Lithuanian may still secure more EU funding – presidential aide

Lithuania may still secure more EU funding in talks on the EU’s next multi-annual budget, an advisor to President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday.

“Everything is realistic. All countries are actively negotiating. The talks are in full swing now and decisions will be made within the next few months,” Simonas Krepsta told LRT Radio.

According to the advisor, the current budget proposal is not acceptable to Lithuania.

“The total amount of funding under the current proposal is down by around 15 percent (compared with the current budget). Of course, we disagree with the proposal and will negotiate actively to improve it,” he said.

According to the advisor, the current situation is partly due to Lithuania’s uneven economic growth. While the economy as a whole grew, some regions did not.

“The region of Vilnius lives similarly to Finland, but, unfortunately, the rest of Lithuania is lagging behind. (We have) regional differences, social imbalances (and) depopulation. We have really lost a lot of people over the last decade,” Krepsta said.

“We are going to present these arguments to the European Union,” he added.

The European Commission has proposed to cut 2021-2027 cohesion policy funding for Lithuania by 24 percent. Finland, which held the EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2019, suggested slashing it by 27 percent.

The Lithuanian Finance Ministry maintains that the proposals are “unfair and unacceptable”.

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