President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The President will attend a European Council meeting

2016-06-27

Monday, June 27, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for Brussels to attend the European Council on 28–29 June. After the British people voted to leave the European Union, leaders will discuss the future of UK-EU relations. EU heads of state or government will also meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss EU-NATO cooperation. On Wednesday, 29 June, leaders from 27 EU countries will discuss preparations for negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and how to boost people’s confidence in the European Union. The European Council will also hold talks on measures to tackle the migration crisis and on the EU’s foreign and economic policies.

According to the President, the outcome of the UK’s referendum is a warning to Europe to reduce the divide between elite politics and the concerns and needs of people. EU countries must remain unified and seek a considered communication model with the United Kingdom which is acceptable to all countries. Changes cannot be made under antagonistic conditions; therefore, it is now of utmost importance to follow the principle of mutual understanding and take account of the needs of British and European people.

The United Kingdom is a reliable economic partner of Lithuania and a NATO ally; therefore, Lithuania will seek to maintain the closest possible cooperation with Britain, and when negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal start it will put in every effort to ensure the interests of Lithuanian people and business.

Ahead of the NATO summit in Warsaw, EU leaders and NATO Secretary General will discuss how to deepen EU-NATO cooperation in countering hybrid threats and addressing migration challenges. EU leaders will also exchange views on EU economic sanctions against Russia. Lithuania takes a firm and consistent position that sanctions must be imposed until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented.

In Brussels, a new Global Strategy on foreign and security policy for the EU, which will provide long-term guidance on the EU’s relations with its neighbors and other countries in the world, will be presented to the heads of state or government. This strategy includes Lithuania’s aspirations, it reflects, for the first time, the threat that Russia poses to European security and consolidates the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea.

Other issues to be discussed in Brussels include the implementation of the EU-Turkey joint action plan to tackle the migration crisis. The EU-Turkey agreement helped to stem the flows of migrants; however, Europe must be prepared for the emergence of alternative migratory routes and address the root causes of migration. Therefore, the meeting will focus on how to promote cooperation with African and other countries from which the largest number of migrants come to Europe.

European leaders will also discuss the strengthening of the EU’s internal market as well as of the economic and banking union, the situation in the EU’s agricultural sector and economic recommendations issued by the European Commission to EU member states. Lithuania’s progress in boosting growth has been assessed as limited; therefore, the European Commission recommends that Lithuania addresses long-standing problems in education, health protection and the tax system, keeps fiscal discipline and implements a consistent innovation policy.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.06.29 10:07

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