L. Linkevičius: European Neighborhood Policy must remain top priority
On 28 May, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the European Commission's Director General for International Cooperation and Development Stefano Manservisi.
The meeting discussed perspectives of political and institutional development of the European Union, topicalities of the EU development cooperation, and ongoing negotiations regarding the future multiannual financial framework.
"With regard to the EU development cooperation policy, we need to seek greater involvement of different countries, enabling small countries to share their experiences of implementing reforms. The European Neighborhood Policy must remain a top priority, which must be given a prominent place in the next multiannual financial framework,” said the Foreign Minister.
Attention was also drawn to the need to ensure nuclear power safety at EU level. Sustainable development, as well as safety of citizens of EU member states and their neighboring countries, would be unthinkable without it. The Foreign Minister urged the Commission to assume more responsibility for compliance with nuclear safety standards. L. Linkevičius reminded that when it comes to the implementation of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant project, international experts‘ unfavorable conclusions were being ignored.
The Foreign Minister conferred the award of honor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Lithuania's Diplomacy Star – on S. Manservisi. The European Commission's Director General for International Cooperation and Development was awarded the highest decoration of the Foreign Ministry for his personal contribution to the achievement of goals of Lithuania's state security and foreign policy. Throughout his long career at the EU institutions, S. Manservisi paid particular attention to the abolition of visa requirements for citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. The issue was one of the key priorities of Lithuania's Presidency of the Council of the EU. In addition, S. Manservisi made his best effort to help Lithuania defend its national interests in the context of the EU-Russia visa dialogue. According to L. Linkevičius, it is today that we need such a commitment for the benefit of the Eastern Partnership initiative.
During his visit to Lithuania, S. Manservisi also participated in the international conference “Lithuanian Development Cooperation: Contribution to the Africa-EU Partnership”.