Lithuanian EU stances presented to ambassadors

  • 2000-07-27
VILNIUS (BNS) - European Union ambassadors in Vilnius have been presented the Lithuanian government's final negotiating positions for accession negotiations. The head of Lithuania's negotiating team, deputy foreign minister Vygaudas Usackas, will acquaint diplomats with eight new negotiating positions, the Lithuanian foreign ministry reported.

Those include chapters of EU policy on freedom to provide services, free movement of capital, rights of companies, telecommunications and information technologies, industrial policy, transportation policy, social policy, and employment and environmental law.

Negotiations on these eight chapters will begin in the second half of this year, with France presiding over EU. Lithuania, which began discussions on membership in the first half of 2000, came to a preliminary agreement on five initial chapters - statistics, science and scientific inquiry, education, common foreign and defence policy and small and medium-sized business.

Negotiations on three chapters are currently underway - on competition policy, cultural and audio-visual policy and external relations. A total of 29 main chapters and two additional ones (covering representation in EU institutions and other issues) are to be negotiated upon. Lithuania plans to conclude negotiations with the EU by 2002, and to be ready to assume all obligations of EU membership by Jan. 1, 2004.