Linas Linkevičius: not only Western Balkan countries, EU Eastern Partners need membership prospects, too
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.
Minister Linkevičius noted that it was of critical importance to avoid double standards for Western Balkan countries and EU Eastern Partners by offering the same European prospects to all those that aim at and spare no effort for rapprochement with the European Union and share European values. “National politics should not supersede common European goals. The Eastern Partnership summit to take place in November must result in decisions that would outline not only European prospects; they should also ensure that a new European Fund for Sustainable Development, being established now, can notably contribute to the growth of the Eastern Partners’ economy,” the Minister said.
The EU foreign ministers also discussed priorities in implementing the EU Global Strategy for the coming twelve months. “Having made a good start last year, we shouldn’t relax. It is important that we continue working on concrete security and defence projects, on strengthening EU resilience, particularly in the areas of strategic communication and fight against propaganda, and on stepping forward. Lithuania, together with other six member states, calls on Federica Mogherini and her Service to allocate adequate funds for strategic communication that is still being supported by member states only and to turn it into an efficient instrument of EU policy implementation. EU-UN strategic partnership was endorsed while Lithuania was holding Presidency of the Security Council; that is why time is ripe for filling it in with substance by supporting UN reforms and ensuring the right to veto is not used when issues are related to human rights violations, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide,” Minister Linkevičius said.
The ministers also considered the situation in Libya, North Korea, and external migration.
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.
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.
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.