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Lithuania discontent with Brussels’ proposed amount of support for Baltic countries

Lithuania s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius (L) listens to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso
„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Lithuania s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius (L) listens to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania disapproves of the European Commission’s (EC) proposal on the amount of support to be earmarked for the Baltic countries and Hungary in 2014-2020, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius stated at Wednesday’s meeting with the Commission’s President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels.

“We have discussed that we are discontent with several things. Together with the Baltic countries, we actually criticize future structural support. With such a very strange formula applied, after 2014 that structural support will increase quite considerably for all Central European states but will decrease considerably for the three Baltic countries and Hungary,” he said in an interview with Žinių Radijas on Thursday.

The European Commission has proposed to link assistance to the European Union (EU) Member States with the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014-2020. It would mean that funding that would be earmarked for Lithuania would decline since it could not exceed 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

The government earlier said that such a principle ran against the objective of the bloc’s cohesion policy to narrow regional development gaps. Proposed cap on cohesion assignations at 2.5 percent GDP would dramatically reduce funding for EU regions with the lowest level of development, would disproportionally affect countries with the highest GDP drop which needed help most. Moreover, it would punish member states which are among the best at absorbing cohesion allocations.

Lithuania has been allocated 6.8 billion euros in EU financial assistance for 2007-2013. According to early estimations, under the new proposal, EU funding for Lithuania would go down by an estimated 9 percent.

Earlier, the three Baltic countries and Hungary called on the Commission to reconsider its proposal to impose GDP-linked caps on aid to poorer member states.

BNS
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