President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The President to attend the European Council

2018-03-21

Wednesday, 21 March, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė will attend the European Council meeting on 22 -23 March. EU leaders will focus on economic situation in the European Union, EU-US trade relations, strengthening of the euro area and EU response to Russia’s chemical attack in the United Kingdom. The EU-27 will also discuss guidelines for the negotiation on the future relationship with the United Kingdom.

Before the European Council, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and the Prime Ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Poland will hold a meeting on the synchronization of Baltic power grids with continental Europe. At the high-level meeting, the leaders will adopt a joint statement to consolidate the direction of synchronization via Poland and the importance of the project for energy security of the entire EU. This will ensure funding from the current EU multiannual financial framework. Dalia Grybauskaitė has been raising the financial and political aspects of the power grids synchronization at the bilateral meetings with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as well as with the Presidents of Poland and Estonia.

The President will also meet with the heads of the Nordic-Baltic Six (NB6) countries to coordinate common regional positions on key matters of the European agenda.

The heads of state or government will discuss economic situation in the EU, strengthening of the euro area and will look into how the member states implement the European Commission’s recommendations on economic and social policy. Although Lithuania enjoys positive assessment on its economic growth, rapidly increasing employment and development of financial technologies, the European Commission repeatedly points out poverty and inequality that remain among the highest in the EU.

The European Council will also focus on the common EU stance on the import tariffs on steel and aluminum to be imposed by the U.S. The tariffs will not directly concern Lithuania, but the total impact on EU mining, steel and aluminum mining and refining sectors may estimate up to six billion euros. This may have repercussions on Lithuanian exporters as well. Therefore, it is necessary to explore all avenues for dialog with the U.S. in protecting free and open trade that is based on fair competition.

EU heads of state or government will also focus on the joint European response to Russia’s attack in the United Kingdom where military-grade nerve paralyzing agent was used in deliberate circumvention of international treaties. Indiscriminate assassination attempt by using chemical weapon poses serious threat to the security of the entire EU.

The EU-27 leaders will endorse the guidelines for negotiations on post-Brexit relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom. Lithuania’s priorities include the closest possible relations with the United Kingdom on security and defense and the most comprehensive free trade agreement. All parties are interested in ensuring that mobility after Brexit is based on reciprocity and non-discrimination principles as well as on smooth functioning of air and road transport.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.03.21 17:34

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