At a meeting on 10 January in Vilnius, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák discussed bilateral cooperation and the possibility to strengthening the cooperation in the run-up to Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Ministers also expressed their views on key issues on the European agenda.
Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs informed his Slovakian counterpart about Lithuania’s preparations to hold the Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of this year, and presented the priorities of the Presidency. The heads of diplomacy of the two countries agreed that it was necessary to collaborate more closely and to share the best practices when preparing for Slovakia’s Presidency of the EU Council in 2016.
The meeting also discussed the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. Linkevičius stressed that the EU member states had to find a well-balanced and fair compromise in the near future. According to Lajčák, it is necessary to ensure that the EU budget promotes growth; therefore, the funds for the Cohesion Policy should not be reduced.
Among other issues, the Lithuanian and Slovakian Foreign Ministers discussed relations with the Eastern Partnership countries, and cooperation among EU, NATO, and Russia. They agreed to aim to achieve progress in developing projects with the EU’s Eastern partners, and to outline guidelines for further cooperation between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries at the 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit, which is due this November in Vilnius.
The head of the Slovakian diplomacy came to Lithuania to participate in the traditional informal Snow Meeting in Trakai, which discusses international security policy. The Slovakian Minister takes part in this event for the third time.