Zagreb - The Croatian Parliament's European Affairs Committee, which was inaugurated last week, held its first session on Wednesday at which the head of the office of the Lithuanian Embassy in Zagreb, Deividas Stankevicius, presented the priorities of Lithuania's EU presidency.
Lithuania took over the EU's six-month rotating presidency on 1 July, the day when Croatia entered the bloc, and the most important tasks ahead of it are the EU's multi-annual budget and the Eastern Partnership summit which is scheduled to be held in Vilnius on 28 and 29 November. The summit is expected to be attended by the EU as well by Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Three priorities of Lithuania's EU presidency are "credible Europe, growing Europe and open Europe", Stankevicius said. Lithuania will have to focus on the 2014-2020 EU budget, setting up a banking union, strengthening fiscal discipline, creating a unified energy market, a digital market and on the fight against unemployment, notably youth unemployment. The country also wants to make progress concerning EU enlargement to include Turkey and western Balkan countries and deal with trade negotiations with the United States and Japan.
Today's session also focused on the work of the parliamentary European Affairs Committee which will be the the parliament's main body in charge of European affairs and which will, among else, be in charge of adopting a working programme for consideration of Croatia's positions, and discussing EU documents and Croatia's position on EU documents. It will be within the committee's remit to adopt conclusions on those documents, it will discuss government reports on meeting on the Council of the European Union and take part in the process of nominating Croatia's candidates for the positions in EU institutions.