Friday, March 9, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki. The Lithuanian President and the Polish Prime Minister together attend European Council meetings, therefore their discussion focused on common priorities in the EU's new seven-year budget and on other European issues of importance for both countries. The meeting also addressed security in the region.
The President pointed out that Lithuania and Poland shared most of the priorities they had set for the EU's long-term financial framework. Both countries agree that the new budget should accelerate the region's development, ensure equal conditions for all EU farmers, and help implement strategic interconnection projects. The approaching Brexit, newly emerging global security threats and trade challenges will make the negotiating process difficult. Common efforts are needed to advance common interests.
Among the other issues discussed was Lithuania's and Poland's common position on financing EU agricultural policy. The President underlined that all EU farmers faced similar challenges and uniform quality requirements. Therefore, a level playing field for competition should be extended across the Community. Lithuania and Poland will work to secure a level of direct payments to their farmers as close as possible to that of the old-timers.
Both countries also seek to obtain adequate funding for interconnection projects of strategic importance to the entire region, including the synchronization of power grids, gas pipeline project GIPL and Rail Baltica transport corridor. Final political agreement on linking the power systems of the Baltic states with the EU through Poland is expected to be signed at the European Council summit this coming June. It will not only allow to pursue the necessary funding in the EU's new budget, but will also provide access to resources in the current financial framework.
Even though Lithuania and Poland are rapidly nearing the European average in terms of development, differences between the economic welfare of member states are still there. It is therefore important for both countries to have sufficient cohesion funds in the EU's next multiannual perspective.
Views were exchanged on maintaining a common position with respect to Russia's geopolitical projects posing a serious threat to the whole of Europe, namely the Ostrovets nuclear power plant and the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. Poland, like Lithuania, maintains a principled stance not to buy electricity generated by a nuclear power plant that does not meet international safety standards. Both countries speak out for applying the Gas Directive and European standards for transparency and competition to all energy infrastructure projects.
Lithuania and Poland share the same interest in reforming NATO and enhancing its collective defense. It is important for both countries to have allied support in the region as soon as possible, if necessary. This requires developing the region's reinforcement strategy, detailed defense plans, counter military isolation measures, and regional air defense. It is also necessary to speed up NATO's decision making, improve its capacities and re-position headquarters to better respond to actual threats.
During her meeting with the Polish President in Vilnius this past February, President Dalia Grybauskaitė accepted the invitation to take part in a summit of Baltic, Central and Eastern European nations on joint defense projects. The so-called Bucharest Nine meeting will be held in Warsaw this summer, ahead of the NATO summit.
Last updated 2018.03.09 12:49Back