Vice-Minister Skusevičius: it is important to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation on security and defence
The EU Foreign Affairs Council met in Luxembourg on 19 June 2017 to discuss the EU Global Strategy, EU-NATO cooperation, migration, Iraq, and counter-terrorism. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry was represented by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius.
During the discussion on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, Darius Skusevičius expressed Lithuania’s support for closer cooperation among EU Members in the area of security and noted that new planned initiatives were aimed at strengthening EU solidarity and unity. “It is only by investing more into European security and defence that we can consolidate transatlantic solidarity and ensure more equal burden-sharing,” Vice-Minister Skusevičius said. When touching upon building of resilience, Darius Skusevičius pointed out that the focus should be on measures for building up resilience inside the EU, while close neighbourhood should be seen as an external priority.
Vice-Minister Skusevičius emphasised his country’s support for further enhancement of cooperation between the EU and NATO and implementation of measures stipulated in the Joint Declaration of the Presidents of the European Council and Commission and the Secretary General of NATO. “We must think about expansion of EU-NATO cooperation areas now. Lithuania is interested in further enhancement of EU-NATO relationship in areas such as response to hybrid threats, stronger resilience, strategic communication and cyber security, and joint EU and NATO exercises,” Vice-Minister Skusevičius said.
While discussing the crisis in relations between Qatar and other Gulf region countries, EU Member delegates underlined that the conflict might weaken international counter-ISIS efforts and affect anti-terrorist operations; therefore the EU was ready to mediate in resolving the conflict. The meeting also heard a debate about actions to counter and prevent terrorism; an agreement was reached concerning the necessity of a new strategy for Iraq after Da’esh; the fourth Progress Report on the Partnership Framework on Migration was discussed.
Before the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, the representatives of the Member States met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze. At the meeting, Darius Skusevičius highlighted the necessity of EU’s financial and expert support to Georgia in its implementation of the Association Agreement and the importance for Georgia to strengthen pluralism of the media, to engage society in the process of constitutional reform, and respond in an appropriate manner to the recommendations by the Venice Commission. Vice-Minister Skusevičius urged EU Members to be more active in responding to creeping annexation of Georgian territories.
When the FAC meeting finishes, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius, will attend the meeting of foreign ministers of Eastern Partnership countries where preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels on 24 November 2017 will be discussed.
On 21 September 2017 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada entered into force provisionally. It is one of the most ambitious EU free trade agreements that will open the Canadian market with its population of 35 million to Lithuanian exporters.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, attended the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July 2017 to take part in a debate on the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy, on North Korea, Libya, and migration.
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius, attended the ministerial meeting of EU Member States and Eastern Partners on 19 June where discussions centred on the preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels in November. Ministers of foreign affairs from EU Member States and Eastern Partnership countries discussed the achievements of the Eastern Partnership and agreed on short-term goals in developing relations between the EU and its partners in the east.
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius attended the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) in the Maltese capital Valletta on 28 April 2017. The Ministers discussed developments in Turkey, challenges in the international order of rules, and implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
On January 23-24, the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Albinas Zananavičius attended the informal meeting of the European Union General Affairs Council held in Valletta, Malta. During the meeting, the priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017 were presented and the discussion of the ministers about the future of the EU in preparations to the meetings of the EU heads of state and government on February 3 in Malta and on March 25 in Rome was held.