Europe must deliver on promises

08 July 2013, Last updated at, 13:52 EEST
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author: eu2013.lt

Friday, July 5, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and members of the Commission. The meeting between Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuanian Government members and the European Commission featured discussion about decisions, relevant for all European citizens, expected to be adopted during the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

This is the first time the European Commission - the President and Commissioners delegated by the EU member states - arrived in Lithuania. The Commission is one of the main institutions of the European Union vested with the right of initiative to propose laws and with the responsibility for implementation of EU policies and the use of funds.

"Economic situation in the European Union requires action, not words. Decisions crucial for all European citizens and for the people of Lithuania need to be taken before the next-year's elections to the European Parliament. We must hear what people want and respond to their expectations," the President said.

According to the President, fighting youth unemployment is a key priority for which 8 billion euros are earmarked in the EU budget for the period 2014-2020. To this end, it is necessary to implement the Youth Guarantee Initiative to ensure that all young people up to age 25 receive an offer of a job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship after leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

During Lithuania's Presidency of the EU Council, the European Commission will submit proposals concerning a banking restructuring mechanism as part of building a banking union. The latter will contribute to setting up a single system for restructuring problem banks and will protect taxpayers against additional costs.

The European Commission will also submit a report on implementation of the EU external energy policy. As Dalia Grybauskaitė pointed out, this issue is critical to Lithuania as it purchases gas from a single supplier and pays for it much more than other countries.

In December, Lithuania will have to prepare a progress report on building the EU's internal energy market in view of the European Council decisions adopted in May. It is projected to create a common EU energy market before the end of 2014 and to eliminate energy islands by 2015 - these moves will serve to boost the EU competitiveness and economic growth. It is estimated that if the EU becomes a fully integrated market, it could save as much as 35 billion euros a year in electricity costs.

In the next six-month period, European Commission will put forward proposals on coordination of economic policies, improvement of the Community competitiveness, and on defense industry. Common EU security and defense issues will be debated at the European Council summit in December.

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