General Affairs Council discusses Brexit, enlargement and budget
On 15 October, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius attended the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg. Ministers continued preparations for the European Council meeting on 17-18 October, discussed the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, enlargement, and negotiations on the multiannual financial framework.
“The European Union's new strategic agenda sets out the ambitious targets of the next long-term budget. In the negotiations, we seek to ensure adequate funding for the EU's Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy, which are important tools to achieve these targets. We believe that the leaders' debate will give added impetus to the negotiations and that member states will be able to reach consensus by the end of this year," said the Vice-Minister A. Zananavičius.
As regards enlargement, the Foreign Vice-Minister noted that the European Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania would provide a strong incentive to continue reforms in these countries, and would send a positive message to candidates for future membership of the EU.
The General Affairs Council (Art. 50) also took place on 15 October. Ministers were informed about the state of play on Brexit. Lithuania is interested in finding a solution to the problem of how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and to evade disagreement.