistics Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and other public authorities that handle official statistics will harmonise the procedures for handling statistics, prepare statistical data collection, statistical information development and dissemination, other instruments for handling statistics, prepare for publication of statistical information in euro after the adoption of the euro, convert into the euro the published historical timelines expressed in litas. Statistics Lithuania will coordinate the execution of actions referred to in this paragraph.
 
VI. PREPAID ITEMS (TRANSPORT TICKETS, POSTAGE STAMPS, ETC.)
 
58. Tickets for passenger transportation by air, water, railway and road transport on long-distance, suburban and local routes, where the nominal value of a ticket is displayed in litas, will be valid for 2 years after the euro adoption date.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
59. Postage stamps (postage stamps valid in the Republic of Lithuania, post blocks, stamped envelopes and cards (postcards), and stamp aerogrammes), where the nominal value is displayed in litas, will be valid for two years after the euro adoption date.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
60. Sellers of tickets for passenger transportation by air, water, railway and road transport on long-distance, suburban and local routes and postage stamps, where the nominal value  is displayed in litas, after the month following the adoption of the EU Council decision on the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the litas to the euro, and for 2 years after the euro adoption date must inform consumers about the validity term of these transport tickets and postage stamps referred to in paragraphs 58 and 59, as one of the clauses of the Treaty.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
VII. MUNICIPAL ACTIVITIES
 
61. Municipalities should be prepared that the areas managed by them, the public transport area in particular, function smoothly during the changeover. Public service providing enterprises, founded by municipalities, will draw up their plans of activities with particular focus on the activities carried out during the dual circulation period.
62. In order to avoid unreasonable price increases in public administration and public services sectors assigned to the competence of municipalities, municipalities, at least 3 months before the euro adoption date, will review and, where appropriate, amend in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Republic of Lithuania Law on Public Procurement (Official Gazette, 1996, No 84-2000; 2006 No 41-102) all contracts made with public service providers so that the payments for public services provided during the changeover are not increased and rounded solely to the benefit of the population.
63. Government representatives in counties carry out the administrative supervision of the preparation of municipalities for the euro adoption.
 
VI. BANK OF LITHUANIA
 
I. EURO BANKNOTES AND COINS
 
64. The Bank of Lithuania is responsible for the timely provision of euro banknotes and coins. During the period of preparation for the euro changeover, the Bank of Lithuania will coordinate the legal and logistics aspects of the supply arrangements for euro banknotes with the European Central Bank and the national central bank of the state which will supply the banknotes.  A euro banknotes borrowing agreement will be signed with the European Central Bank. Euro coins of the Republic of Lithuania will be minted by the Private Limited Company Lithuanian Mint (hereinafter referred to as the Lithuanian Mint). The Lithuanian Mint is prepared to mint the Lithuanian euro coins and euro cents; but it will be able to do that after the adoption of the EU Council Decision on the adoption of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania.
65. The Board of the Bank of Lithuania, by Resolution No 28 of 24 February 2005 On the Approval of Plaster Models for the National Side of  Circulation Euro Cents and Euro Coins,  approved three different plaster model designs to be used for the national side of circulation euro coins and euro cents. The symbol of the national emblem, the Vytis, in the center, surrounded with 12 stars, will be depicted on the national side of all denominations of circulation euro coins and euro cents along with the inscription Lietuva and the year of issue. The images on the national side of circulation euro cents and euro coins meet the recommendations for the national side of euro coins approved by the EU Council and are coordinated with the European Commission, their images will be published in the Official Gazette (Valstybės žinios) and the EU Official Journal. The Board of the Bank of Lithuania should approve the euro coins with the national side models which, along with the aforementioned symbols, will contain the inscription of the year of issue (euro adoption) of the coin.
66. The Bank of Lithuania will prepare and approve the cash changeover guidelines that will establish the procedure for cash changeover at the moment of the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, the main participants of the cash changeover process and functions thereof, provision with euro banknotes and coins, their distribution and other issues related to the cash changeover.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
67. The Bank of Lithuania will be prepared for the frontloading of euro banknotes to banks two months before the euro adoption date. Taking into consideration the demand for circulation euro coins and euro cents in the Republic of Lithuania and the technically complicated frontloading process of euro coins and euro cents, the Bank of Lithuania will be prepared for the frontloading of euro coins and euro cents to banks 3 months before the euro adoption date. Banks will start the sub-frontloading of euro banknotes and euro coins to customers 1 month before the euro adoption date and continue it till the euro adoption date. The frontloading and sub-frontloading of euro cash will be carried out in accordance with the schedules coordinated in advance between the involved parties.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
68. The Bank of Lithuania, before the advance frontloading of euro banknotes and coins, will coordinate with banks the demand for euro banknotes and coins to be frontloaded in advance, their denomination structure and delivery terms. After the evaluation of demand for dispensed euros, the Bank of Lithuania will prepare the terms and conditions for advance frontloading of euro banknotes and coins to banks and will sign contracts. The banks will provide cash deposits or securities as collateral to the Bank of Lithuania for euro banknotes and coins frontloaded in advance and make settlements with the Bank of Lithuania by debit transfers.
69. The quantity of advance frontloading of banknotes and coins to banks should be sufficient for advance provision of euro cash to bank customers, first of all those who use cash in making settlements for goods and services as well as post service provision sites determined by the Lithuanian Post Office. The Bank of Lithuania will coordinate the actions of banks in preparation for the advance frontloading of euro cash.
70. The withdrawal of litas banknotes, coins and cent coins from circulation is one of the key elements of the cash changeover. Currently, there are about 90 million pieces of litas banknotes in circulation. The current infrastructure of banks and banknote processing capacities allow the acceptance and processing of banknotes, but litas withdrawal from circulation would be smoother if the greater portion of litas had returned yet before the euro adoption date. Whereas there is a great number (more than 1 billion pieces) of litas and cent coins, it is essential to appropriately prepare for their withdrawal and processing. It is forecasted that during the dual circulation period the population will exchange at banks, trading and service provision institutions at least 80 per cent of litas in circulation. Litas exchange to euro in regional centres will be smooth due to the existing networks of developed bank branches and the Lithuanian post service provision sites.
71. The population and entrepreneurs who will have failed to exchange litas cash at banks and the Lithuanian Post Office within the period of exchange free of charge will have a possibility to do that at the Bank of Lithuania.
72. The Bank of Lithuania, in co-operation with banks, implements measures with the aim to reduce the volume of cash in circulation. It is envisaged to organise campaigns for withdrawal of litas and cent coins from circulation, to encourage the early return of litas and cent coins accumulated by legal and natural persons as early as possible, and begin the advance sale of euro coin starter kits.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
73. During the dual circulation period the Cash Changeover Supervisory Group of the Bank of Lithuania will carry out the monitoring of implementation of the Cash Changeover Plan, i.e. supervision of litas cash exchange and withdrawal from circulation process, and will operatively deal with cash changeover issues.
 
II. PAYMENT SYSTEM
 
74. From the euro adoption date the LITAS-RLS real-time payment system will stop operating. Along with the conversion to the payment systems meeting the requirements of the   single euro payment area (hereinafter referred to as SEPA), the operations of LITAS-MMS payment system for making retail payments and KUBAS payment system for performing payment operations of the Lithuanian Central Credit Union will be enabled for performing clearing operations in euro for only a year after the euro adoption date.
75. In order to secure the preservation of the current level of payment services in the country after the euro introduction, the Bank of Lithuania together with credit institutions will have to take a decision on the expediency of domestic retail payment system in euro from 2016, its functionality and operation period or will have to agree on measures ensuring the quality level of SEPA payment services which would not be lower than the level of payment services in litas. In addition, it should be pursued that the level of fees for SEPA payment services are not higher than the level of payment services in litas.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
 
 
III. EXCHANGE RATES
 
76. From the euro adoption date the Bank of Lithuania will announce in the Republic of Lithuania the exchange rates of the euro to the main foreign currencies fixed by the European Central Bank. The exchange rates between the euro and other foreign currencies will be fixed and announced by the Bank of Lithuania.
 
VII. BANKS
 
77. Banks should fully prepare and appropriately adjust their information and other domestic systems to be able to properly inform and serve their customers.
78. Banks are recommended to envisage additional organisational measures (a flexible work schedule, staff for special temporary work, etc.) for the dual circulation period and to encourage their customers to start the return of litas and cent coins accumulated by legal and natural persons as early as possible.
 
I. LITAS EXCHANGE
 
79. Banks should be prepared to meet the demands of legal and natural persons for euro banknotes and coins. From the euro adoption date banks will dispense only euro banknotes and coins and stop dispensing litas banknotes as well as litas and cent coins.
 
II. CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS
 
80. On the euro adoption date deposits and other amounts held in all customer accounts with credit and e-money institutions in litas will be converted to euro free of charge by applying the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas and meeting the conversion and other requirements established by EU legislation.
81.  Credit and e-money institutions should inform their customers about the major aspects of the euro adoption. First of all, it should be brought to the customers’ notice that after the euro adoption date it will not be possible to make non-cash payments and to hold accounts in litas.
 
III. INTEREST RATES
 
82. All references of legal acts, agreements and other documents to VILIBOR (Vilnius Interbank Offered Rate) interbank interest rates from the euro adoption date will be treated as references to EURIBOR (Euro Interbank Offered Rate), except for overnight loan interest rates. References to overnight VILIBOR will be treated as references to eonia (Euro Overnight Index Average). Contracts may contain other provisions at the agreement of the parties. Where a reference to VILIBOR in contracts or other documents refers to a period that starts before and ends after the euro adoption date, this expression of interest rates will be used until the end of the period for which it has been calculated, unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
 
IV. AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINES (ATMs)
 
83. Banks should fully prepare the ATM network infrastructure for dispensing of euro banknotes and ensure that their ATMs are loaded with euro banknotes from the euro adoption date. Banks should ensure the prevailing of smaller-denomination banknotes in the ATM euro banknote distribution structure.
 
VIII. rETAIL TRADE AND SERVICES
 
84. Economic entities engaged in retail trade, public catering, provision of financial and other services to the population should train their staff to make cash operations during the dual circulation period. 
85. Following the principles for dual display of prices laid down in paragraph 32 of the Plan, sellers of goods (service providers) must start displaying prices of goods (services) in litas and euro 60 days after the adoption of the EU Council decision on the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas. During the dual circulation period prices displayed in litas and euro are paid in the customer’s preferred currency.
86. Price conversions should be made in accordance with the conversion and rounding rules established in paragraph 23 of the Plan; but the rounding down of the final price of a good (service), i.e. the amount payable, to the benefit of a customer will not be treated as a violation of the price conversion rules.
87. During the dual circulation period sellers of goods (service providers) should accept payments in litas or euro, but seek to give change exclusively in euro.
88. In making settlements in litas during the dual circulation period, the amounts in cash income and expense orders, cash receipts and payout slips, cash register receipts, taximeter printer printed receipts will be displayed in litas and euro where possible. If there is no possibility of dual display of prices (both in litas and euro), the amounts will be indicated either in litas or in euro. After the end of the dual circulation period the amounts will be indicated only in euro.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
89. Economic entities and associations of economic entities will be encouraged to sign the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities to be prepared by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
90. Economic entities and associations of economic entities that will sign the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities and will follow it during the period of the mandatory dual display of prices in accordance with the procedure established by the Ministry of Economy will be allowed to use a specially designed logo of the Memorandum. The economic entities and associations of economic entities that will have the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities violated will lose the right to use the specially designed logo of the Memorandum. Economic entities unjustifiably raising prices or otherwise abusing the euro adoption will be enrolled into the blacklist to be made publicly available on the website: www.euro.lt.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
901.  The State Food and Veterinary Service and the State Non-Food Products Inspectorate under the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, with the aim to identify the violations related to the conversion of prices, will carry out checks on economic entities that are engaged in the provision of retail trading services to consumers. The State Consumer Rights Protection Authority will coordinate the activities of the consumer rights protection institutions, presented in paragraph 90 of the Plan, responsible for the regulation of the relevant consumption area in order to protect the consumers against the potential unjustified raising of prices or other abuse of the changeover.
 
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
91. It is recommended for the private sector to check and prepare the business management, accounting and other systems used for the euro introduction, the functioning of which might have an influence on the smooth euro introduction process and continuity of activities after the date of the euro adoption.
 
IX. CONSUMER PROTECTION
 
92. Dual display of prices is an essential measure which helps to protect the consumers against potential abuse in conversion of prices from litas to euro.
93. Dual display of payable amounts will allow to get accustomed to a new value measurement unit. During the period which begins 60 days following the adoption of the EU Council decision on the irrevocably fixed conversion rate of the euro to the litas and ends the last day before the euro adoption, wages, social benefits, other benefits, cash amounts to be paid, credited or written-off should be displayed in litas and in euro.
94. The amounts of payments related to wages, pensions and social benefits (a minimum hourly rate, minimum monthly wage, basic monthly wage, basic hourly rate, basic salary (remuneration) amount of politicians, judges, state officials and civil servants of the Republic of Lithuania, social benefit deduction indicators, etc.) will be fixed to the benefit of the recipient. The population will be widely informed about fixing of the aforementioned amounts in euro.
95. It is recommended that cash for wages is dispensed in low-denomination euro banknotes.
96. After the EU Council adopts a decision on the abrogation of the derogation and the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, a toll-free Euro Hotline will begin functioning which will provide information on the preparation for the changeover and the planned procedure for the changeover in the Republic of Lithuania. An information campaign, mandatory dual display of prices, strictly regulated procedure for conversion of litas to euro and active participation of the public will help to prevent instances of abuse during the exchange of litas to euro. The members of the public will be encouraged to check whether prices in litas and euro are displayed correctly, whether the procedure for conversion of litas to euro is met, and to inform authorities under their remit (to file complaints to them) about identified inadequacies or suspected violations.
97. As provided for in the Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy) being approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the population of the country will be able to get acquainted with all denominations of euro, exchange possibilities of litas to euro, and the procedure for conversion of litas to euro. This will help the consumers to quickly check the correctness of conversion of litas to euro (and vice versa). In this case information provided by public authorities, communicated through mass media and other public information channels will also be of great help.
98. From the euro adoption date the cash at banks will be dispensed (paid out) not in litas, but in euro. 
99. During the dual circulation period the application of prices and valuations should be subject to non-discrimination with regard to the euro.
100. In order to avoid unreasonable price increases at the moment of the changeover and violations of other consumer rights related to conversion of litas to euro, the following measures will be implemented:
100.1. Statistics Lithuania under the regular procedure will monitor retail price changes and inform the public about them. From the beginning of the period of the mandatory dual display of prices until the euro adoption date and for one more month following the adoption of the euro prices in litas and euro will be recorded in litas and euro. Statistical information on price changes of consumer goods and services will be prepared and submitted to the responsible public authorities and the public by recording prices in litas and euro as well as taking into consideration the impact of price conversion from litas to euro on the overall change in consumer prices. From the beginning of the period of the mandatory dual display of prices and for one more month following the adoption of the euro the data on prices will be collected, statistical information on average retail prices of about 100 main homogeneous goods and services in litas and euro as well as changes thereof will be prepared and presented, after that statistical information on average retail prices of these goods and services in euro  will be prepared and provided for another 5 months and on changes thereof once a month;
100.2. The disputes between consumers and sellers or service providers regarding the issues related to the changeover within the scope of competence will be settled by authorities for the settlement of disputes referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 22 of the Republic of Lithuania Law on Consumer Protection (Official Gazette, 1994, No 94-1833; 2007, No 12-488; 2011, No 146-6832);
100.3.  The public will be regularly informed (through internet, press and etc.) about the results of monitoring prices as well as cases of abuse;
100.4.  For prevention of large-scale and regular violations, most frequent violation cases, disputes in relation to the euro adoption will be systemically recorded and identified, authorities for handling complaints and for carrying out checks will submit every month to the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority the reports on complaints received  and violations identified (their frequency and change) in relation to the euro adoption in the format approved by it along with proposals on measures to be taken in order to avoid similar cases in the future; 
100.5. The State Consumer Rights Protection Authority no later than within 10 working days as of the end of the time period specified in paragraph 100.4 of the Plan will summarise the information provided by the authorities referred to in the aforementioned paragraph and submit it to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania;
100.6.  This paragraph was repealed on 20 December 2013.
Amendments to the paragraph:
No 1172, 4 December 2013, Official Gazette, 2013, No 130-6660 (19 December 2013)
 
X. CONSUMER SAFETY
 
101. The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania coordinates the public safety and e-information safety (cyber-safety) issues related to the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania. 
102. The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania will form a coordinating inter-departmental commission for identifying potential threats during the period of the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Lithuania, submission of specific proposals on elimination of these threats and coordination of the activities of competent authorities in this area.
103. The Bank of Lithuania through various information dissemination channels will inform the public and/or individual target groups about denominations of euro banknotes and coins, banknote security characteristics, terms and conditions for litas exchange to euro.
104. In order to ensure that the public and the cash handlers were adequately informed about the single currency of the European Union, the euro, and to envisage the preventive measures against euro money counterfeit, the Bank of Lithuania, taking into consideration the number of cash handlers who need to be trained, their demand for knowledge, work experience and educational background, will prepare and arrange cash handlers’ training on peculiarities and characteristics of euro banknotes and coins.  It is also envisaged to organise practical training sessions for people with visual impairment in order to help them develop a sensory memory for the new currency.
105.  The Bank of Lithuania will create conditions for economic entities and the public to acquire euro coin starter kits at least one month before the euro adoption date.
 
XI. public information
 
106. Public information about the envisaged adoption of the euro is carried out in accordance with the Strategy. The Strategy establishes the principles of public information on the adoption of the euro, responsible public authorities and institutions that in co-operation with the partners will inform the public about the single currency of the European Union, the euro, and the preparedness of the Republic of Lithuania for the changeover. The Strategy provides for the stages of the public information about the euro introduction, the key information directions, target information groups and information disseminators.
107. In implementing the Strategy the following targets are pursued: to ensure that the population of Lithuania is informed about the introduction of the euro in the country in a clear, objective, accurate, timely and relevant manner; to raise the population’s level of awareness of the future currency of Lithuania, the euro, and to reduce fears and anxiety associated with the introduction of the euro; to get the population of Lithuania ready for the adoption of the euro by keeping them fully informed about practical preparations for the introduction of the euro. In implementing the goals and objectives of the Strategy, the responsible authorities coordinate mutual actions. To contact the target groups falling within the sphere of competence, the responsible authorities use all the accessible information dissemination channels and methods.
 
__________________
APPROVED by Resolution No 604 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 26 June 2013
 
 
PUBLIC INFORMATION ON THE EURO ADOPTION AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY OF LITHUANIA
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy) has been prepared following the National Changeover Plan. The Strategy introduces the principles of public information on the euro adoption, responsible state institutions and bodies (hereinafter referred to as responsible institutions), which, together with partners, will inform the public about the euro, the single European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU) currency, and preparedness of the Republic of Lithuania to adopt it. This document defines the stages of Strategy implementation, the main public information directions, target groups of information activities and information disseminators as well as stresses the importance of cooperation with the European Commission and the European Central Bank in seeking to effectively provide information on the adoption of the euro.
2. The Strategy has been designed taking into account the 2012–2016 Programme of the Sixteenth Government, which has been approved by the Resolution No XII-51 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 13 December 2012 (Valstybės žinios, Official Gazette, 2012, No 149-7630) and which sets the goal of proper preparation for the adoption of the single EU currency when Lithuania meets the established convergence criteria. In addition, the Strategy takes account of the most recent macroeconomic projections and economic development trends of the country, according to which the fulfilment of the convergence criteria (price stability, sustainability of public finances, stability of the national currency and long-term interest rates on government securities) in the short term can be expected.
 
II. OBJECTIVES
 
3. The following objectives shall be pursued while implementing the Strategy:
3.1. to ensure that the Lithuanian public is clearly, objectively, accurately, timely and properly informed on all the practical aspects of the euro adoption, including the principles of conversion of individual and enterprise bank accounts, balances, social benefits and wages to euro, denominations of euro banknotes and coins, security features of banknotes, conditions applied to the exchange of the national currency into euro and other issues;
3.2. to increase public awareness about the euro, the future currency of the Republic of Lithuania, and to reduce unfounded fears or anxiety related to the adoption of the euro. Responsible institutions must provide and implement measures that would increase the financial and economic literacy of the Lithuanian public by explaining economic and financial processes at the individual, national and EU levels, as well as introduce to the Economic and Monetary Union and the EU single currency, explain the impact of the euro adoption in Lithuania on public finances and the economy.
 
III. CURRENT SITUATION
 
4. The Public Information Working Group, set up by the Order No V2013/(1.7-260402)02-40 of the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania on 13 March 2013, shall assess the current situation by taking into account the Eurobarometer public opinion surveys, commissioned by the European Commission (up to several surveys a year). They shall reflect the opinions of people in the new non euro area EU Member States about the EU single currency and its adoption in the aforementioned countries. The latest Eurobarometer survey was conducted in April 2013 and published in June of the same year.
5. According to the data of this survey, the Lithuanian public is mostly concerned about possible abuses and attempts to manipulate prices by tapping on the euro adoption. Thus, the respondents considered the indication of prices in both currencies in shopping centres and utility bills as well as TV commercials as the most important elements of the information campaign. The Lithuanian respondents indicated TV, internet, newspapers and magazines as their preferred modes of information dissemination on the adoption of the euro. More detailed information on the results of the Eurobarometer public opinion survey and the link to the whole document is presented in Annex 1 to the Strategy.
6. Taking into account the opinion, wishes and concerns expressed by the public in these surveys, the Strategy provides measures which aim to ensure the protection of consumer interests during the changeover, including the publication of the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities, which is to be prepared according to the National Changeover Plan, as well as dissemination of information about the impact of the adoption of the euro on prices (based on the experience of countries that adopted the euro earlier, including Slovakia and Estonia). The channels for dissemination of the euro adoption related information will be selected accordingly.
 
IV. TARGET GROUPS
 
7. The main audience to be informed under the Strategy shall be the Lithuanian population as a whole. Taking into consideration the nature of the activity, specific information needs and accessibility to its dissemination channels, the following target groups are distinguished:
the Lithuanian population (all people residing in Lithuania who use money and who will be directly affected by the change of the national currency);
media/journalists;
businesspeople, farmers;
cash handlers (cashiers and other cash handlers);
banks and other financial institutions, their clients;
state institutions and their servants (not directly related to the adoption of the euro, but able to disseminate information prepared by the institutions through their communication channels);
youth (young people, mostly schoolchildren and students);
teachers;
people of retirement age;
receivers of social benefits;
disabled people (suffering from deafness, blindness and other handicaps);
national minorities (representatives of national minorities that are permanent residents of Lithuania);
residents of remote settlements and granges;
foreign nationals (residents of states from which the largest number of businesspeople and tourists come to Lithuania, and residents of neighbouring states);
Lithuanian citizens living in other states.
 
V. ORGANIZATION OF INFORMATION ACTIVITIES AND COMMUNICATION
 
I. Institutional Framework
 
8. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted Resolution No 178 of 27 February 2013 on the Coordination of Actions for the Preparation of Euro Introduction in the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette), 2013, No 23-1120) approving the coordination scheme concerning the preparation for the euro adoption.
9. Specific issues related to the adoption of the euro are dealt with by the following expert working groups:
Business Environment Working Group,
Working Group for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Social Affairs,
Legal Issues Working Group,
Public Information Working Group,
Cash Working Group,
Working Group for Monitoring Lithuania’s Fulfilment of the Convergence Criteria for the Adoption of the Euro.
10. The activities of the working groups shall be controlled by the Working Group for the Coordination of Euro Adoption Activities (hereinafter referred to as the Coordination Working Group), while strategic issues shall be dealt with by the Commission for the Coordination of Euro Adoption in the Republic of Lithuania (see the Coordination Scheme for the Adoption of the Euro in Lithuania).
11. The Bank of Lithuania set up the Public Information Working Group to coordinate the activities of state institutions in implementing the Strategy. The Public Information Working Group consists of the representatives of the following institutions:
Bank of Lithuania,
Ministry of Finance,
Office of the Government,
Ministry of Social Security and Labour,
Ministry of Transport and Communications,
Ministry of Education and Science,
Ministry of Justice,
Ministry of Economy,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ministry of the Interior,
Ministry of Agriculture,
State Consumer Rights Protection Authority,
Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania.
12. In implementing the objectives of the Strategy, the responsible institutions shall coordinate their actions among themselves. With a view to reach the target groups assigned to them within their competency, the responsible institutions shall use all the information dissemination channels and modes available to them.
13. The communication partners of the responsible institutions, i.e. consumer and business associations as well as other non-governmental organizations, shall become especially important in implementing the Strategy. Close cooperation with the partners shall ensure a smoother process of information on the euro adoption, enable closer monitoring of price conversion and contribute to the prevention of possible abuse during the preparation period for the euro adoption. Therefore, the Public Information Working Group shall address relevant issues related to the euro adoption in cooperation with associations, social partners and non-governmental organizations; it shall also seek to involve them into the euro adoption related communication activity in order to take advantage of their capabilities to inform target groups.
14. Aiming at implementing specific means of information, responsible institutions in line with the applicable legislation may, when necessary, purchase goods and services from suppliers and service providers acting in the field of public relations, advertising, event organisation and other fields.
15. The Public Information Working Group shall be responsible for the preparation and submission to the Ministry of Finance of the Strategy and Strategy implementation action plans, taking into account the results of monitoring and assessment of Strategy implementation, as well as new circumstances.
16. The Public Information Working Group shall monitor the implementation of measures established in the Strategy and submit summarized information on Strategy implementation to the Coordination Working Group once every quarter (within 15 days after the end of the quarter at the latest).
 
II. FUNCTIONS OF RESPONSIBLE INSTITUTIONS BY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
 
17. The responsible institutions, by competency, shall be assigned the following areas of responsibility in informing the target groups:
17.1. The Bank of Lithuania shall:
inform the Lithuanian public and/or other target groups about the denominations of euro banknote and coins, banknote security features, conditions of exchange of the national currency into euro;
promote financial and economic literacy of the public;
organize and coordinate in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance the activities of the Public Information Working Group, control the implementation of measures established in the Strategy Implementation Action Plan as well as implement measures assigned to it in this plan;
closely cooperate with national financial institutions in the field of provision of information related to the euro adoption;
introduce cash handlers, including bank, shopping centre cashiers and other cash handlers, to euro security features and other relevant information, organize seminars for the representatives of this target group;
cooperate with the European Central Bank on euro adoption issues.
17.2. The Ministry of Finance shall:
inform the Lithuanian public and/or other target groups about the adoption of the euro, its impact on public finances and national economy;
promote financial and economic literacy of the public;
ensure the dissemination of information through the State Tax Inspectorate under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, the Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, the Public Institution Central Project Management Agency and other subordinate institutions;
organize and coordinate in cooperation with the Bank of Lithuania the activities of the Public Information Working Group, control the implementation of measures established in the Strategy Implementation Action Plan as well as implement measures assigned to it in this plan;
closely cooperate with the European Commission and ministries of finance in other countries.
17.3. The Office of the Government shall:
inform the public about the decisions of the Prime Minister and the Government on issues of euro adoption;
coordinate and ensure inter-institutional dissemination of information and cooperation;
coordinate the actions of ministries in informing ethnic minorities.
17.4. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour shall:
provide information of suitable content and form for the disabled (including those with special needs), people of retirement age, unemployed persons, recipients of maternity, paternity and other social benefits, as well as other target groups assigned to it within its competency;
ensure the dissemination of general and target information through the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SoDra) under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour as well as other subordinate institutions: Lithuanian Labour Exchange under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Department for the Disabled Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Disability and Working Capacity Assessment Office under the Ministry of Security and Labour, State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Department of Supervision of Social Services under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Centre of Technical Aid for Disabled People under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, State Labour Inspectorate under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Children’s Maintenance Fund Administration under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, as well as other subordinate authorities and institutions;
when informing about the adoption of the euro, cooperate with non-governmental organizations operating in this field.
17.5. The Ministry of Economy shall:
prepare and disseminate information relevant to the business community, investors and other target groups, assigned to it within its competence;
ensure the dissemination of general and target information about the adoption of the euro through business information centres, business and tourism information centres, business incubators, Public Institutions Versli Lietuva, Investuok Lietuvoje and other subordinate institutions;
be responsible for informing the public about the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities;
provide information to business associations and social partners;
actively cooperate with the associated structures aimed at uniting businesspeople and other non-governmental organizations;
inform through the State Tourism Department under the Ministry of Economy tourists and businesspeople visiting Lithuania about the adoption of the euro;
ensure the dissemination of general and target information through other subordinate institutions.
17.6. The Ministry of Agriculture shall:
be responsible for the provision of information to the groups of individuals engaged in agricultural, food, rural development, fishing activities;
ensure the dissemination of information through the National Paying Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, National Land Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, State Food and Veterinary Service and other subordinate institutions;
actively cooperate with non-governmental organizations acting in the field of agriculture aiming to disseminate more information on the euro and its adoption to target groups assigned to it within its competence.
17.7. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall:
ensure that information about Lithuania’s goal to adopt the euro will be disseminated in foreign countries through embassies and consulates;
provide general and target information to Lithuanians living abroad and their communities;
inform the public on issues of European integration.
17.8. The Ministry of Education and Science shall:
in cooperation with non-governmental organizations inform on the adoption of the euro young people (schoolchildren, students), as well as teachers, lecturers and other people working in this field through the State Studies Foundation and other subordinate institutions.
17.9. The Ministry of the Interior shall:
ensure the dissemination of general and target information (including information for migrants) through subordinate institutions;
inform the public through subordinate institutions on measures aimed to secure against possible fraud before and after the adoption of the euro.
17.10. The Ministry of Transport and Communications shall:
ensure that people residing in Lithuania as well as people visiting Lithuania from abroad or leaving it would be informed about the adoption of the euro at ticket sale and service provision points (airports, train stations, etc.);
ensure the dissemination of general and target information on the adoption of the euro through the Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Information Society Development Committee under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, JSC Lithuanian Railways, JSC Lithuanian Post (hereinafter referred to as Lithuanian Post) and other subordinate institutions.
17.11. The Ministry of Justice shall:
be responsible for providing information on the adoption of the euro to persons serving custodial sentences, on probation and persons receiving secondary legal aid;
ensure the dissemination of general and target information through subordinate institutions.
17.12. The State Consumer Rights Protection Authority shall:
participate in public information campaigns related to the protection of consumer interests during the changeover;
monitor price conversion by coordinating the activities of consumer rights protection institutions, analysing data provided by consumer rights protection institutions, announcing such data publicly, and by preventing violations when performing price conversion;
at the start of dual display of prices, provide consultations on issues of proper and clear price display in litas and euro.
17.13. All the responsible institutions shall ensure within their competence the provision of information to the media.
 
 
III. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
 
18. In implementing the Strategy, the Republic of Lithuania shall closely cooperate with the EU institutions, adopt the best practice of the Member States that have adopted the euro.
18.1. Strategic partnership. On 8 November 2005 the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Lithuania and the European Commission signed the Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the European Commission on the organisation of information and communication campaigns on the changeover to the euro in the Republic of Lithuania according to the information and communication strategy on the euro and the Economic and Monetary Union (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette), 2006, No 6-195) (hereinafter referred to as the Partnership Agreement). The duration of the Partnership Agreement was extended several times, and will expire one year after the changeover to the euro in Lithuania. On the basis of this agreement, during the euro changeover the European Commission plans to provide related information, methodological and financial assistance aimed at the implementation of the measures provided in the communication plan. The European Commission in cooperation with the Republic of Lithuania shall organise events aiming to inform about the preparations for the euro adoption (for example, organisation of an exhibition, a seminar and a conference related to the adoption of the euro). The cooperation with the European Commission will increase as the changeover to the euro in Lithuania approaches.
The European Central Bank is another important partner for Lithuania, which helps to introduce the public to euro banknotes and coins as well as their security features.
18.2. Exchange of best practice. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Lithuania shall participate in the meetings of the heads of communication units of finance ministries and central banks of the EU Member States organized by the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission, intended for sharing information and best practice related to the provision of information on the euro adoption.
The representatives of the Bank of Lithuania shall participate in the Euro Cash Communication Working Group of the Communications Committee of the European System of Central Banks. This group shall coordinate the organisation of public information campaigns on euro banknotes and coins in the Member States intending to adopt the single EU currency, agree on euro banknote and coin related information to be published, consult about measures aimed at informing about the security features of euro banknotes and coins (leaflets, posters, websites information), and about preparation of general training material for cash handlers.
 
IV. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION PARTNERS
 
19. In implementing the Strategy and seeking to provide information to the public as comprehensive as possible, the responsible institutions shall cooperate with other institutions and organisations. The main dissemination points of information on the changeover to the euro prepared by the responsible institutions are as follows:
19.1. other state and municipal institutions (for example, medical institutions, the army, municipalities, subdistricts), that are not directly related to the euro adoption, but able to disseminate information prepared by the responsible institutions through their own dissemination channels;
19.2. national, regional and specialized media (including media in foreign languages), as well as media established by the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania living in the euro area Member States. When cooperating with the media, the responsible institutions should not only respond urgently to inquiries received from journalists, but also initiate discussions on various euro adoption issues through the media;
19.3. educational establishments as the main source of youth targeted information;
19.4. business, farmer associations, consumer organisations and other non-governmental organisations uniting various interest groups, specialised information centres are important intermediaries in providing information to target groups and implementing specific information projects;
19.5. service provision points of the Lithuanian Post;
19.6. banks as important providers of information to their clients (depositors, people with loans, people exchanging litas into euro, etc.);
19.7. shopping centres, other points of sale and services, where many people will have to deal with the new currency for the first time;
19.8. large enterprises as potential sources for the provision of information on the changeover to the euro to employees;
19.9. libraries (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, regional and municipal public libraries, libraries of science and higher education institutions, school libraries, specialized and other libraries) as potential sources for the provision of information on the changeover to the euro to readers;
19.10. travel agencies, hotels as one of the most important sources for the provision of information to foreigners visiting Lithuania;
19.11. police as a potential source for the provision of information on the use of euro banknotes and coins to the residents of Lithuanian and guests from foreign countries;
19.12. public opinion builders (politicians, businesspeople, people engaged in the field of education and science, art and show business representatives actively participating in the social life of the country);
19.13. political parties;
19.14. Representative Office of the European Commission in Lithuania, European Information Centre (Europe Direct);
19.15. other authorities, institutions and organizations.
 
V. KEY INFORMATION CHANNELS
 
20. The responsible institutions and their partners shall use the following information dissemination channels for information and communication activity:
20.1. website www.euro.lt providing information about the changeover to the euro, which is administered by the Ministry of Finance, websites of responsible institutions and partners, topical columns of websites of responsible institutions and subordinate institutions and organizations, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank;
20.2. media (press, radio, television, websites, social networks);
20.3. outdoor advertising, advertisements in public transport, points of sale and services;
20.4. informational events for the public and target groups (exhibitions, seminars, training, doors open events, etc.);
20.5. direct information of the public (answering questions by phone, e-mail, sending information about the euro by e-mail and mail, organisation of various events, seminars, etc.);
20.6. service units for individuals at responsible institutions;
20.7. information networks of partners (libraries, business, tourism, European information centres, etc.);
20.8. other channels.
 
VI. DIRECTIONS OF INFORMATION ON EURO ADOPTION AND CATEGORIES OF MESSAGES
 
21. Given the nature of the information provided to the public, the variety of messages (key statements), and aiming at planning their efficient and timely presentation to the required addressee, the following directions of information on euro adoption and  categories of messages are distinguished:
21.1. messages promoting financial and economic literacy (information provided to the public, allowing it to understand the main economic patterns, the impact of the changeover to the euro on the country’s public finances and the economy, and dispel unfounded fears or concerns about the future currency);
21.2. messages related to practical aspects of the changeover to the euro (the public is provided with information on the value of goods and services in euro, schedule of the national currency (cash and non-cash) exchange into euro, denominations of euro banknotes and coins, euro banknote security features, etc.);
21.3. messages related to consumer protection (the public is provided with information on possible fraudulent practices, abuse in converting prices, the causes of price change are explained).
22. Responsible institutions shall implement coordinated public information on the basis of the main communication messages presented in Annex 3.
 
VII. STAGES OF STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION
 
23. Taking into account the intensity and relevance of the planned information activities, three stages of the Strategy implementation are planned:
23.1. Stage One as the period of preparation. It started on 1 May 2004, when the Republic of Lithuania joined the EU, and will continue to the date when the Council of the European Union takes the decision on the abrogation of the derogation to temporarily use the national currency in the Republic of Lithuania and on the changeover to the euro in the Republic of Lithuania;
23.2. Stage Two as the period of preparation for the changeover. It will start on the day on which the Council of the European Union will take the decision on the abrogation of the derogation to temporarily use the national currency in the Republic of Lithuania and the changeover to the euro in the Republic of Lithuania and will last to the date of the changeover to the euro. This is the stage of the most intense information campaign on the changeover to the euro and communication.
23.3. Stage Three as the period after the changeover to the euro. It will start on the day of the changeover and last one year after the changeover.
 
I. STAGE ONE
 
24. In this stage of the Strategy implementation, promotion of financial and economic literacy of the public is very important. The responsible institutions, within their competence, shall disseminate by means of various information channels educative information on economic processes, the Economic and Monetary Union, the single EU currency, preparations for the changeover to the euro and its influence on Lithuania’s public finances and economy, convergence reports of the European Commission and European Central Bank, the decision of the Council of the European Union on the changeover to the euro in Lithuania, etc.
25. In this stage preparatory work concerning information about the changeover to the euro and communication campaign shall be performed and information activity shall start. Constant cooperation with the media and other partners, provision of information through the information dissemination channels that the target groups trust most are very important. The responsible institutions shall hold discussions with the communities, business and non-governmental organizations, seeking to examine their needs and, where appropriate, the reasons for anxiety in relation to the changeover to the euro.
26. So far, the most intensive information activity was held in 2006, when Lithuania prepared for the changeover to the single EU currency. Having postponed the date until the country sustainably complies with the convergence criteria, the website www.euro.lt and other dissemination channels inform the public about topical euro related issues, seminars for target groups are organized, other events take place. Information about Lithuania’s involvement in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) project is announced on the Bank of Lithuania website www.lb.lt, seminars for businesspeople are organized on this topic.
27. In cooperating with the European Commission and the European Central Bank, publications about the Economic and Monetary Union, single EU currency, euro banknote security features prepared by them in Lithuanian and other languages shall be distributed; exhibitions, conferences shall be organized.
28. In preparation for the changeover to the euro, in 2004 the national side of the euro coin was created.
 
 
After joining the euro area, Lithuania will issue euro coins with the national emblem, Vytis.
29. In implementing the measures of the Stage One, a sign  marking the information on the changeover to the euro and communication campaign in Lithuania was created. It will help the target groups to notice information on the changeover to the euro more easily in the general flow of information. This sign combines the euro symbol with the colours of the national flag.
30. In addition, information about the changeover to the euro and communication campaign in Lithuania shall be marked by the symbols and slogans of the partners, i. e. the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
 
          
 
31. Information activities on the preparations to adopt the euro will intensify after the European Commission and the European Central Bank adopt a convergence report giving positive evaluation to Lithuania.
 
II. STAGE TWO
 
32. The information and communication campaign on the changeover to the euro shall intensify. Events dedicated to the euro adoption shall be organized. The public shall be informed about the procedures concerning the changeover to the euro,  legislation of the EU and the Republic of Lithuania regulating the euro adoption process, denominations and value of the single currency, as well as detailed euro security features, etc. Agreements signed with the associated business structures shall be published, stressing above all and encouraging fair dual display of prices. In addition to thorough information of the public, state institutions, within their competence, shall prepare and disseminate euro related information to the target groups.
33. In this stage, the responsible institutions shall ensure that all target groups receive detailed practical information about the euro and the conditions of its adoption.
34. Providers of goods and services in the fields of public relations, advertising, events and other fields, who win public procurement contests for the euro related communication activities, shall participate in the euro adoption related information activities.
35. The public shall be appropriately introduced to the national sides of the euro coins of all euro area Member States, since over time coins of other countries will also appear in circulation in Lithuania after the changeover to the euro.
36. The public, bank and shopping centre cashiers shall be introduced to the denominations of euro coins and banknotes, their security features. Particular attention shall be paid to the second series euro banknotes, called ‘Europa’.
37. In informing foreign media and foreign institutions concerned about Lithuania’s preparedness for euro adoption, it is expedient to invoke the network of Lithuania’s diplomatic representative offices, as well as support of the EU institutions.
38. Public opinion surveys shall be carried out, seeking to assess the awareness of the public and opinion on the changeover to the euro, etc.
 
III. STAGE THREE
 
39. High level of public information on the euro adoption shall be ensured. The public shall be thoroughly informed about the progress and results of litas exchange into euro, provision of information about euro banknotes and coins shall be continued, their security features, other related aspects, results of price monitoring shall be announced. Public opinion surveys shall be performed, seeking to analyse the opinion of target groups on the new currency and the processes related to euro adoption, appropriate information and communication measures shall be applied.
 
VIII. KEY PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION
 
40. In implementing the Strategy, it is important to ensure that the responsible institutions adhere to the following public information principles:
40.1. Openness and transparency. Responsible institutions shall be obliged to be open, accessible to everyone interested in the adoption of the euro, and always ready to answer any question related to the euro adoption within their competence, as well as to provide all available information.
40.2. Feedback. Responsible institutions shall be obliged to provide information to the public as well as to carefully analyse and assess the way this information is perceived by the public, and to find out its feedback.
40.3. Consistency. Responsible institutions shall be obliged to provide identical information to the public.
40.4. Information quality. Information provided by responsible institutions has to be clear, easily understandable, and tailored to each target group. Information must be detailed and comprehensive.
40.5. Timeliness. Responsible institutions shall be obliged to prepare timely and comprehensive information on all the issues that may arise during the implementation of the Strategy with regard to the adoption of the euro and to ensure that it reaches the intended addressee.
40.6. Language aspect. Information should be prepared not only in Lithuanian, but also in the languages of ethnic minorities living in Lithuania (Russian, Polish, etc.), as well as English.
40.7. Accessibility. Information about the euro should be accessible to the disabled and people with special needs.
40.8. Effectiveness. Information about the euro and its adoption should be disseminated by invoking the information tools and dissemination channels that most affect the public and separate target groups.
 
IX. FINANCING
 
41. The measures defined in the Strategy and its implementation measure plans can be financed by:
41.1. funds from the Bank of Lithuania;
41.2. funds of the state budget;
41.3. funds of the European Commission;
41.4. funds of the European Central Bank.
42. Responsible institutions shall independently plan funds necessary for the implementation of measures of public information about the euro adoption and communication.
 
X. MONITORING AND EFFICIENCY ASSESSMENT
 
43. Efficiency of public information on the euro adoption will highly depend on the decisions on the changeover procedure adopted by responsible institutions, as well as on the image of the euro in the euro area and the non-euro area European Union Member States.
44. In implementing this Strategy, responsible institutions must constantly monitor and assess the following factors:
44.1. information presented in the media (in terms of quantity and quality);
44.2. awareness of the public about Lithuania’s preparedness to adopt the euro, euro banknotes and coins;
44.3. public opinion on the adoption of the euro in Lithuania, changes of the public opinion and information needs;
44.4. public inquiries received;
44.5. scope of involvement of consumers, business associations, and non-governmental organisations in the provision of information to the public about the adoption of the euro in Lithuania;
44.6. opinion of the EU institutions on the adoption of the euro in Lithuania.
 
 
Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania
Annex 1
 
 
RESULTS OF THE EUROBAROMETER PUBLIC OPINION SURVEY[1]
 
The latest Eurobarometer survey was conducted in April 2013 and published in June of the same year. According to the data of this survey, 86 per cent of the Lithuanian population have seen euro banknotes; 54 per cent have used them. 79 per cent of the surveyed have seen euro coins, and 46 per cent have used them. 41 per cent of the respondents feel informed enough about the euro, while 56 per cent claim that they lack information. 61 per cent of the Lithuanian public indicated television as their preferred mode of information dissemination on the adoption of the euro, internet was indicated by 48 per cent, newspapers and magazines - by 33 per cent. The respondents considered the indication of prices in both currencies in shopping centres (80 per cent) to be the most important element of the information campaign, the others being the utility bills (70 per cent) and television commercials (70 per cent).
35 per cent of respondents think that adoption of the euro will have a positive impact on the state; 33 per cent of respondents indicated positive impact on an individual. Respectively, 55 and 47 per cent of respondents expect a negative impact. Generally, 41 per cent of the respondents have a positive opinion about the adoption of the euro, 55 per cent - negative. 43 per cent of respondents think that adoption of the euro in countries that use this currency was a positive factor, while 41 per cent consider it negative.
75 per cent of the respondents are afraid of possible fraud and attempts to manipulate prices by means of the euro adoption. There are also concerns that the euro adoption could lead to price increase (78 per cent of respondents think so).
 
__________________
 
 
 
 
Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania
Annex 2
 
No
Activities
Description
Target groups
2013
2014
2015
Responsible institution
Contribution of other institutions
11
12
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
GENERAL ACTIVITIES DURING THE ENTIRE INFORMATION PERIOD
1.
Information on the website www.euras.lt
Preparatory work on website creation: public procurement procedures
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
All the members of the Public Information Working Group (PIWG) and subordinate institutions shall post the link www.euras.lt on their websites; within their area of competence disseminate information on the euro in their news section; announce their euro related news on the website www.euras.lt; update information related to currency and payments on their websites.
Creation and launching of the website www.euras.lt
Website management and update: news, FAQ, information on events, updates for column ‘Fair price conversion’, etc.
2.
Media monitoring and analysis
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
Institutions performing communication
Bank of Lithuania
All the members of PIWG shall inform about the need to get media monitoring.
Media monitoring and quantitative analysis
3.
Public opinion surveys
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
Institutions performing communication
Bank of Lithuania
The aim of the survey shall be to find out the change in the public opinion on the euro, define relevant communication topics.
4.
Free phone calls on the information line ‘Euro telephone’
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures, preparatory work
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
All the members of  PIWG shall contribute to the preparation of answers to FAQ; within their areas of competence appoint professionals to communicate with those interested (in case of highly specific issues); announce the number of the free line on their websites.
Management of free phone line: provision of information to callers, periodic update of answers to FAQ, quick response to the needs of the public and the changing situation
STAGE ONE OF STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION
5.
Publicity campaign ‘Communication on general euro issues’
5.1
Publicity campaign ‘Communication on general euro issues’
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures, preparation for the provision of  information on the euro (political and economic aspects)
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
All the members of PIWG within their areas of competence shall provide information to the public regarding the adoption of the euro.
Implementation of the following activities: press releases, press conferences, creation of accounts on social networking sites and consulting
5.2
Seminars to target groups
Preparatory work: identification of target groups for which various presentations on the euro adoption related issues  (contents of the seminars) shall be tailored; preparation of presentations by institutions within their competence
Various target groups
Ministry of Finance
Other members of PIWG and subordinate institutions shall appoint specialists responsible for the preparation of presentations for their target groups; delegate specialists able to conduct seminars on the euro adoption for target groups within their area of competence.
Preparatory (organisation related) work: public procurement procedures for the purchase of seminar organisation service
Organization of seminars on the euro adoption for target groups in 60 municipalities in Lithuania
5.3
Europe Day, dedicated to the euro
Preparatory work: coordination of activities of institutions, centralised announcement of events
All target groups
Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Government)
State institutions and bodies, associations, non-governmental organizations, social partners shall organise events in their premises.
Open-door day events shall be organised at state institutions and other organizations, information on the euro shall be presented in various forms to participants of the events.
5.4
Exhibition dedicated to the euro organised by the European Commission
Exhibition dedicated to the euro organised by the European Commission
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
5.5
Competition of essay writing and children drawing on the topic of the euro
Schoolchildren, youth
Office of the Government
5.6
Explanation of the impact of the euro adoption on Lithuania by means of the projects ‘Schoolchildren visiting the Government’ and ‘Schoolchildren Wednesdays’ organised by the Government
Schoolchildren, youth
Office of the Government
5.7
Commemoration of Children’s Financial Education Week, emphasizing the topic of the euro in various events
Schoolchildren, youth
Bank of Lithuania, Ministry of Education and Science (MoES)
Assisted by associations, social partners
5.8
Informative educative publication about the euro for children
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
Schoolchildren, youth
MoES
Information activities shall be financed by the funds of the euro adoption information campaign, allocated by the Ministry of Finance; the texts shall be written in cooperation with the Bank of Lithuania, the Ministry of Finance, and other members of PIWG.
Creation of texts and design models of publications
Printing of publications
Distribution of publications (events, educational institutions)
STAGE TWO OF STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION
6.
Publicity campaign on the practical aspects of the euro adoption
6.1
Publicity campaign ‘Practical aspects of the euro adoption’
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures, preparation for information activities
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
Implementation: press releases, press conferences, management of accounts in social networks, consultations, visit of journalist to Latvia, other activities
6.2
Information provision events
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures, preparation for events
Ministry of Finance
Visit of the Eurobus to 60 municipalities in Lithuania
All target groups
Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania shall present the Eurobus route to Lithuania’s municipalities. Other members of PIWG within their competence shall participate in Eurobus events.
School program ‘Euro days at school’
Youth 18 y.o. and under
MoES shall inform schools about the planned event; MoES representatives shall sit in the jury of public procurement.
Library program ‘Learn about the euro’
Residents of rural, remote areas
Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania shall present the library program to the members of the association and shall encourage the libraries to get involved in the project.
6.3
Advertisement campaign, introducing Lithuania’s accession to the euro zone
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
Other members of PIWG and subordinate institutions shall broadcast commercial clips, banners, when possible.
Design and creation: TV, radio, press, outdoor internet advertisements introducing Lithuania’s accession to the euro zone
Broadcasting: TV, radio, press, internet, outdoor advertising
6.4
Advertisement campaign ‘Practical aspects of the euro adoption’
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups, most attention paid to residents of small towns and granges
Design and creation: TV, radio, press, outdoor advertising, internet tools aimed at informing about the practical aspects of the euro adoption
Broadcasting of the abovementioned measures through TV, radio, publication in the press, use of outdoor advertisement, internet
Ministry of Finance
Other members of PIWG and subordinate institutions shall ensure the dissemination of measures indicated in 6.3 and 6.4 when possible.
6.5
Information publications
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
Each member of PIWG shall contribute to the preparation and coordination of the content within their area of competence; members of PIWG shall inform about the need for publications according to their areas of activity and disseminate the presented publications through their subordinate institutions.
Preparatory work: creation of texts and design models of publications. The publications shall present information relevant to the public of Lithuania regarding the euro changeover.
Preparatory work: printing of publications
Distribution of publications (events, various public spaces)
6.6
Information publications (for participants in the social security and working system)
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
Participants in the social security and working system
Ministry of Social Security and Labour (MSSL)
The MSSL shall distribute publications to the participants in the social security and working system through its subordinate institutions; members of PIWG shall inform about the need for publications according to their areas of activity and disseminate the presented publications through their subordinate institutions.
Preparatory work: creation of texts and design models of publications. Publications shall present relevant information on the euro adoption  to the participants in the social security and working system
Preparatory work: printing of publications (50,000 circulation)
Distribution of publications (through the offices of the State Social Insurance Fund, the Labour exchange, other MSSL subordinate institutions, distribution during events and meetings)
6.7
TV, radio, internet projects
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups
Ministry of Finance
Every member of PIWG shall contribute to the  preparation and coordination of the content of TV, radio and internet projects within their areas of competence.
Preparation of the broadcast plan
Creation and broadcasting of specialised TV and radio shows, creation and management of specialised sections in internet media, presenting practical euro adoption aspects and the topic of fair price conversion
6.8
Representative measures
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups (distributed during events)
Ministry of Finance
All members of PIWG shall inform about the need for representative measures related to the euro and distribute the materials to the target groups.
Preparatory work: design and creation of measures
Distribution of representative measures during events
6.9
Olympiad on economics and business at regional level for senior schoolchildren (9–12 grade), including the topic of the euro
Schoolchildren
MoES
6.10
Euro adoption related articles  in the information publication of MoES ‘Education news’
Educators
MoES
6.11
Class on economics for senior schoolchildren (9–12 grade) on the topic of the euro
Schoolchildren, educators
MoES
6.12
Publication of information in the media
Institutions, in addition to the information published in the press, shall provide euro related information relevant to their target groups.
All target groups
Ministry of Agriculture, National Paying Agency, Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications
6.13
Broadcasting of clips and other advertising material
Vilnius International Airport (VIA) offers to distribute information about the euro through its media channels and use its promotional tools. Various types of means of information may be employed for the distribution of information via the VIA stands, ad boards and other spaces of commercial nature during the euro introduction campaign period.
All target groups
Ministry of Transport and Communications (Vilnius International Airport, Lithuanian Railways, Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications)
Lithuanian Railways
Branches of the Lithuanian Post
Lithuanian Road Administration under the Ministry of Transport and Communications
7.
Fair price conversion campaign
7.1
Publicity campaign ‘Fair price conversion’
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
Ministry of Finance
Consultations with the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority, the Ministry of Economy, other institutions in preparing terms of public procurement
Preparation of the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities, organisation of its publicity campaign and signing. Creation and publicity of the logo of the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities, preparation  of the rules governing the use of logo and presentation of the logo to businesses, encouraging them to join the initiative
Businesspeople, all target groups
Ministry of Economy
The Ministry of Finance shall perform public procurement for the purchase of the creation of the logo for the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities.
Provision of information on  infringements, violators, preventative measures, work of inspectors during the dual display of prices; provision of information on possible joint activities, cooperation agreements with consumer organizations and (or) public organizations in supervising  price conversion (press releases, press conferences, social networking accounts, mobile apps, etc.)
All target groups
State Consumer Rights Protection Authority
8.
Campaign on the familiarisation with the new currency
8.1
Advertising campaign
Creation and production of advertisements (TV, radio clips, press, outdoor, internet advertisements) introducing to the identification marks of euro banknotes and coins
All target groups
Bank of Lithuania
Other members of PIWG and subordinate institutions shall broadcast commercial clips, banners in the internet etc. when possible.
Broadcasting: advertising campaign, introducing to the identification marks of euro banknotes and coins
8.2
International conference
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
International community, academic community, state institutions, media and the general public as a secondary target group
Bank of Lithuania
Organizational work
International conference
8.3
Exhibition dedicated to the euro
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups (especially senior people and the youth)
Bank of Lithuania
Other members of PIWG shall distribute information to their target groups.
Exhibition dedicated  to the euro, organised in Vilnius (contents provided by the ECB): educational activities, meetings with well-known economists; provision of information on the exhibition and related events
8.4
Training for cash handlers
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures for the purchase of services in the field of seminar organization
Target groups working with cash (cashiers, post office workers, etc.)
Bank of Lithuania
Preparatory work: preparation of content (Bank of Lithuania staff)
The Bank of Lithuania shall organise specialised training on the security features of the euro banknotes.
8.5
Distribution of an information package for all households and distribution of publications in public places
Preparatory work: public procurement procedures
All target groups
Bank of Lithuania
All members of PIWG shall indicate the need for information leaflets.
The information package on cash and its security features shall be sent to each household.  Other publications and information leaflets introducing cash security features shall be distributed in public places to various target groups.
8.6
Publicity campaign
Press releases, press conferences, initiated topics, interviews on cash, its security features, presentation of  the first Lithuanian euro coin at the Lithuanian Mint, arrival of the euro coins and banknotes to Lithuania and other activities
All target groups
Bank of Lithuania
8.7
Educational program of the Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania
Preparation of the educational program by the Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania
Schoolchildren, youth
Bank of Lithuania
Other members of PIWG shall distribute information to their target groups.
Introduction of the educational program on the euro prepared by the Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania to the visitors
 
 
Public Information on the Euro Adoption and Communication Strategy of Lithuania
Annex 3
 
 
MAIN COMMUNICATION MESSAGES
 
Responsible institutions shall perform coordinated public information activities on the basis of the following main communication messages:
1. The aim to adopt the euro is a step based on economic and political assessment which Lithuania agreed to make when it joined the European Union.
In the 2003 referendum, the people of Lithuania unanimously agreed to the country’s accession to the European Union, thus on 1 May 2004 Lithuania became a EU Member State. Adoption of the euro is one of the conditions included in the European Union Accession Treaty. Lithuania will be allowed to join the euro area only when it meets the convergence criteria (Maastricht criteria).
2. Lithuania has chosen the strategy to link its monetary policy to the euro. More than a decade ago (starting from 2 February 2002) Lithuania decided to link the litas to the euro at a fixed exchange rate. On 28 June 2004 Lithuania joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), which ensures stable exchange rate policy with regard to the euro of the European Union Member State. This membership was another necessary step towards adoption of the euro.
Although Lithuania has firmly linked its currency to the euro, it has no the euro de jure, thus Lithuania cannot take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the Economic and Monetary Union.
Membership in the euro area is a follow-up of the consistent euro integration policy of Lithuania. Deeper integration shall strengthen the security of the country, increase political weight of Lithuania in European and international policy. Adoption of the euro will enable Lithuania to participate in the decision making process in the euro area.
3. Adoption of the euro shall provide an additional impetus to Lithuania’s economy and welfare of the people of Lithuania.
Exchange rate risk will disappear, thus, combining with responsible fiscal policy, strong preconditions will appear for decrease of interest rates and lower borrowing costs of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Government), people, and companies.
Euro adoption shall weaken concerns about currency exchange. The accession to the euro area will result in zero costs of currency exchange (litas to euro and vice versa) allowing people and companies to save money.
Fulfilment of the convergence criteria indicates the ability of the country to pursue responsible economic policy, which in turn increases Lithuania’s attractiveness among investors that lend to the state and/or create jobs.
Closer economic integration of Lithuania into the European Union shall result in a more favourable environment for international trade, creation of jobs, as well as strengthen the economy and provide new opportunities.
Once all the Baltic countries adopt the euro, the region will be more integrated and more attractive to investors and business partners, assessing it as a whole.
Lithuania will ensure its financial stability. After the accession to the euro area, Lithuania will participate in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the function of which is to ensure financial stability in the euro area. Every country participates in the ESM by providing contributions within their economic capacity. This is an investment that ensures the stability of the EU. Lithuania, having become a member of the euro area, will be able to make use of this source, if necessary.
4. Adoption of the euro shouldn’t violate the economic interests of consumers.
The Government and other responsible institutions will take all possible measures, seeking to ensure that prices of goods and services will be recalculated from litas to euro, and transparently indicated. This procedure will be guided by the Code of Good Business Practice and the Memorandum on Good Business Practice (Will) of Business Entities, according to which the public will be able to easily recognize fair business, and cases of abuse will be publicized.
True and fair conversion of wages, pensions and other social benefits to euro shall be ensured by strict and clear rounding rules. When converting wages, pensions and other social benefits to euro, the sums must be rounded in favour of the receiver  to the euro cent (in cases, when the digit after the last digit that will be rounded to is more than 0, a 1 is added to the last digit) or a new amount is calculated, no less than that previous amount in litas, converted to euro.
Taxes, tolls, fines and other payments should not be increased under the pretext of the euro adoption, since these amounts are to be converted according to a clear arithmetic rounding rule.
Savings in banks shall be converted automatically and free of charge, people and companies having funds in litas in banks or other credit institutions will not have to worry about their conversion because after the adoption of the euro, litas held in accounts will be automatically converted to euros free of charge according to the set exchange rate and a clear arithmetic rounding rule.
Cash litas will be exchanged to euros free of charge at the Bank of Lithuania for an unlimited period, while at other banks litas will be exchanged for a half a year with no restrictions, and in part of Lithuania’s post offices the exchange will take place for 60 days from the day on which the euro will be adopted.
5. The euro will represent Lithuania, euro coins with the Vytis symbol will be a full bodied means of payment in all the European euro area. The series of euro coins shall be made up of eight different denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent, 1 and 2 euro. One side of the euro coins is common, the other is national. The national side allows to recognize the country that issued the coin. Besides, Lithuania will preserve a tradition of national numismatics, since a member of the euro area has the right to issue circulation commemorative coins and collector coins. 2 euro circulation commemorative coins shall be issued to commemorate important events at the national or European level and shall be used throughout the euro area.
6. Euro banknotes shall have clearly visible and touchable security features. They assist in quickly recognizing genuine banknotes by using the method of ‘Feel-Look-Tilt’ without any special instruments. Security features impede counterfeiting of banknotes. Euro banknotes are in seven denominations of different sizes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. All of them are legal means of payment throughout the euro zone. They depict architectural styles from different periods of the European history. In 2013 the first banknotes from the second series (called ‘Europa’) will appear in circulation.
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[1] Eurobarometer data http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/topics/euro_en.htm