Foreign Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius: Much hard work lies ahead on road to agreeing on EU's long-term budget
On 17 February, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zanavičius attended the General Affairs Council, which prepared the special meeting of the European Council on 20 February and discussed the EU's multiannual financial framework for the 2021‑2027 period.
Following the President of the European Council Charles Michel’s individual talks with leaders of the member states on the EU's next long-term budget in early February, a proposal on the overall size of the budget was updated. Ministers exchanged views on this proposal.
“Despite the effort by the President of the European Council to propose a compromise, the member states’ positions remain too distant. To garner sufficient cohesion policy funding and equal direct payments to all farmers in the European Union, we seek a fair and balanced budget package. Meanwhile, the responsibility for sufficient and continuous funding for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant and the implementation of the Special Kaliningrad Transit Programme lies with the EU, and must therefore be respected," said A. Zananavičius.
The Foreign Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius also highlighted the need to ensure sufficient funding for large infrastructure projects (e.g., Rail Baltica) and military mobility.
According to A. Zananavičius, the proposed size of the budget puts the ambitious EU strategic agenda at risk, especially the implementation of climate change policy objectives. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister also pointed out that, in the context of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, no adjustments to the multiannual financial framework shall remain.