2015.09.08 13:45

Grybauskaitė: Co-operation with Germany secures the way to economic well-being 2015.09.08 13:45

  February 2014, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Erfurt, the Press Service of the President reported.

February 2014, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Erfurt, the Press Service of the President reported.

The main topics of discussion at the bilateral working meeting were co-operation between Lithuania and Germany, further development of business and economic relations, as well as energy security issues. The President and the German Chancellor reviewed Lithuania’s prospects for introducing the euro in 2015 and the importance of Eastern Partnership.

At the invitation of the Federal Chancellor, President Dalia Grybauskaitė also attended the Congress of the German Christian Democratic Union – the largest political power in Germany led by Angela Merkel – which discussed issues topical for the whole of the European Union.

The economic well-being of the people of Lithuania and its financial stability are integral to the EU’s overall success, the President said. Co-operation with Germany at both bilateral and European levels helps to achieve the best solutions for our people.

“Germany is Lithuania’s reliable ally in Europe in dealing with economic, financial and energy security issues. Strong bilateral economic ties with Germany open new opportunities for the Lithuanian people to advance transparent businesses, gain access to predictable export markets, create new jobs, and manage national finances responsibly. They serve as a guarantee of economic security and stability,” the President said.

Germany ranks second among Lithuania’s trading partners in foreign trade turnover, and it is the third largest investor in Lithuania with direct investments amounting to 4.3 billion litas in 2013.

The President pointed out that Germany strongly supported Lithuania’s drive for energy independence and its determination to implement the third EU energy package – which would allow to create a competitive energy market and put an end to unfair energy prices. Germany’s E.ON also supports Lithuania’s position in negotiating lower natural gas prices with Gazprom.

The President and the Chancellor also discussed Lithuania’s plans to adopt the euro next year. In this half year, 18 eurozone countries will assess the development of the Lithuanian economy and its prospects, and will state their opinion about Lithuania’s readiness to introduce the euro.

Germany supports Lithuania in its bid to join the eurozone and will stand for Lithuania’s membership in the euro area if the Maastricht criteria are met. In mid-year, EU finance ministers are expected to make the final decision on euro adoption in Lithuania. Preparations for the euro, the President said, will protect the country from financial populism, ensuring responsible management of state finances.

Among the other issues discussed at the meeting was unemployment – the most painful problem for Lithuania and the entire European Union – and ways of reducing it. The President pointed out that the EU had provided for the financial measures needed to implement the Youth Guarantee as well as for the structural support required for regional development and the reduction of social exclusion.

She said that if this support was used transparently and effectively, each and every person would feel its actual benefits. The President further noted that Germany’s experience in dealing with youth unemployment could serve as a model example for Lithuania and other EU member states.