Vice-Minister of Finance V. Markevičienė: "Lithuania is a good example of EU Cohesion Policy and we are taking a leading role in sharing it with future EU members"

Vice-Minister of Finance Vaida Markevičienė participated in the meeting of the General Affairs Council held in Brussels to discuss the issues on the closure of the Cohesion Policy programming period 2014-2020 and strengthening the EU's strategic autonomy.

The axis of the meeting of the ministers responsible for cohesion is the stage of the closure process of the period 2014-2020. According to the data of the European Commission (EC), Lithuania is the leader among the Member States in terms of funds disbursed by the EU: Lithuania has recovered as much as 98 % of the funding allocated to Lithuania in 2014-2020, while 27 EU Member States – only 84% of the fundsallocated.

"In the perspective of the European Union financial period 2014-2020, which is coming to an end, Lithuania is among the leading countries that invests Cohesion Funds in an efficient, transparent and expedient manner. We will continue to strengthen positive trends also in the new 2021-2027period. We are a good example of Cohesion Policy, as from a developing country, thanks to focused investments, we are among the OECD uniting the strongest countries," noted Vice-Minister of Finance V. Markevičienė.

According to Vice-Minister V. Markevičienė, Lithuania is clearly aware that the Cohesion Policy has not only national, but also long-term common goals for the entire EU: to unify the social and economic progress of the EU regions, to reduce economic disparities, to promote green and digital transformations. Therefore, together with its partners, Lithuania takes an active position regarding the perspective of Cohesion Policy not only for the 2021-2027 period, but also beyond 2027. This week, in Vilnius, the Ministers of Finance of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia signed a joint declaration on the future of Cohesion Policy. The declaration, in addition to security and geographical aspects, notes that in creating the 2027 Cohesion Policy, the further development of the European Union should be additionally assessed. Lithuania is ready to share its experience with future EU members.

In Brussels, there was also a discussion held on that by investing the Cohesion Policy Funds in strategic sectors, Europe's strategic independence can be strengthened. According to the Vice-Minister, it is necessary to strive for balanced economic development, and both large and small and medium-sized companies would be well prepared to participate in the global market.

"Cohesion policy, as one of the essential EU investment instruments, must be flexible enough and able to respond to the challenges faced by the EU economy. Certain adaptations of the Cohesion Policy, such as the possibility of providing support to large companies, can contribute to the pursuit of the EU’s strategic autonomy," noted V. Markevičienė.