by H.E. Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene, Ambassador of Lithuania to the UK ///
As the European Union moves towards recovery, closer cooperation between member states is needed more than ever in order to ensure growth, job creation and better competitiveness. The EU must demonstrate to its people and the world that it pursues credible financial and economic policies, is committed to growth through joint initiatives that increase competitiveness, and aims at security for its citizens and openness with its partners.
The EU has already demonstrated its ability to respond to challenges, agreeing on reforms that will enhance its economic performance, strengthen its banks and ensure sound fiscal policies. In the run-up to the next EU political cycle, it is vital to maintain the momentum and implement political agreements that reflect the interests of all member states and EU citizens.
The Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU will seek to steer the decision making process as an honest broker, and ensure its continuity and the inclusion of all relevant partners. It will build on the cooperation with its Trio partners, thorough preparation and the consistent support of Lithuanian society for EU membership.
As one of the most successful countries to overcome the economic and financial crisis and return to sustained recovery and growth, Lithuania will seek to organize the Presidency in an equally efficient and result-oriented manner. Above all, the Lithuanian Presidency will focus on the three goals of a credible, growing and open Europe.
The Lithuanian Presidency will strive to make progress towards sounder public finances in the EU and to strengthen the ground for financial stability, which is required to fully restore the EU’s economic credibility. The Presidency’s efforts will be directed at further developing the Banking Union framework, and making progress on other legislative proposals in the field of financial market reforms. Its key task will be the implementation and enhancement of agreed reforms including economic governance, and the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union.
The Lithuanian Presidency will build on the Europe 2020 agenda and the European Semester, reinforced by stronger Single Market policy, as well as the effective implementation of the Compact for Growth and Jobs. It will focus on further deepening and integrating the Single Market as the main driving force for economic growth and better employment opportunities. The Presidency will work to complete the initiatives of the Single Market Act I, advance the new initiatives under Single Market Act II, as well as facilitate the Single Market Governance. It will prioritize initiatives that will enhance confidence in the EU economy and result in a dynamic Digital Single Market. The Presidency will pay due attention to research and innovation issues. It will pursue the EU’s commitments to complete the internal energy market by 2014, and ensure that no Member State remains isolated from the European energy networks after 2015.
The Lithuanian Presidency will make steps to strengthen the EU as a global model of openness and security. The Presidency will focus on the closer integration of the EU and its Eastern Partners, hosting the Eastern Partnership Summit in November 2013. It will pursue the continuation of the enlargement process, smarter control of the EU’s external borders, and better coordination in the external dimension of EU energy policy. The Presidency will promote free trade with strategic partners such as the USA, Japan, Canada and others. It will also seek to boost the Common Security and Defence Policy through stronger cooperation with partners, as well as better responses to new security challenges.
The months ahead will be full of challenges and opportunities for the EU and we look forward to our 6 months on the helm of the EU Council.
Author : European Movement UK