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

The President at the European Council: the global role of the EU starts in our neighborhood

2021-10-06

President Gitanas Nausėda is attending the informal meeting of the European Council in Slovenia on 5-6 October. The first day session is dedicated to the EU’s role in the world, in particular, to discussions on relations with China and the U.S.

The European leaders also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and migration issues. The President of Lithuania said that the EU had to employ all tools to avoid a humanitarian crisis in the region and a potential wave of illegal migration into the EU. 

Gitanas Nausėda drew the attention of the European leaders to the need for the EU to prepare for different scenarios and to ensure that EU policies on migration, asylum, and border protection did not become a tool of manipulations used by undemocratic regimes.

“The current geopolitical situation and, in particular, the ongoing hybrid attack against the EU by the Belarus regime implies the need to amend EU legislation in order to have an effective response to such attacks in the future,” the President said.

The European leaders also discussed relations with China. Gitanas Nausėda stressed the need for the European Union to speak with one voice.

“In the context of the complex relations with China, the EU27+ 1 format would be the most appropriate for the development of the EU-China dialogue,” Gitanas Nausėda said. In July, the President of Lithuania addressed the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the Slovenian Presidency, with the proposal to establish this provision as dominant for the EU’s engagement with China.

The first session of the informal European Council also allowed time to discuss the EU’s relations with the U.S. According to President Nausėda, the U.S. is the EU’s main strategic and irreplaceable partner when the democratic world faces geopolitical, economic, and technological challenges. It is therefore essential to strengthen the transatlantic link in all areas, from security to trade, from global standards to the fight against climate change.

The second day of the European Council will focus on the enlargement of the EU and its relations with the Western Balkan countries. The informal meeting of the European Council takes place in Slovenia currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2021.10.06 09:14

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