Lithuania speaks up for equal payments to all EU farmers, but against reducing cohesion policy's funding
On 5 November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended a high-level meeting of the 'Friends of Cohesion' in Prague, the Czech Republic.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said that in negotiations regarding the future Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2021-2027 it was necessary to ensure that the important EU Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy were not overshadowed by new EU priorities. They should be adequately funded.
“Lithuania cannot accept the proposal to drastically reduce Cohesion Policy's funding, as this could jeopardize our regions’ successful sustainable development with the economic and social pillars. In addition, only a level playing field for all EU farmers will ensure a properly-functioning single market. Therefore, it is essential to harmonize direct payments and to allocate adequate funds for rural development. When negotiating a long-term budget for the EU, we must aim at striking a balance between new challenges and policies enshrined in the EU Treaties,” said the Foreign Minister.
Participants of the meeting also issued a joint declaration. The document underlines the importance of Cohesion Policy. It states that the future EU budget should include the same level of cohesion funding and highlights the effects of the policy on convergence at the level of regions and the EU member states, as well as its help in tackling the climate change, migration, demographic, and other challenges.
The meeting of the 'Friends of Cohesion' was attended by representatives from 17 member states and the European Commissioner for Budget Günther Oettinger.