Lithuanian PM regrets over Eastern Europe losing out in EU post division

  • 2019-07-03
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has expressed his regret over the fact that not a single Central and Eastern European politician secured an important EU positions during the tough negotiations over the past few days.

Nevertheless, the prime minister is glad EU leaders managed to reach a compromise.

"Obviously, the geographical balance was not maintained here but a compromise has been reached, it's swift and, most importantly, a result has been achieved," Skvernelis told journalists.

EU leader agreed on Tuesday to propose German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen for president of the European Commission. Liberal Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was proposed for president of the European Council, and socialist Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell was proposed for foreign policy chief.

Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was nominated for president of the European Central Bank.

Four politicians from Italy, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic are vying for the position of EP president.

Skvernelis said President Dalia Grybauskaite did not coordinate her position during the EU post negotiations.

The prime minister also said Lithuania would propose its candidate for European Commission once the EP confirms von der Leyen as the Commission president, adding that the country has "more than one" candidate, without disclosing any names.

He also refrained from commenting on the area of responsibility within the EC Lithuania would like to be in charge of.

"In any case, either I or a representative authorized by me will go and we’ll share our views on candidates and portfolios," Skvernelis said. "We hope to propose the best candidate and get the most necessary portfolio for our country."

EU leaders also considered Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite as one of the candidate for EC president but her chances were considerably lower due to her political non-affiliation.