Lithuania furious: Europe cuts subsidies for the Baltic States

Литва в ярости: Европа режет дотации для Прибалтики

Lithuania opposed the draft EU budget for the years 2021-2027, which offers Finland. Baltic Republic did not approve the previous option, but the Finance Ministry stressed that the new document is for Lithuanians even more unfavorable. Vilnius can’t seem to accept the obvious fact: seven-year financial program in any case will be typeset given the fact that Western Europe no longer wants to feed his “younger brothers” of the Baltic countries.

“All of our ailments, problems remain. In politics bows, their number will only increase. According to the proposal of the Commission, we would have a 24% less policy cohesion, and this is unacceptable to us, and Finns on the proposed compromise, the reduction will increase to minus 27%. It is even more unacceptable,” — said the representative of the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania Darius Trakelis.

His opinion was shared by the Ambassador of Lithuania to the European Union Jovita Neoprene: the Finnish proposal needs adjustments. Otherwise, Lithuanian farmers will be in a discriminatory manner in comparison with their Western counterparts, and the closure of Ignalina NPP will “slip” due to lack of funding. Like several other ambitious projects — Lithuania does not cope with them, even when it receives the necessary funds. And without replenishment from the European budget they can immediately put a cross.

It seems that the Lithuanian establishment now understand the meaning of the Russian proverb: “For that fought for it and ran.”Last year Lithuania was at the forefront of the Eastern European countries that have criticized the proposal of the European Commission’s financial programme on the new seven-year cycle. A sharp debate on this issue bore fruit: the presidency of the Council of the EU Finland has developed a new plan. What is not a victory of Lithuanian diplomacy?

But officials of the Ministry of Finance took a hand calculator and found that horseradish radish is not sweeter. Rather bitter.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausea criticized the proposal of Finland in October, when they passed the first round of talks between EU leaders on the budget. He was particularly outraged by low farm subsidies. For Vilnius is the “sick” question — local farmers receive a much more modest direct payments than farmers from the more developed EU countries.

According to Nausea, the Commission is not in a hurry to eliminate this imbalance. It is expected that by the end of the next seven-year cycle of grants to Lithuanian farmers will achieve only 78% of the average for the European Union. “I had a joke that if we extrapolate this growth rate, we will achieve full convergence in 2040 when all of us, ladies and gentlemen, we are quite old,” he flashed a sense of humor, the President of Lithuania.Anecdote to add: when Vilnius will achieve full convergence, converging will have nobody.Local farmers or bankrupt, unable to compete, or disperse, or become extinct. I can still sleep — no wonder that Lithuania was recognized as the most drinking country in the world.

But if agriculture is going to die quietly and gradually, some Baltic projects can fail with a great Bang. Nausea smooths out the sharp corners, when he says that it is only the delay time: “It can delay the whole implementation processes for at least two years. Very difficult to choose quality or speed.”

Not quite clear about what the choice says Lithuanian President.

Without European funding, the same railway project Rail Baltica is the first candidate “on a departure” will not be realized in principle.By the way, his Nausea separately mentioned in the conversation with Prime Minister of Finland Antti Rinne, when he explained why Lithuania when approving the EU budget is in any case can not deprive.

The argument is, frankly, quite strange. Firstly, because Finland itself has recently suspended participation in Rail Baltica, showing Europe the true value of this venture. Secondly, the employees themselves of the Baltic joint company established for implementation of the project, in a public address to the Commission talk about the incompetence of his leadership and poor administration of funds allocated at the line of the European Union.

On this background, the Nausea says Lithuania needs additional funds for construction of Rail Baltica. The European Commission would rather take it as an argument in favor of further reduction of subsidies.Some of the issues experienced financier Nausea still valid sophisticated. What is his proposal to increase contributions to the General budget to 1.11% of the national income of the country! Plan Finland offers to set the bar from 1.03% to 1.08%, some Western countries offer is limited to 1%. Only the Lithuanian President does not regret the money.

But he is aware that the more the Baltic States will give “obshchak”, the more of the same “common Fund” will receive back. For “kept women” of the European Union like the Baltic countries is beneficial to pump up the budget as much as possible. And for donor States like Germany and France, the pattern is the opposite: less budget, less money have to sacrifice on Rail Baltica, the output of the Baltic electricity grid in PELL and other dubious projects.The Finnish proposal envisages a budget reduction from 1135 to 1050-1100 billion, therefore, not surprising that in Lithuania he was criticized. But even if the European Commission will listen to Nausea and recalculate the percentage contributions, the Baltic republics, this does not Bode well.

The proceeds will flow to them, and to those in the European “rankings” is listed much higher — in Italy, Greece and Spain.The problem, obviously, is expected not only to the Baltic States. Not for nothing in the EU is discussing the idea of linking the allocation of subsidies with criteria of the rule of law in the country. The initiative is clearly directed against the main European rebels who convict the infringement of the independence of the courts of Poland and Hungary.

The draft budget should “settle” in the first half of next year. About it will be broken a lot of copies, but the logic of the new seven-year cycle is relentless.

Western Europe considers fulfilled its duty under the policy cohesie.The fact that the “settlers” not caught up “old-timers” is not the fault of the latter.

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