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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Lithuania prepares for EU presidency

Lithuania, the small Baltic country that will take over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July, will have to deal with extremely heavy dossiers, such as the adoption of several items of legislation needed to implement the EU budget for the next seven years.
The Lithuanian government held a joint meeting with the European Commission in Brussels on 24th April, to “synchronise the clocks” ahead of the country’s first EU stint.
Lithuania, a nation of 3.2 million, will be succeeded in the presidency by Greece, a nation nearly four times larger which inherits the presidency during the election season when less policymaking will take place.
It is still unclear whether the current Irish presidency will be able to close the EU budget for 2014-2020 by the end of its term. But even in this optimistic scenario, it would be up to Lithuania to steer the adoption by co-decision of some 70 pieces of legislation designed to implement it and allow the disbursement of EU funds.
Moreover, there are doubts whether the incoming presidency of Lithuania will have the necessary resources and experience to be able to close a the controversial dossier of reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
An agreement on the reform is currently blocked because of a division between the European parliament and the Council on the topic of discards. The Parliaments requires discards ban to start immediately, and to require for all fish stocks to return to sustainable levels by 2020,  while the Council of ministers (especially the southern states) prefer a much weaker alternative of a phased-in ban, with a 9% level of exemption permitted, and return to sustainable levels "whenever possible".


Source: Euractiv