Government Approved Position Paper of Lithuania on EU Budget Review
On March 31 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved the Position Paper of Lithuania on EU Budget Review submitted by the Ministry of Finance. In mid-April it will be delivered to the European Commission.
The Position Paper was drafted following the cycle of public discussions “Reforming EU Budget and Changing Europe” organized in December 2007 – February 2008 by the Ministry of Finance. The lecturers and participants at the discussions represented Lithuanian key state institutions as well as public organizations. They reviewed the topics of various EU policy areas, identified priorities important to Lithuania and evaluated financing needs of various EU policy areas following the year 2013.
In Lithuania’s opinion, EU budget should be focused on the areas generating the highest value added, react flexibly to new challenges. The allocated funds should strengthen solidarity of the Member States and distort competence as less as possible.
Considering the discussion on EU budget review as the discussion on the future of the European Union itself, Lithuania takes the view that progress of the Member States is possible only in competitive, solid and safe Europe.
These three priorities are identified by the state as the main ones.
For promotion of competition it is essential to ensure smooth single market activities, a major focus giving on scientific research and innovations, implementation of general energy policy objectives and development of fully integrated EU energy internal market. In promotion of solidarity, the Cohesion Policy remains the main instrument to reduce disparities.The border of Lithuania represents one-tenth of the entire external border of the European Union, therefore the state emphasizes general responsibility for security of external borders and establishment of an effective migration policy in the area of security.
Among other priorities that should be decided on at EU level, are Common Agricultural Policy, transport infrastructure, European Neighboring Policy and other issues.
The state seeks that EU budget would be financed considering the Member States’ potential, i.e. less developed Member States should not pay for more developed countries. Such a system would be transparent and clear to all EU citizens. Therefore, Lithuania speaks up for the EU own resources system without correction mechanisms. Lithuania is also against introduction of any additional EU taxes.In order to ensure stability of the financial programme, EU budget reform should be launched not earlier than in 2014.
In September 2007 the European Commission published the Communication “Reforming the Budget and Changing Europe: a public consultation paper in view of the 2008/2009 budget”, by which invited for an open discussion on the EU budget reform. It was a motivation to update the initial Position Paper of Lithuania, which was drafted in March last year.
For more information on EU budget review and Lithuania’s discussions “Reforming EU Budget and Changing Europe”, please refer to this link.
Ministry of Finance. Information updated 2008-04-02