Prime Minister stressed the importance of local and regional governance

03 September 2013, Last updated at, 15:51 EEST
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author: Committee of the Regions

On Tuesday Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius addressed participants of the 147th Bureau Meeting of the Committee of the Regions and stressed that cooperation with the local and regional government is among the key elements bringing success to the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. 

The Prime Minister said in the meeting that decentralised administration level in a number of policy areas is much more efficient both in terms of costs and quality of services, and it is also closer to citizens. Local and regional governance is vital with a view to creating a single energy market, and especially while making decisions on efficient resource management. Decisions taken at this level ensure sustainable and long-term growth and competitiveness of the European Union’s economy.      

Prime Minister Butkevičius reaffirmed that the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania plans for giving appropriate attention to implementation of the national regional policy. Reduction of regional disparities in the economic and social development, promotion of development in target territories, as well as appropriate coordination between the national regional development policy measures and regional EU policy are being sought after.       

„Lithuania’s regional policy aims to develop regional innovation systems, which, through combined efforts of businesses, academic community (universities, colleges) and other participants (innovation centres, science and technology parks, business incubators, etc.), could help develop small and medium-sized businesses in the region”, said the Prime Minister. According to the Prime Minister, a promising trend has been observed in the area of unemployment, which happens to be the most acute regional problem; approximately four thousand young adults have been employed by a thousand companies under the “First Job” programme.

“We work closely with local authorities, and have regular meetings with mayors (we have had 3 meetings by now). I give my personal attention to the employment situation in the regions, and I will continue to do so in the future. And mayors have to put efforts in the creation of new jobs, employment of people and closer cooperation with agencies, like Invest Lithuania”, said the Prime Minister.

In this context, the Head of Government also pointed out growing attempts to live on benefits and avoid employment; therefore it is only reasonable that payment of benefits is entrusted to municipalities.

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