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German elections and end of European Parliament tenure among challenges to Lithuania's EU presidency

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„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / European Union
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius says Bundestag elections in Germany and the end of the European Parliament's term will impede decision-making for the Lithuanian EU Presidency in the second half of this year.

"Our goal is to introduce our five approved priorities. I believe that will not be an easy job considering certain external reasons due to which some Council sittings might not take place smoothly. I mean the elections in Germany - those who have already served as ministers know only too well that, before Council sittings, many issues are first discussed with ministers from the large states," Butkevičius told journalists on Thursday.

"Of course, the other reason is that elections to the European Parliament will be held in 2014. And we often know what politicians' moods can be as the term is going to an end and next elections are approaching. But the goal is that we, first of all, have to know all these things, we need to control them and understand that it’s a huge responsibility to implement those goals we set," he said.

The prime minister also stressed that the EU Presidency will be "a huge challenge" and expressed hope that Lithuania will live up to expectations.

"Lithuania is in for a very ambitious period," Butkevičius said.

In terms of priorities of the Lithuanian EU Presidency, Butkevičius mentioned "energy stability, financial stability, and economic development, stepping up protection of EU external borders, (…) the European Union's Baltic Sea strategy."

Lithuania's Cabinet discussed the country's preparations for the EU Presidency on Thursday, with Lithuania's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Raimundas Karoblis, and his deputy Arūnas Vinciūnas making presentations on current agenda issues.

Lithuania will take over the rotating EU Presidency in the second half of this year. Over 180 Presidency-related events will take place in Lithuania, including 16 ministerial-level meetings. The major even is planned for 28-29 November when Vilnius will host a meeting of leaders from EU member states and Eastern Partnership countries.

BNS
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