Elena Leontjeva, the co-founder and President of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI), is named the recipient of Sir Antony Fisher Achievement Award.
Leontjeva has been honoured for her lifetime of service to the liberty movement by Atlas Network.
“When we founded a free market think-tank right after Lithuania restored independence, we wanted to help our country build the foundations for a free new life. We pursued our dream with youthful maximalism, not thinking that something was impossible. That‘s why we have succeeded in many what to others seemed impossible things. Who would have thought that within thirty years the country’s economic landscape would have changed so much,” Elena Leontjeva said.
After co-founding LFMI in 1990, Leontjeva served as its President from 1993 to 2002. She returned to lead the institute two years ago.
As Lithuania was transitioning from Soviet planning to private ownership and free exchange, LFMI stood at the forefront of reforms. It started with building the legal foundations of the key economic institutions, a commodities exchange and securities market. The LFMI‘s team went on to tailor other reforms that were indispensable for affirming economic freedom. Thanks to LFMI‘s efforts, in 1994 Lithuania successfully implemented a currency board model which effectively abolished central bank monetary policy, securing sound and credible money. Later LFMI laid the intellectual groundwork and crafted legislation for private pension funds.
“We aspired to provide conditions for the people of Lithuania to feel ownership of their country, to take responsibility for creating prosperity and well-being, to pursue free enterprise in a secure environment that protected private property and voluntary exchange,” the economist said.
Under Leontjeva’s leadership, in 1995 the Institute formulated the idea of a distributed corporate tax model, which today is applied in Estonia, Latvia, and partly in Poland. Lithuania is now discussing this tax regime as an alternative to the existing corporate tax system. Recently LFMI initiated systemic liberalization of labour migration regulations which was passed into law this past June.
The institute’s analytical work covers not only Lithuania, but also many relevant EU and international issues such as minimum corporate tax, regulation of digital markets and platform work, or universal basic income.
“It’s exciting to have this opportunity to honor Elena Leontjeva as the winner of the 2022 Sir Antony Fisher Achievement Award, and to raise awareness of the pivotal role played by the Lithuania Free Market Institute in popularizing the values that sustain free societies,“ said Brad Lips, CEO of Atlas Network. „Three decades after its release from Soviet tyranny, Lithuania has moved significantly toward free markets and limited government. There is more to be done, and I hope that this award encourages LFMI and its allies to stay vigilant in advancing liberal principles in the face of today’s challenges,” said Brad Lips.
In recent years LFMI has focused its research on the phenomenon of scarcity, and the ontology of money and profit. By combining the perspectives from economics, philosophy, anthropology, and other sciences, an interdisciplinary discourse that unfolds from this research is instrumental in responding to modern economic challenges.
LFMI‘s professionalism has been recognized internationally. LFMI ranks sixth among public policy analysis centres in Central and Eastern Europe and among the world‘s one percent strongest think-tanks. LFMI is a three-time winner of the Templeton Freedom Award.
Elena Leontjeva will receive Antony Fisher Achievement Award during Atlas Network’s traditional gala Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner in New York City on November 17th.
Antony Fisher Achievement Award has been awarded since 2019. Previous recipients are Lawrence J. Moon, long-time head of the Manhattan Institute, Ron Manners, an Australian entrepreneur and founder of Mannkal Economic Education Foundation; and Thomas G. Palmer, Vice President of the Atlas Network and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
About Sir Antony Fisher: Atlas Network’s founder, Sir Antony Fisher championed the ideas of free enterprise, individual liberty, and opportunity for all. He dedicated his life to laying the intellectual groundwork for a revival of classical liberal ideas, via independent research institutes that developed market-based solutions to public policy issues. In 1955, Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, and through his efforts, other think tanks began to proliferate throughout the world. He founded Atlas Network in 1981 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth shortly before his death in 1988.
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