In Vilnius, Ministers for European Affairs emphasize the role of citizens

30 August 2013, Last updated at, 14:46 EEST
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author: EU2013

 On 29 and 30 August in Vilnius, Ministers and State Secretaries for European Affairs discussed the upcoming elections to the European Parliament and ways to enhance the cooperation between the Council and the European Parliament to best serve the interests of the EU citizens.

“The European Parliamentary elections can be an opportunity to present the accomplishments of the EU to citizens of our countries. A lot has been achieved, but not all achievements are properly communicated. It is important to raise interest in the EU’s agenda and at the same time to demonstrate that the interests of the EU citizens play the most significant role in decision-making,” said Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius, who chaired the meeting.

According to the Minister, the 2014 European Parliament elections will be held at the time when Europe’s economy is recovering after the crisis. Therefore, first of all, the citizens will assess Europe’s tailored solutions to ensure economic recovery and financial stability, and effective implementation of decisions made by politicians.

“At the beginning of Lithuania’s EU Presidency, when we were successfully negotiating the legislative package for EU Cohesion Policy, programmes for researchers and students, we understood that only by working shoulder to shoulder the Council and the European Parliament can make the best possible decisions. The Presidency will continue these discussions, because the effective functioning of the EU is a permanent concern for all of us,” Linkevičius said.

The General Affairs Council (GAC) meets once a month and deals with issues which influence multiple European policy areas, such as preparation of the Union’s multi-annual budgetary perspective, EU enlargement process, institutional and administrative issues, coordination of the preparation of meetings of the European Council.  Specific themes are chosen taking into account concrete items on the EU agenda and priorities of the rotating Presidency.
 

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