2019.09.04 17:15

EP president and Lithuania's Nausėda agree to fight radical cuts to EU budget

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda met with European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli in Brussels on Wednesday and spoke after their meeting against radical cuts to the EU budget.

Large cuts would undermine EU plans and interests of individual countries, according to the Lithuanian president.

“Radical budget cuts across the EU and in separate EU members states will make it much harder to implement the goals of the new political cycle,” Nausėda said, adding that the goals include building new power links, good neighbourhood policies, and research.

“I haven't mentioned climate change yet, which also costs a lot of money,” Nausėda told journalists in Brussels.

During the meeting with Nausėda, Sassoli confirmed that the European Parliament was ready to fight for keeping the EU's multiannual budget at its current size, allowing for the UK's withdrawal, according to a statement released by the European Parliament.

In the 2021-2027 budget, Lithuania wants to secure bigger payments for its farmers and more money from the so-called cohesion funds aimed at helping poorer regions to catch up economically. Vilnius also wants to raise the issue of funding for the decommissioning of its Ignalina nuclear power plant.

Under the European Commission's proposals, cohesion funding for Lithuania would be cut by around a quarter due to the country's economic progress; Lithuania's request to equalize payments to farmers in this financial perspective would remain unimplemented.

EU leaders are due to return to the budget issue in December, but the final decision might be moved to next year.

Nausėda expressed his delight over the European Parliament's support, expressed earlier this year, to Lithuania's request to allocate 780 million euros for the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, significantly more than the 522 million euros the European Commission had proposed.

The Lithuanian and EP presidents also discussed the Eastern Partnership programme, external EU policies, as well as energy security and sustainable development.