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Tuesday, 21 November 2006

A focus on the region’s most important problems

On 20-21 November 2006, a joint session of the Polish-Lithuanian and Lithuanian-Polish Consultative Committees was held in Warsaw. The session was opened by the Chairman of the Polish-Lithuanian Committee attached to the President of the Republic of Poland, Chief of the Presidential Chancellery, Minister Aleksander M. Szczygło. The Lithuanian delegation was headed by the Agent of the President of the Republic of Lithuania in the Presidential Consultative Committee, Head of Foreign Policy Group, Mr. Valteris Baliukonis.

On the first day, the talks focused on the European Union’s future legal framework, and opinions were exchanged on the EU’s institutional reform. As far as the EU foreign policy is concerned, European energy security was discussed, including in the context of EU-Russia relations. Regarding the European Neighbourhood Policy it was noted that it represented an important element in building a space of democracy and freedom in Europe. An expansion of the Schengen area and the EU migration policy were also on the agenda. In the context of EU enlargement, the accession processes of Turkey and Croatia were taken note of. A lot of attention was given also to other aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the European Security and Defence Policy and to international security issues. One session was devoted exclusively to energy security, with the parties analysing together the external and internal dimensions of the EU’s energy policy. In this context, opinions were shared on the informal EU Lahti summit. The North European Gas Pipeline also came under discussion.

On the second day of the deliberations, the Lithuanian delegation visited the PKN Orlen Płock refinery. In the afternoon, the final session of the committees was held, devoted to the situation of the national minorities, legislation on the spelling of Polish names in Lithuania and youth cooperation. Some technological, construction and environmental issues involved in the modernisation of the Via Baltica and Rail Baltica transport routes were also raised. Summing up the results of the joint session of the consultative committees, the Polish and Lithuanian delegations emphasized that this forum provided an excellent platform for exchange of information and for strengthening bilateral cooperation.
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