Minister L. Linkevičius: EU's next long-term budget should be fair
On 1 February, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended the Friends of Cohesion Summit in Portugal.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister believes that no further progress in the negotiations on the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 has been achieved. Efforts must therefore be made to ensure that the future compromise is fair to all states, their regions and groups in society, such as farmers and researchers.
“Lithuania does not question the challenges of climate change, security or migration, but rather contributes to overcoming them in the spirit of solidarity. However, we believe that the proposal for a modern budget for the future lacks fairness. New priorities should not be implemented at the expense of traditional but equally important policies. Both cohesion and agricultural policies significantly contribute to the climate neutrality objective, which makes the proposed cuts to their funding incomprehensible”.
According to the Foreign Minister, Lithuania and a number of other member states are to some extent penalized for the successful implementation of structural reforms and the progress made. “The reduction of cohesion policy funding by almost one-third and the unaddressed issue of convergence of direct payments need political attention and concrete solutions in order to further ensure the successful development of our regions and a level playing field for all farmers across the EU”.
Participants also issued a joint declaration. The document stresses the importance of the cohesion policy and the need to maintain the current level of funding for it and for the EU's common agricultural policy. The joint declaration also highlights the importance of these policies for the convergence of the regions and member states, as well as their contribution to addressing the climate change, demographic and other challenges.