President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the newly appointed President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Henri Malosse. The meeting focused on cooperation between Lithuania and this Committee during the upcoming Lithuanian presidency of the EU Council as well as key priorities of the presidency, highlighting the issues of ensuring the EU’s energy security and the involvement of citizens in energy matters.
According to the President, energy security can be ensured only through diversification of supply sources. During its presidency of the Council of the European Union Lithuania will seek progress in creating the internal energy market and eliminating energy islands in the EU. The EESC shares the view that that energy islands within the EU must be eliminated.
The Committee also emphasizes the importance of energy dialogue, which would allow involving in energy-related discussions not only all interested parties but also the general public.
Lithuania backs the initiative of the EESC’s new president to promote more active engagement of the civil society in solving economic and social problems in the EU.
“This year is designated the European Year of Citizens. During its presidency Lithuania will aim to provide the best possible clarification as to adoption of one or another decision. It is necessary to speak about the ongoing processes in more understandable manner. It is also very important to engage the civil society in the decision-making process,” the President said.
Among the other discussion points at the meeting were relations with Eastern partners and the EU-Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Vilnius at the time of Lithuania’s presidency. The meeting also touched upon youth unemployment in Europe and the ways to solve this problem.
Lithuania which is preparing to hold presidency of the EU Council has applied for the EESC’s opinions on five issues: women employment in the context of economic growth, reform of state-owned enterprises, civil society’s participation in implementing the Baltic Sea Region Strategy, changes in so-called transition societies, and cooperation among intergovernmental organizations in ensuring equal opportunities for the member states to participate in the EU aid volunteer initiatives. Making of opinions is an important assistance for a presiding country in seeking concrete goals.