President of the Republic of Lithuania

EU countries presented their positions on the budget

2018-12-13

Thursday, December 13, Brussels – The European Council has launched discussions on the EU's multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027. President Dalia Grybauskaitė and other European leaders presented their positions on the Commission's initial proposal for the next long-term budget.

The exchange of views is taking place at a challenging period in time. Political tensions in London and Brexit vagueness have added many unknowns to the new multiannual budget. We do not definitely know what path the United Kingdom is going to choose for leaving the European Union – which can affect both the size of the budget and allocations to priority areas.

Lithuania has three priority fields in the EU's next seven-year budget: cohesion support, agricultural payments and sufficient decommissioning funds for the Ignalina nuclear power plant, strategic energy and transportation projects.

With Lithuania's GDP now above the threshold of 75 percent of the EU average, the Commission has proposed to reduce support from cohesion funds to Lithuania by as much as 25 percent. According to the President, such drastic cuts are unacceptable. It is necessary to have a transitional period and reduce EU assistance gradually.

Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia are working to make direct payments to Baltic farmers reach the EU average as soon as possible. The European Union is failing to meet its commitment made in 2013 that direct payments will amount to 196 euros per hectare by 2020. Under the Commission's initial proposal, Lithuanian farmers will receive only 174 euros per hectare in 2021, the first year of the new financial framework.

The President pointed out that this approach was unacceptable because it violated the commitments assumed by the European Union in 2013, discriminated against Lithuanian and other Baltic farmers and created unfair market competition.

Ahead of the European Council meeting, Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Lithuanian farmers protesting in Brussels and told them that she would uphold their demands.

Lithuania will also seek adequate funding for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant. The funds provided in the initial budget proposal account for only 70 percent of the amount that is actually required. This commitment was included in the Treaty of Accession of Lithuania to the European Union and it must be delivered in amounts that are geared to Lithuania’s actual needs. In its resolution passed earlier this year, the European Parliament also underscored the need to allocate the full amount required for decommissioning works at Ignalina.

The EU multiannual budget for 2021-2027 is the fourth financial framework that includes Lithuania as an equal negotiating partner.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.12.14 13:21

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