At a meeting of EU Ministers for European Affairs in Brussels on 26 March, Meilūnas stressed that further adequate financing of the closure of the plant was one of the most important issues in the ongoing debate on the future EU Multiannual Financial Framework.
"It has already been repeatedly stressed that, in our opinion, the European Commission’s proposal is unacceptable and does not comply with the EU commitment to ensure adequate funding, as set out in the Treaty of Accession of Lithuania. This is not a national project, but we are talking about a project of the entire EU," Meilūnas said.
The General Affairs Council meeting included a political debate on expenditure in various categories in the EU budget for 2014-2020. The Danish Presidency of the Council of the EU summed up all earlier discussions and submitted a draft "negotiation package" on categories of essential expenditure.
The Lithuanian vice foreign minister also called on properly including provisions for further financing the decommissioning of Ignalina plant in the draft "negotiation package", as it was done in 2005 during the negotiations on the EU budget for 2007-2013. Lithuania invites EU member states to comply with their obligations and to ensure adequate financing of the closure of Ignalina plant during the ongoing negotiations.
Meilūnas also invited the EU not to diminish future EU funding in the areas of Common Agricultural and Cohesion Policies. Ministers will hold a political debate on the financing of these policies also during the General Affairs Council meeting in April.
The European Commission has proposed allocating 210 million euros until 2017 for the closing of Ignalina nuclear power plant. The Lithuanian government had asked EUR 770 million. Lithuanian diplomats also want to abolish the 2017 term in the final decision as it might prevent further financing.