VILNIUS - Lithuanian leaders prioritized energy matters while participating in EU meetings this week, with ministers saying they wanted Europe to recognize the Baltic states' energy isolation. Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas was planning to travel to Brussels this week to take part in a European Council meeting on a new energy policy for Europe.
EU heads were slated to discuss the so-called Green Book on Europe's energy policy that was issued by the European Commission on March 8.
Brazauskas said Lithuania would seek recognition of the Baltic states' energy isolation from other EU members, and that the problem should be addressed on the EU level.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis proposed this week that Brussels should take measures without delay to approve the European Union's energy link plan by the end of this year.
He made the proposal at a meeting between the EU General Affairs and Exterior Relations Council on March 20. Valionis said the integration of Baltic and other isolated energy markets into the EU energy market should be seen as a key priority in the EU's new energy policy.
The minister also said the market of services should be liberalized as soon as possible to facilitate accession to an efficient domestic market of the EU.
In addition to energy matters, the March 23 's 24 European Council meeting was also scheduled to address implementation of the Lisbon strategy. The EC has presented an evaluation of national programs for implementation. The Lithuanian drafting process and program content drew a positive EC assessment.
"This is the first year of implementing the national program. The first results will appear in one more year. The implementation is vital for our country to maintain a high pace of economic development," Brazauskas said in the press release.
The council meeting will also address the draft's stance on services. The opinion expressed by the European Parliament in a February vote was reportedly far from the EC proposal, which Lithuania supported.
The European Commission plans to present an updated proposal next month. In Brazauskas' opinion, the draft should ensure the actual improvement of provision-service conditions in EU member-states.