Lithuanian Presidency highlights the importance of agreement on Cohesion policy for European economy

30 September 2013, Last updated at, 16:38 EEST
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author: The Council of the European Union

Chairman of the General Affairs Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, has underlined at the Council meeting in Brussels on September 30 the importance for the European economy that implementation of national programmes from the Structural Funds and investment projects would be available from the very beginning of 2014.

“Timely political agreement on Cohesion policy would send the right signal to the markets and all EU citizens,” said Minister Linkevičius. “The presidency feels a strong support by the Member States to resolve the open issues in a speedy manner in the negotiations with the European Parliament.”

The ministers of European affairs reviewed the progress on the Cohesion legislation and discussed the outstanding issues in the negotiations with the European Parliament such as macroeconomic conditionality, co-financing and pre-financing rates and performance reserve.

In search for the final political agreement, the Council stressed the importance of sticking to the European Council mandate, as well as preserving a delicate balance.

The Presidency also took note of the strong positions of the Member States on the issues related to the European Social Fund, especially maintaining the allocations for the Youth Employment Initiatives.

The Lithuanian Presidency is involved in an intensive series of trialogues among the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission aiming to reach the final political agreement this autumn.

Ministers have also discussed the draft annotated agenda for the European Council meeting on October 24–25. The meeting is due to focus on the digital agenda, innovations and services; growth, jobs and European competitiveness; the reform of the Economic and Monetary Union; and the preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.

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