EU's long-term budget and enhancement of respect for rule of law discussed in Brussels
On 16 September, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius attended the General Affairs Council in Brussels. The Council focused on the state of play of negotiations on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027, started preparations for the European Council meeting of 17-18 October, and held a debate on enhancing respect for the rule of law in the EU.
A. Zananavičius noted that Lithuania supported the aim of reaching an agreement on the EU's long-term budget before the end of 2019. Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister believes that the leaders’ debate will give fresh impetus to the negotiations. However, it is also important to strive for an agreement on striking the right balance between quality and priorities, ensuring enough funding for cohesion, agricultural policy, and infrastructure projects in the EU budget.
Lithuania assures of its support for the efforts of the Finnish Presidency and other EU member states to devote particular attention to the implementation of the EU's strategic agenda for 2019-2024. The country also agrees that the European Council meeting in October should discuss climate change and the EU enlargement besides the MFF negotiations.
As regards enhancing respect for the rule of law, the Foreign Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius noted that Lithuania had consistently advocated for the rule of law and supported initiatives to strengthen the rule of law in the EU, but the primary responsibility for this rested with member states. The EU's role in this area must be objective, based on the principle of equal treatment and the Treaty on European Union (TEU).
Ministers also held a hearing under the Article 7(1) TEU procedure concerning Hungary.