The European Union's talks with the United Kingdom in the run-up to its membership referendum will be complicated, says Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė. While she supports London's drive to make the EU more efficient and less bureaucratic, she has said that proposals to deny benefits to EU nationals residing in Britain are "discriminatory".
David Cameron, Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI/Scanpix

"Discriminatory proposals go against not just principles, but also European directives and I do not believe it will be that easy to secure [European Commission's] approval," President Grybauskaitė said during her annual media conference on Thursday.

She said she supported British Prime Minister David Cameron's proposals to reform the EU in order to make it more efficient and less bureaucratic, but would never agree to discrimination.

Cameron has suggested to deny non-British EU nationals certain benefits during the first four years of their residency in the UK. Over 95,000 Lithuanians live in England, according to the 2011 census.

"Let me restate a position of principle: there cannot be discriminatory treatment of our people," Grybauskaitė said.

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