News2023.05.04 09:31

Lithuania starts preparations for EU presidency in 2027

BNS 2023.05.04 09:31

Lithuania is starting to prepare for holding the EU's rotating presidency in the first half of 2027 after the government on Wednesday approved in principle the guidelines worked out by the Foreign Ministry. 

Lithuania will work closely together with Ireland and Greece as a trio of presidencies.

Deputy Foreign Minister Jovita Neliupšienė says that Lithuania's team will consist of around 1,500 civil servants from 70 institutions. They will receive special training.

“Lithuania will host around 300 events, 20 of which will be high-level meetings, such as EU summits, informal ministerial councils, and working groups,” she said.

Plans also call for temporarily increasing the number of staff at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU from the current 98 to 200 over the next few years.

Lithuania’s preparations and the EU presidency will cost an estimated 100 million euros in 2024-2027, based on the experience of other EU member countries.

This year, the authorities are to draw up a plan for the expansion of the Permanent Representation to the EU, a training program for civil servants, and a specific action plan for preparations for the presidency. The plan will have to be approved by the cabinet.

Lithuania held the EU presidency back in 2013. According to Neliupšienė, however, it will be more intense this time.

“The agenda will be much more intense because it will be the middle of the European Commission’s mandate, meaning that it will still be tabling new legislation for discussion in the council,” she said.

The EU’s multiannual financial framework period will be about to end, which will also pose a challenge for Lithuania’s presidency, according to the diplomat.

Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis noted that what is being discussed now are administrative-level preparations.

“Political issues, the political agenda, and political priorities will come later, and they will be coordinated with the so-called trio when the presidency draws closer,” he said.

Sweden currently holds the EU presidency, and the Czech Republic will take over in July.

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