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Monday, 01 July 2013

The Lithuanian EU Presidency - ‘A fresh Baltic breeze’

Lithuania, a country of 3.2 million which joined the EU in 2004, assumes its first presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July. Lithuania considers itself one of the most successful countries to overcome the economic and financial crisis and to return to sustained recovery and growth. It is the first Baltic country to take the EU stint.
The Lithuanian Presidency is also the first of an European Union with 28 member states, as Croatia joins the EU on 1 July.
Although it has not yet become a eurozone member, Lithuania has been more successful economically than many other EU countries during the eurozone crisis. “Lithuania is a fresh breeze, an innovative and vital voice in the EU family,” the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius recently stated.
Lithuania assumes its presidency in the final period of the mandate of the European Commission and the European Parliament.The next Greek Presidency will have to prepare for European elections, to be held between 22 and 25 May 2014.
The small administration of the country will have to deal with an unusually heavy agenda that will also include the “unfinished business” left over from previous presidencies.
Lithuania says it will strive to make progress toward sounder public finances, towards the implementation for the Compact for Growth and Jobs, and towards the strengthening of the EU as a global model of openness and security.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso said the Lithuanian Presidency would be “a period of particularly hard work in the Council and in the European Parliament”.

Source: Euractiv