Photo by Judita Grigelytė (V).
The Lithuanian government has invited to discuss what we would like to see in the last three decades. Thus, the process was officially started, during which the most important future trends should be assessed in discussions with the population, various groups of society, experts and policies, potential development scenarios of Lithuania were refined and Lithuania 2050 strategy was prepared, paving the way for long-term progress.
When looking at the development of the strategy envisaged by this Government, the question arises for many, is now really the right time to discuss what may happen in the distant future? After all, the pandemic situation in Lithuania has been deteriorating recently, the migration crisis caused by the Belarusian regime has not been resolved, and due to the ongoing process in the world, the prices of natural gas, electricity, fuel and other products are rising rapidly. Will the deliberations about such a distant future no longer distract the Minister and the members of the Seimas from the problem to be solved from now on? Will it not become a cover for hiding from a crisis of severe control? Will dialogue with the public not just be an imitation, but the strategy itself will not become a long-standing and quickly forgotten document?
These are reasonable questions to be answered by the initiators of this process. The most important issues are turt two. Is it meaningful to think about the perspective of the three decades, when due to rapid technological change, health, geopolitical and other crises in the world we can predict what will happen in a year or another? And how to reduce the risk that the developed development strategy will remain only on paper?
In the long run, we will all die. This is one of JM Keynes’s more pronounced phrases, interpreted by the Danes as an invitation to the state not to leave the economic process to its own devices, in other words, to the functioning of the market, and to take action now to avoid painful dominance in the future. To paraphrase what, if not selected political assets, think about the long-term prospects of state development, especially those areas that may be essential for state functions, search protection and internal order, state governance in accordance with the Constitution copper environment.
Yes, the situation in the world is changing rapidly, uncertainty is huge and the spread of information, including misinformation, is faster than ever. But this only reinforces the need for uncertainty management and measures to strengthen public resilience to potential crises, which requires long-term trends. This is why it has become difficult for the EU to model development scenarios for climate change, at least until 2050, and many EU countries are developing long-term national development strategies.
On the other hand, JM Keynes’s critics rightly point out that political Danes are no less concerned with short-term and selfish matters than businessmen. The latter rpi profits, and the former re-election and stay in power. And the decisions required for re-election do not necessarily coincide with the public interest and the long-term progress of the country. All the more so as information asymmetries, organizational and communication problems in politics and bureaucracy hinder the implementation of the agreed goal at least in business. This is illustrated by the difficulties in managing pandemics and migration crises, with more and less political attention being paid to the quality of justice. Strategic planning initiatives based on good intentions are also delayed.
This brings us to the second question: how to minimize the risk that the development strategy will remain only on paper? A well-organized process for a good result. It is important that the development of the strategy involves all serious political parties and institutions and rulers, and the opposition, in order to hear both skeptics and enthusiasts in society, that experts in various fields are involved in the scenario. Such a process of co-creation requires time, strategic patience and leadership. Finally, it is important to update it in view of the changes taking place in the world. Only then can it be hoped that the societies of the country will agree more and focus on Lithuania’s survival and prosperity in 2050.
The author of the commentary is Ramnas Vilpiauskas, VU TSPMI Jean Monnet Professor
The opinion of the author does not necessarily coincide with the position of the editor.
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