President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, met remotely with ambassadors of the EU member states to discuss topical EU issues and relations with third countries in the run-up to this week’s informal European Council in Porto.
The President gave an overview of the management of the pandemic, noting that intensive EU negotiations had contributed to a significant increase in the supply of vaccines to the Member States. Unfortunately, the virus has not been curbed yet and the situation in Europe remains fragile.
The President said that it was important to support the idea of sharing vaccine reserves with neighboring countries, especially those of the Eastern Partnership.
“We will only be safe when our neighboring countries have access to European vaccines,” the President said. He also proposed for the Member States to launch a discussion on the united lifting of the pandemic restrictions.
Gitanas Nausėda stressed that unity and solidarity of the European Union was of special significance for security in the face of Russia’s aggressive policy towards its neighbors. According to the President, the security situation on the eastern border of Ukraine remains tense and requires united support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and efforts to become part of the EU’s single market. The President stated that if Russia’s aggressive posture at Ukraine’s eastern border remained unchanged and no progress was made in the area of human rights and freedoms, the EU would have to be prepared for an additional response.
The President also recalled the struggle of Belarusian civil society for democracy and human rights, which required support and attention from the international community.
The threat of unsafe nuclear power plant in Ostrovets is one of the biggest challenges today for security of Europe and its citizens. Therefore, Lithuania invites the EU to pay particular attention to the implementation of nuclear safety requirements in the EU’s neighborhood.
The items of the informal meeting of EU leaders this week: implementation of the European Social Pillar and EU relations with India and Russia were also discussed. The President presented Lithuania’s position, noting the importance of EU-level targets for employment, lifelong learning, reducing poverty and social exclusion.
To conclude, the President welcomed the idea of a Conference on the Future of Europe and called on Member States’ representatives to involve as many citizens as possible in the debate on the future of Europe.
Last updated 2021.05.05 21:19Back