President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President is leaving for the European Council

2018-12-12

Wednesday, December 12, Vilnius Tomorrow, on December 13, President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for Brussels to attend the European Council summit.

The main topic of the agenda is the EU budget for 2021–2027. Lithuania has three major negotiating goals: to avoid drastic cuts in support from cohesion funds within a shrinking EU budget, to reach the EU average in direct payments to Lithuanian farmers as soon as possible, and to ensure sufficient funding for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant and the implementation of strategic energy and transportation projects.

According to the President, preliminary draft long-term budget proposed by the Commission is not acceptable to Lithuania as support from cohesion funds has been reduced by almost a quarter. According to the President, drastic cuts in support may affect the progress achieved by Lithuania so far.

Lithuania is neither satisfied with the Commission’s proposal on direct agricultural payments. The EU is failing to meet its commitment of 2013 that direct payments to Lithuanian farmers will amount to 196 euros per hectare by 2020. And the new seven-year budget does not ensure that payments will grow fast enough to reach the EU average.

According to the President, such budget proposal discriminates our farmers and results in unfair market competition.

Another important topic to dominate the Council’s agenda is the situation related to Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May canceled the vote on Brexit agreements in the British Parliament on Monday, claiming she wanted additional consultations with the EU leaders. The deal achieved after lengthy negotiations has been already approved by EU heads of state or government.   

European leaders will hear out Theresa May’s arguments in Brussels and will agree on the EU’s further position.

EU leaders will also discuss sanctions against Russia. The Council will extend sanctions introduced after Russia failed to cease aggression against Ukraine and implement the Minsk agreements. Following Russia’s open military attack when it illegally opened fire on three Ukrainian vessels entering the Sea of Azov and captured them together with their crews, Lithuania introduced national sanctions to people responsible for the attack.

Discussions on a proposed euro area budget as well as fight against disinformation and propaganda are also on the Council’s agenda.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.12.12 14:37

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