At the meeting of representatives from the Governments of the EU Cohesion countries in Bratislava on 5 October, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Vytautas Leškevičius stressed that the Cohesion Policy enabled such countries as Lithuania to reduce the gap between least developed and highly developed regions and created conditions to boost economic growth and jobs, therefore, proposals to cut funding for the period 2014-2020 were not acceptable.
The meeting was also attended by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.
The Vice-Minister stressed that the European Union’s Cohesion Policy funds must, firstly, support least advanced regions addressing their specific needs.
“It is necessary to achieve an ambitious, but also fair compromise on the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework until the end of 2012. In order to achieve consensus on the EU’s next budget, all EU member states must demonstrate great flexibility and political will in the context of the on-going crisis, because it is necessary for the European Union to prove its ability to make timely decisions on the most complex issues,” Leškevičius said.
Participants of the meeting expressed their position on the EU’s Cohesion Policy signing a joint declaration, which is an important statement of common intention when preparing for the European Council on 22-23 November. This Council is dedicated to the Multiannual Financial Framework.