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Lithuanian EU Council Presidency agenda will focus on economic growth and the copyright

Date

2013 05 29

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May 29, Brussels. On the first day of the Competitiveness Council Lithuanian Minister of Economy Birutė Vėsaitė introduced the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency priorities in the field of competitiveness. Minister of Culture Šarūnas Birutis presented his take on the EU copyright modernization.

 

According to the Minister of Economy B. Vėsaitė, growing Europe is one of the main Lithuanian EU Presidency priorities. The Lithuanian Presidency will focus on service markets, digital single market and internal energy market, and will seek for the industry and SME-friendly regulatory environment based on better regulation principles and modernization of public administration.

 

On the first day of the Council the ministers held a political debate on legislative initiatives on auditing, aimed to strengthen the competitiveness of internal audit market, the growth of small audit firms, as well as audit independence and quality improvement.

 

The rigorous audit is crucial to restore market confidence. Lithuania supports the improvement of audit quality, strengthening of auditor independence, welcomes the greater coordination of the oversight for audit firm networks and other regulatory actions in the audit market at European level.

 

According to the Minister of Economy,  restructuring of state aid procedures and simplifying of rules will allow the state aid control to become more efficient. The right given to the Commission to request information directly from the companies will ensure effective damage control.

 

In the Competitiveness Council the ministers discussed the modernization of EU copyright law. The ministers considered that the existing problems require a common European approach.

 

‘As regards copyright, in this period of development of technologies and convergence we need to find solutions that benefit everyone – authors and rights holders, businesses, and consumers. I believe that this discussion, as well as other initiatives launched by the Commission, will allow reaching the appropriate modernization of European copyright law,’ – said Minister of Culture Šarūnas Birutis.

 

Ministers discussed the general objectives of the EU industrial policy. During the political debate the Lithuanian Minister of Economy pointed out that it is very important to ensure access to raw materials and energy resources for the European industry. This is an essential factor for competitiveness of the EU industry. Energy security and independence are important factors not only for energy-intensive industries, but also for the entire industry. It is also very important to consider regional differences in the EU (current legal environment, local market capacity, and other specific regional differences) to create a flexible and attractive mechanism for business to use specific business promotion measures.

 

The ministers adopted the Council Conclusions on Smart Regulation and suggested the Commission and Member States work more closely together to share good impact assessment practice.  The ministers called on the Commission for concrete proposals for EU legislation to eliminate inconsistencies, to simplify the requirements set out therein, to reduce these requirements that impose on business-related expenses.