President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

Preparatory European Council meeting: focus on energy prices, migration and pandemic management

2021-10-18

On Monday, President Gitanas Nausėda participated in a remote preparatory meeting for the European Council with European Council President Charles Michel. Representatives from Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Romania also attended the meeting.

The video conference was held to prepare for the European Council meeting scheduled in Brussels on October 21-22. The main topics to be discussed at this meeting are migration, rising energy prices and managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting is also expected to focus on the upcoming EU Eastern Partnership Summit, the Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, digitalization, and trade.

Speaking about energy prices, the President of Lithuania stressed that this problem could be solved by increasing the energy security and independence of EU countries, investing in the diversity of energy sources and green energy, and reducing energy poverty. It is necessary to exploit the advantages of the EU’s internal market in negotiations with energy suppliers and to strengthen the surveillance of the market. Gitanas Nausėda emphasized the need for EU countries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel imports from third countries, as the current situation showed that suppliers tended to manipulate energy prices and use them as a political tool.

 “This is not the first time Lithuania has faced the problem of high energy prices. We have already paid the highest prices for Russian gas in the whole of Europe, and we have learnt from this. Diversification is the only way to achieve energy independence and manage the risks of rising prices,” the President noted.

On the issue of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Gitanas Nausėda called for more attention to be paid to informing the public and fighting disinformation. It is necessary to draw up EU-wide recommendations on the dose of immunization to boost immunity. “Maintaining the pace of vaccination is a key condition for fighting the pandemic,” the President said.

Speaking about illegal migration, Gitanas Nausėda stressed that the hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime continued; therefore, the European Union needed to take urgent action to combat such threats. Lithuania puts forward its proposals on the need to amend EU legislation on migration, asylum and border protection and calls on EU leaders to instruct the European Commission to prepare relevant amendments to the legislation.

When discussing the upcoming EU Eastern Partnership Summit, the President underscored that this was an excellent opportunity for the European Union to develop a clear political ambition towards the region. According to Gitanas Nausėda, we first need to provide the associated partners – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – with the opportunity to gradually integrate into the internal market of the EU. The long-term goal is their full European integration.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2021.10.19 16:15

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