In negotiations on next long-term EU budget, Lithuania seeks more funding for traditional policies
On 10 December, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius attended the General Affairs Council in Brussels, which focused on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027.
According to A. Zananavičius, the proposal submitted by Finland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the next long-term EU budget does not provide a good basis for further discussions. “This MFF package does not bring us a step closer to a compromise. It does not take into account the position of a majority of member states and of the European Commission that further budget cuts will not allow reaching ambitious climate targets and implementing the EU’s strategic agenda. It is necessary to find a solution regarding the reduction of Cohesion Policy funding for Lithuania by almost one-third in accordance with the proposal, as well as the remaining drastic differences in direct payments for farmers among the EU member states. The financial commitments assumed by the European Union – sufficient and continuous funding for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant and the implementation of the Special Kaliningrad Transit Programme – must be respected and implemented," said the Foreign Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius.
Ministers continued preparations for the European Council meeting on 12 and 13 December mainly by discussing climate change. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister expressed his support for an ambitious climate policy. “We support the target of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2050. This will require a long-term strategy based on a holistic approach, involving all sectors and instruments. For a just and socially balanced transition to a climate-neutral economy in all member states, the new MFF must provide appropriate financial incentives. It is equally important that third countries should comply with the highest international environmental and nuclear safety standards," said A. Zananavičius.
In addition, Lithuania joined the document of a group of like-minded countries that states that there should be no more delay in the EU's enlargement process and that the approach, while the European Commission’s drafts a revision of the EU enlargement methodology, must be pragmatic and conducted in parallel.