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Crime in Lithuania: The Impact of Accession to the European Union

NCJ Number
European Journal of Criminology Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 337-360
Martin A. Andersen
Date Published
July 2009
24 pages
This study investigated the effects on property crime of the economic adjustment to accession to the European Union, using Lithuania as a case study.
Lithuania is a country that has experienced significant social and economic upheaval since its independence from the Soviet Union. Since the early 1990s, crime has increased in Lithuania, and its economy has crashed and recovered, causing an increase in social ills. The expectation is that economic adjustment will lead to enhanced social and economic conditions for crime. By joining the European Union, the conditions for crime to rise have been created. Results indicate that joining the European Union has indeed had an impact on crime in Lithuania, with statistically significant increases in theft, burglary, and juvenile delinquency; for burglary and juvenile delinquency, in particular, the impact is large in magnitude. The analysis of the impact on crime from a country joining the European Union shows that the government of a country considering joining the European Union, or another similar agreement, must anticipate a significant impact on its potential criminal population and criminal justice system. The need for future research is discussed in detail. Tables, figure, and references