Citizens are concerned about self-government, but they believe that there is a lack of respect for public opinion

  • April 22, 2016
  • News

Public surveys reveal that Lithuanian people are interested in their local news and ready to act in case a local community problem arises. However, they feel that their views are not taken into account by local government representatives during public decision-making processes.

In the survey that was carried out in February 2016, only 17% of respondents indicated that local government institutions take into consideration society’s opinion during public decision-making process. Nearly four times more respondents (65%) stated the opposite when evaluating to what extent local government insitutions respect public opinion. Among them, 15% chose the very extreme option in the eleven-point scale: “never take into consideration”.

“Data of the Civic Empowerment Index, anually carried out by the Civil Society Institute, reveal that Lithuanian people tend to use their civic potential mostly at the local level. They are particularly interested in local news and issues, and they are more ready to solve local problems than pay attention to more abstract problems at the national level. However, data of a new survey show that citizens feel unheard and do not think that their opinion could be important and influential on either national or local level. Therefore, it is not surprising that only a third of the population trust local government institutions” – explained Dr Ieva Petronyte, the director of the Civil Society Institute.

Direct election of the Elders of municipalities is sometimes identified as a potential positive change that could improve the situation, strenghten citizens’ confidence and the feeling that they do have influence in the decision-making process. Data of the most recent surveys show that at the moment 7-8 citizens out of 10 would agree with the idea of direct election of the Elders.

Data provided using surveys commissioned by the Civil Society Institute and carried out by the public opinion and market research centre “Vilmorus” from September 2015 – February 2016.

More information: Ieva Petronytė,, tel. 8 672 21668