The European Union (EU) should aim at ensuring safety of its population and economic development, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė said at a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk in Vilnius.
Donald Tusk, Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"The EU's ultimate goal is to ensure that all citizens feel safe. (…) The second priority for the EU is a growing and competitive economy," Grybauskaitė said in statement on Friday.

In the run up to the negotiations of European Union leaders on the community's future, the Lithuanian president emphasized the need for efficient enhancement of the security of external borders and reinforced EU capabilities to counter hybrid, cyber and energy security threats, as well as efficient exchange of information on terrorism.

In her words, EU’s economic problems must be addressed by immediate efforts against unemployment problems by way of improving business conditions, reduction of bureaucratic obstacles, enhancement of digital economy and conquering poverty and social exclusion.

Grybauskaitė underlined that the Brexit vote had revealed all of the EU's problems.

"Confronted with such challenges as unstable economic conditions, unemployment, the migration crisis, and terrorism, Europe is unable to deal with them quickly and effectively. This has undermined the people's trust in the European Union, encouraging euroscepticism and populism," she stated.

The Lithuanian president stressed that the United Kingdom has been and will continue to be an important partner of the European Union. However, she said, the EU will always defend the four fundamental freedoms: the free movement of persons, capital, goods, and services.

The meeting with the European Council leader is one of the consultations held in the run-up to the Bratislava Summit. On Sunday, Grybauskaitė will discuss preparations for the summit at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Before the visit in Vilnius, Tusk was in Riga and will now proceed to Estonia.

During the Bratislava summit next week, EU leaders will discuss the organization's future after Brexist and challenges caused by illegal migration and terrorism.

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