On Thursday, 17 December, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė will travel to Brussels to attend a European Council meeting and discuss additional measures to manage the migration crisis, including the setting up of a European Border and Coast Guard. European leaders will also exchange views on how to strengthen the EU's energy union and will address EU reforms proposed by the United Kingdom, the presidency said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© AFP/Scanpix

In order to improve the protection of the EU's external borders, EU leaders will assess the European Commission's proposal to set up a European Border and Coast Guard. This agency would contribute to controlling migration flows and help member states better protect the Community's external borders and the Schengen area.

According to the president, the security of the EU's external borders is relevant for Lithuania, too. Therefore, the proposal to set up a European Border and Coast Guard is important and timely. However, a decision on the deployment of European border guards must be taken only with the consent of the member state concerned or at its request.

The European leaders will also discuss energy security issues - the strengthening of the EU's energy union and Nord Stream 2. Lithuania and six other EU member states previously asked the European Commission to assess whether this gas pipeline is consistent with the objectives of the energy union and whether it does not violate the principles of competition.

Grybauskaitė points out that new energy projects cannot be at odds with the EU's energy security. Nord Stream 2 would increase the EU's dependence on Russian gas and reinforce Gazprom's monopoly in European countries.

Lithuania has made significant contributions to the EU's energy security. The Lithuania-Poland and Lithuania-Sweden power interconnections and the grant agreement on the strategic Poland-Lithuania Gas Interconnector are eliminating energy islands in Europe and increasing the energy security of the whole EU.

Ahead of the UK referendum on EU membership, the leaders will also discuss Britain's proposals for EU reforms. Lithuania takes the position that all reforms must comply with EU Treaties and cannot restrict the free movement of persons or discriminate against EU citizens. These are the founding principles of the European Union.

EU leaders will also discuss how to strengthen the European Economic and Monetary Union and ease business conditions to provide services in other EU member states. In addition, views will be exchanged on the situation in Syria and on how to improve collaboration among EU member states in the fight against international terrorism.

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