Vilnius University

Vilnius University specializes in the foreign policy and economic security challenges of small states. Its expertise was critical in developing ICT teaching material on foreign policy and economic security. Vilnius University hosted an ISP on foreign security of small states in addition to providing teachers and speakers to the other intensive study programmes organized by the consortium and the multiplier events.

Vilnius University is the largest and leading university in Lithuania with the mission to create, accumulate and disseminate knowledge by ensuring the continuity of an authentic university culture, distinguished by an atmosphere where old traditions and new ideas enrich each other. Freedom of thought and diversity of opinion are the main values of the university community. A unity of research and studies is the core principle of the overall activity of the university. Since 1991, the University of Vilnius has been a Signatory to the Magna Charta of European Universities.

The university is a member of the European University Association (EUA), the European Association of International Education (EAIE) as well as the Conference of Baltic University Rectors. The Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) of Vilnius University is one of the most prominent social sciences institutions in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic region. IIRPS has been present in the academic and political life of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic region since its establishment in 1992, has achieved a wide range of academic accomplishments and can boast a rich tradition of hosting high-level politicians, diplomats and distinguished speakers at its premises.

IIRPS holds a faculty status at Vilnius University. It conducts three-level studies: BA in political science and six MA programmes: International Relations and Diplomacy, European studies, Contemporary Politics, Public Policy Analysis, Politics and Media and Eastern European and Russian studies (the latter delivered in English). The institute also conducts fulltime and external PhD studies. IIRPS carries out significant and perspective fundamental and applied political science research to meet the needs of the development in political science and society. The IIRPS is a member of the European Consortium of Political Research, the European Network of Political Science, the Eastern and Central European Network of Public Administration Institutions. IIRPS has a rather long tradition of being the main research center of European studies since the early stages of Lithuania’s integration into the EU.

Ramunas Vilpišauskas has studied and did research in a number of highly recognised institutions in Europe and North America. Since graduation he has been teaching at the IIRPS, mostly on European integration, and publishing voluminously on the subject. He has extensive experience in practical policy consulting Lithuanian Government during the EU accession in 1999–2002 and advising the governmental institutions of Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan on the issues of relations with the EU. He served as the Chief Advisor to the President of Lithuania for five years, lecturing continuously on European integration as a part-time associate professor. After his term, R. Vilpišauskas returned to academia in 2009 becoming the Director and Professor of the IIRPS. He has been one of the key faculty members in the European Studies MA program and one of the key lecturers in the trainings in 2011-2013 to prepare public sector employees for the country’s forthcoming EU Council Presidency in 2013.