On 21 September 2017 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada entered into force provisionally. It is one of the most ambitious EU free trade agreements that will open the Canadian market with its population of 35 million to Lithuanian exporters.
“Eastern European countries that pursue reforms and European values must be given the prospect of becoming new EU member states. Furthermore, cooperation with these countries must be upgraded to a qualitatively new level,” said Minister Linas Linkevičius during an international event, which was dedicated to the Eastern Partnership and entitled ‘Vilnius Consultations’.
On 7-8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) in Tallinn, the capital city of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
On 25 August, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius visited Oslo, Norway, where he attended the traditional Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) Foreign Ministers’ meeting. The meeting focused on issues relevant to all the countries of the region, such as relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine, the Eastern Partnership and transatlantic cooperation, and the future of the European Union.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, attended the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July 2017 to take part in a debate on the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy, on North Korea, Libya, and migration.
On 20 June in Luxembourg, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius attended the General Affairs Council meeting that prepared the European Council on 22-23 June. The European Council meeting will focus on security and defence, the internal market and economy, climate change, migration, and the digital agenda for Europe.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council met in Luxembourg on 19 June 2017 to discuss the EU Global Strategy, EU-NATO cooperation, migration, Iraq, and counter-terrorism. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry was represented by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius.
The first plane from Kyiv landed in Vilnius after the entry into force of the visa-free regime on 11 June, allowing Ukrainian citizens to enter the Schengen area without visas.
On 24 May in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and discussed the key energy security challenges in the Baltic region.
On 22 May in Brussels, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius attended the EU’s General Affairs Council, which authorised the opening of the negotiations with the UK, nominated the Commission as Union negotiator, adopted negotiating directives for the Brexit negotiations and a decision to create a dedicated working party, and began preparations for the European Council to be held on 22 and 23 June by examining an annotated draft agenda.
On 15 May in Vilnius, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius and the Director of EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN) Gerhard Conrad discussed hybrid threats, strengthening the EU’s and national resilience, Lithuania’s fight against hybrid threats and efforts to build a crisis management system.
On 15 May in Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius participated in the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, which focused on the Eastern Partnership, the situation in the Horn of Africa, the EU-Africa relations, and the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence.
The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Albinas Zananavičius took part in the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on trade issues on 11 May in Brussels. Zananavičius called on member states to unanimously and immediately support the Commission’s proposal that aimed at improving access for Ukraine to the EU market for some products in view of the difficult economic situation.
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius attended the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) in the Maltese capital Valletta on 28 April 2017. The Ministers discussed developments in Turkey, challenges in the international order of rules, and implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
On 3 April in Luxembourg, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, which discussed the situation in Syria, Yemen and Libya.