Prime Minister Butkevičius meets European Commissioner Andriukaits: the importance of investment to boost economic engine


2016 09 29


On Thursday, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has met with member of the European Commission responsible for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Povilas Andriukaits, and has discussed topical matters, such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the multiannual financial framework, energy security, and others. 

“Let me extend my congratulations to you and the entire Commission on one year of EFSI. Results clearly show that this has been a good and timely initiative with a view to encouraging economic recovery”, said Prime Minister Butkevičius.

The interlocutors have agreed that EFSI has big potential with regard to the European and national prospects. EFSI has been approved for major projects in Lithuania, such as construction of cogeneration power plant in Vilnius and development of Vilnius Airport. 

The Prime Minister has agreed with the European Commissioner that cooperation between the European Investment Bank and National Promotional Banks could play even more significant role in mobilizing investment in the EFSI context.  

According to the interlocutors, the Public Investment Development Agency could serve in this regard in Lithuania. At present, the Agency is drafting a legal framework to create conditions to become a national promotional institution that would be responsible for encouraging investment in the fields of residential houses, public infrastructure, and boosting energy efficiency.    

“It is important to make use of all the opportunities in combining EFSI financing with the EU’s structural and investment funds as well as other financial instruments; for with the European economic growth slowing down, instruments to attract investment is a key measure to generate economies of the member states”, said European Commissioner Andriukaitis.     

The Prime Minister has welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to double the EFSI operational period and investment capacities.

On the mid-term review of the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020, it has been noted that it is important to find a common agreement as soon as possible, so that corrections done in the review could be implemented in the remaining years 2017-2020.  

“It is highly important that this framework remains an instrument ensuring financial stability. We agree that there should be a response to the new challenges (migration, refugee crises), yet the EU’s targeted long-term priorities, such as cohesion policy and appropriations to agriculture, should not be compromised as a result of that “, said the Prime Minister.
According to the Head of Government, cohesion policy creates added value to Europe. It is one of the major sources of investment, which encourages economic growth, creates jobs, and ensures sustainable social and economic regional development in the EU. The Prime Minister has also noted that sufficient funding of decommissioning of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a matter of great significance to Lithuania, and that it is important to earmark this funding in the EU’s budget set in the multiannual financial framework.      

On energy security, the Prime Minister has said: “We have frequently spoken about the issues related to the nuclear power plant in Astravets, and the threat it poses to the entire region. The construction of this plant does not comply with the international requirements. Nuclear power projects near the EU’s borders must comply with the international environmental and nuclear safety standards. We highly appreciate the European Commission’s support in this regard”.    

The Head of Government has once again asked for support from the European Commission and the member states in the region to ensure that electricity generated in the third country nuclear plants, operated disregarding international nuclear safety and environmental standards, does not enter the EU electricity market.