Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister stresses that Lithuania has achieved Council presidency goals in development cooperation

13 December 2013, Last updated at, 09:32 EET
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author: Council of the European Union

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Rolandas Kriščiūnas stressed in the Foreign Affairs (Development) Council meeting on 12 December in Brussels that Lithuania had achieved the objectives of its EU Council Presidency in the area of development cooperation as the Council had adopted conclusions setting out the EU approach to financing future development agenda beyond 2015.

Speaking about the future global post-2015 development agenda, which will replace the 2000 Millennium Development Goals, the Deputy Minister underlined that each country had the primary responsibility for its own development, while international financial assistance would have positive results only if the necessary reforms were to be implemented and democratic governance and accountability promoted.

“It is important to use local resources in developing countries, purposefully combining them with the international financial assistance. We should also share more efficiently the EU’s reform experience with them and aim to attract private sector initiatives as well as promote a stronger involvement of science and innovations,” Deputy Minister Kriščiūnas said.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton who has chaired the Council and Andris Piebalgs, Member of the European Commission in charge of Development, thanked Lithuania for the results of its Presidency, particularly for the successful completion of negotiations on financing of the EU’s external action, including the adoption of the Development Cooperation Instrument for the period of 2014-2020.
When discussing the implementation of the European Union’s Agenda for Change, the Deputy Minister stressed the necessity to keep focused and to support neighbouring countries of the EU.

“Seeking to effectively implement the Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova after the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, it is particularly important to stay focused and to properly coordinate efforts related to the development and related policies,” Deputy Minister Kriščiūnas said.

According to the Deputy Minister, when planning further cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, it is appropriate to enhance coordination of bilateral support of the EU and its Member States, particularly through the promotion of reforms and support to civil society. The Vice-Minister stressed that although the joint programming of the EU and its Member States assistance was foreseen only for Georgia, it could be launched also for other countries in the region.

“The events in Ukraine have shown the need to support and maintain active civil society. In such cases, only better coordinated and adjusted EU aid and bilateral support of its member states can properly respond to the real needs of our partners that are clearly expressed by their civil society,” Deputy Minister Kriščiūnas said.

The Ministers approved the Council decisions reached during the Lithuanian Presidency: the Council conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development, the EU support for democratic governance and the Annual Report on the European Community’s Development and External Assistance Policies and their Implementation, the Decision regarding the Transitional EDF management measures from 1 January 2014 until the entry into force of the 11th European Development Fund, and the Position of the Council on designating 2015 as the European Year of Development.

Deputy Minister Kriščiūnas also met with Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC, thanked him for the cooperating during the Lithuanian Presidency, and discussed further steps applying the reform experience of the EU member states to development cooperation.

 

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