President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The President is leaving for the European Council

2018-02-22

Thursday, December 22, Vilnius President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for Brussels to attend the informal European Council meeting. EU leaders will discuss the political priorities of the multiannual financial framework and institutional issues. The President will also participate in the international high level conference on strengthening support to Africa’s Sahel countries.

As the EU starts preparing for negotiations on the new seven year budget, leaders will exchange views on its political priorities. Dalia Grybauskaitė will present issues of key importance to Lithuania and the other Baltic countries. Lithuania’s primary needs include proper funding for strategic energy and transport interconnections, decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, payments to farmers, and guaranteed structural support.

The President communicated national and regional priorities directly to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, who were both visiting Lithuania last week, as she handed a joint letter from the Baltic states’ leaders on common preferences for the new multiannual EU budget.

The European Council will review proposals for institutional reforms in the run up to Brexit and European parliamentary elections scheduled for 2019. Suggestions have been made to shrink the size of the European Parliament after Brexit. Lithuania supports a compromise agreement to keep part of Britain’s seats as a reserve for future EU enlargements. The remaining seats should be redistributed among member states to compensate for existing biases in representation. It would ensure proportional representation for all EU citizens and would not deprive Lithuania of its parliamentary seats. Lithuania firmly believes that the number of European commissioners should not be reduced.

The President will also participate in the international high level conference on support to the Sahel. Ensuring stability in this region is very important for the EU as it seeks to eliminate the root causes of migration and prevent new migratory flows. The conference will gather heads of state and government from Germany, France, Italy, Poland, other EU countries, also from Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad, as well as high level of attendance from the World Bank, the United Nations and the African Union. The Sahel region located south of the Sahara Desert spans nine countries and stretches across the entire continent of Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.02.22 21:46

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