President Barroso welcomes ambition of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council
The College paid its traditional visit to the incoming Presidency. Lithuania has an ambitious agenda, from promoting growth and jobs to putting the banking union on firm foundations and strengthening the Eastern Partnership.
The College travelled to Vilnius for the traditional meeting with the incoming Presidency of the Council. It is particularly historic: this is Lithuania's first Council Presidency and the first with 28 member states.
In meetings with President Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Butkevičius and members of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, President Barroso underlined that the Lithuanian Presidency has a particular responsibility as the last Presidency under the current financial cycle and one which comes almost at the end of the institutional cycle.
There was a substantive discussion of the Presidency's ambitious work programme: from continuing work on implementing the growth and jobs agenda to the next steps on deepening Economic and Monetary Union.
"We must put the Banking Union on firm foundations," said President Barroso at the joint press conference with the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, and announced that the European Commission will propose a Single Resolution Mechanism next week. He underlined that this "must be adopted before the end of this mandate."
In his press statement he also made it clear that "we need all Member States to implement a youth guarantee and present swiftly plans on how to use EU funding to achieve this."
President Barroso welcomed the focus on the Eastern Partnership. The Presidency is keen to intensify efforts to support the EU's eastern neighbours as they take up our fundamental values and undertake economic reform.
When asked by journalists President Barroso also announced that an EU – US working group will take up its work on Monday 8 July 2013 in parallel with the start of transatlantic trade and investment negotiations.
The official opening of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union was marked by the ceremonial raising of the Lithuanian and European Union flags at Vilnius University.