Lithuania: EU Presidency
Lithuania assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the beginning of July to the end of December 2013.
This is the first time Lithuania holds the Presidency. The rotating Presidency is for the most part a ceremonial role whose duties mainly involve framing the EU’s agenda and chairing the various meetings of the EU Council of Ministers. However, the Presidency also plays a key role in the negotiations to reach inter-institutional agreements for the adoption of EU laws. The official Presidency website is available at: www.eu2013.lt
Amongst the key economic and unemployment concerns, the Lithuanian Presidency will look to finish the work related to the approval and the timely entry into force of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform. In particular, the Presidency will have to concentrate on discussing and adopting a proposal on the necessary transitional CAP rules on certain aspects of the CAP Reform, mainly related to the system of direct payments and rural development.
Another point on the Presidency’s list is the implementation of the principles of sustainable forestry in the Member States. Lithuania will propose to the Council of Ministers to adopt conclusions on the new EU Forest Strategy. This EU-level forest policy instrument will be based on the principle of subsidiarity and respect for national competences. Furthermore Lithuania is thought to seek progress on the EU animal health law proposal.
In December the next EU Biodiversity and Nature Directors’ Meeting will be held under the Lithuanian Presidency in Vilnius. Lithuania has a rich nature, being a significant range State for large carnivore species. FACE will look to participate in this Meeting as it has under previous Presidencies. The Lithuanian Hunters’ and Anglers’ Association has been a FACE Member since 2004; the country holds an impressive variety of wildlife: huntable species include Moose, Red deer, Fallow deer, Roe deer, Wild boar, Wolf, Fox, Badger, Beaver and Hare.