Wednesday, 14 December, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for Brussels where she will attend the European Council meeting and have a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on 15 December.
The EU heads of state will discuss security, defense, migration, and economic issues. The European Council will seek solution to the deadlock in the ratification process of the EU-Ukraine association agreement due to the referendum in the Netherlands. Lithuania is consistent in supporting the European route of Ukraine and strongly argues for the most rapid ratification of the association agreement and granting visa-free regime to Ukraine and Georgia.
Strengthening of European defense is high on the European Council’s agenda. According to the President, Europe must take responsibility for its own security and increase investments in defense as geopolitical tension rises. An exchange of views will be held on cooperation between the EU and NATO with the presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. European leaders will also discuss the Commission's proposal to establish a European Defense Fund that will finance cooperation in the development of the EU military capacity, modernization of military industry, research, and the development of modern defense technologies.
One other topic to be covered is investment to stimulate the EU economy. It is proposed to prolong the term of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) until 2020 and to mobilize 500 billion euros for its needs. The fund already finances the construction of the Vilnius Cogeneration Power Plant, the expansion of Vilnius Airport, the reconstruction of the highway Vilnius-Utena, and provides support to SMEs. Lithuania ranks second according to investment per capita from EFSI.
A decision will be taken on the proposal to establish the European Solidarity Corps for youth aimed at attracting more young people to do volunteer and social work.
The European Council meeting will also hear the debate on further measures for managing migration flows. The EU heads of state will exchange views on relations with Turkey and cooperation in the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal. They will also exchange views on the state of play of negotiations with five African countries regarding similar agreements with the EU on stopping illegal flows of migration and returning migrants.
The European Council meeting will be preceded by the President’s meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Preparation for Brexit negotiations and ensuring equal rights for Lithuanians who live and work in the United Kingdom will be discussed.
Last updated 2016.12.15 09:10Back