VILNIUS - The priority for Lithuania’s Presidency of the European Council is in the spotlight as the July 1 start approaches. On top of the agenda is a Europe that is, in the area of energy, a safe and competitive region, Minister of Energy Jaroslav Neverovich says, reports ELTA.
On June 7 the minister of energy attended a meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of the EU in Luxembourg. This was the last Council for energy issues until the beginning of Lithuania’s Presidency.
During the meeting Neverovich presented the priorities of Lithuania’s Presidency and work program in the field of energy. “The Presidency of the EU Council is ours, as a member state, with an obligation and opportunity to contribute to the smooth formation of EU policies and implementation. During Lithuania’s Presidency much attention will be focused on energy issues. We will seek that a single EU energy market would really begin to function as soon as possible, since only then can we guarantee a safe energy supply and prices that will be competitive and favorable for energy consumers. The external dimension of the EU energy policies must be strengthened as well. These will be our key priorities,” said the energy minister.
During the meeting the conclusions on a single EU energy market were made. They emphasize such issues as the elimination of energy islands, energy infrastructure development by implementing projects of common interest, the integration of energy systems of the Baltic countries into the network of Continental Europe and the strengthening of the external dimension of the ES energy policies.
On June 6, Deputy of Foreign Affairs Rolandas Krisciunas stressed at the Joint ACP-EU Council of Ministers in Brussels that the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council will continue the work of the current Irish Presidency on the overarching post-2015 agenda on the eradication of poverty and sustainable development.
“Discussions on the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals should in the future merge into a single overarching post-2015 agenda. These goals are naturally interlinked, complementing each other and their aim, at the end, is the same: to create conditions for a decent life for all people, and at the same time to ensure that today’s growth is inclusive, sustainable and does not jeopardize the growth possibilities of future generations,” Krisciunas said.
Speaking about the EU’s core priority of good governance, structural reforms and strengthening the private sector in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, Krisciunas called on partner countries to benefit from the transition experience gained by Lithuania and other EU member states.
The Joint ACP-EU Council of Ministers discussed the post-2015 agenda, the EU’s efforts to promote private sector development in the ACP states, food and nutrition security, and the impact of trade and migration on development. The Council will adopt decisions on the accession of Somalia to the Cotonou Agreement and on the EU financial support to the ACP group of states for the period 2014-2020.
After joining the European Union in May 2004, Lithuania became party to the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement), which is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. This partnership provides an opportunity to significantly strengthen the political dialogue between the ACP States and the EU, and to promote economic and trade cooperation.