General Information:Capital: Vilnius
Political system: a parliamentary republic with a prime minister (prime minister), who represents the executive branch, and a head of state (president), who performs mainly protocol tasks.
Population: 2.8 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Lithuanian
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 103
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
Lithuania was the first country to declare independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. It is known for its Amber Road and the amber from Lithuania is one of the most valuable in the world. The Lithuanians, like some other European countries, emphasize that the centre of Europe is in their country, specifically in Purnuskes, where it is symbolized by a pillar on which the coordinates of the geographical centre are carved. It became a member of the EU on 1 May 2004. Lithuania is one of the top countries in terms of Internet connection and ranks first among the countries with the fastest Internet.
Lithuania belongs to the countries that had to fight for the preservation of their cultural heritage and tradition under pressure from other countries. Today, the Lithuanians are rightfully proud of their language, traditions, history and expect respect from others too. They are also among the nations that protect their nature and use bicycle transport. Although they may seem rather reserved at first meetings, after breaking the ice friendly relationships are developed.
Lithuania belongs to the cultures that are based on hierarchy and status. In other words, superiors are responsible for making decisions and clear instructions followed by team members. Many business partners and managers assume that the Lithuanians belong to collective cultures, in other words, that they prefer team co-operation. However, the opposite is true because the Lithuanians expect individual motivation and appreciation. Business meetings are held in accordance with the planned program and the status of the individual participants determines the course of the meeting and the order in which they express their views. Participants in the business discussion are expected to communicate in a peaceful manner, which gives space for expressing opinions and provides short pauses for thinking.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Lithuania:
Lithuanians separate private and professional life.
At the first contact, their behaviour is serious and reserved which changes over time and turns into friendly relations.
They expect colleagues and business partners to be prepared for business meetings.
They appreciate the interest in local culture and history.
University degrees are used at formal meetings.