News2020.02.03 15:17

Cutting EU cohesion funding for Lithuania unfair, FM says

BNS 2020.02.03 15:17

The proposed European Union's budget is missing in fairness, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said after a Friends of Cohesion meeting in Lisbon on Saturday.

Proposals for the EU’s 2021–2027 multiannual financial framework (MFF) see singificanlty cutting cohesion funding. Specifically for Lithuania, the cuts would amount to 27 percent.

Read more: Lithuania in for ‘shock therapy’ as EU funding drops

According to Linkevičius, the future compromise on the budget need to be fair to all member states, regions within them and groups in their societies, such as farmers and researchers.

“Lithuania does not question the challenges of climate change, security or migration, and contributes to dealing with them in the spirit of solidarity. However, we believe that the proposal for the future budget lacks fairness,” the minister said in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lithuania's central bank said recently that Lithuania's GDP per capita has reached 81 percent of the EU average (in purchasing power parity), which is one of the reason for the cut in support.

Read more: Is Lithuania catching up with Europe?

In a way, Lithuania and a number of other member states are “penalised for the successful implementation of structural reforms and the progress made”, Linkevičius believes.

“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,” he said.

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