Minister of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania Evaldas Gustas underlined the importance of strengthening Single market, industry and small business in the EU


2013 07 09


During the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the field of competitiveness Lithuania will seek to strengthen the EU internal market. Lithuania will devote due attention to the progressing on the Single Market Act I and II priority initiatives.

Lithuania is planning to adopt the Council conclusions, which should address the general issues of the Single market. Also, the Presidency will seek to adopt the conclusions of the Competitiveness Council regarding the growth-promoting EU industrial and innovation policy, as Minister of Economy Evaldas Gustas said during the presentation of the Lithuanian EU Council Presidency priorities in European Parliament on 8–9 July.

Evaldas Gustas presented the Lithuanian Presidency priorities of the Competitiveness Council in the European Parliament committee, responsible for Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and committee, responsible for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

‘Lithuania will evaluate progress and will continue to improve the implementation of the Services Directive and will support the initiative to analyse the transposition of this Directive into the national law of the Member States. The full implementation of the Services Directive can achieve an additional 2.6 per cent of the EU GDP growth’,  – said Evaldas Gustas.

According to the Minister of Economy, the Presidency will undertake the implementation of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications, will discuss the implementation of the European Retail Action Plan and the E-Procurement Strategy in the EU. Also, the Lithuanian Presidency will encourage rapid progress necessary to implement the European Digital Agenda in order to ensure that the Digital Single Market be fully operational by 2015.

‘Other important policy area is modernisation of public administration, which aims to facilitate the business environment and encourage economic growth. We will seek agreement in the Council on the Directive on e-invoicing in public procurement’, – said E. Gustas.

During the presentation in the ITRE committee Evaldas Gustas stressed that the Lithuanian Presidency will focus its major attention on the implementation of competitive, integrated and innovation-based EU industrial policy.

‘Creation of appropriate conditions and a favourable environment by promoting the competitiveness of enterprises and improving access for companies to markets, financing and skills, ensuring of continuous access to raw materials and energy sources at competitive prices and active promotion of innovation constitute very important elements for the competitiveness of EU industry’, – said Minister of Economy.

The Lithuanian Presidency hopes that the conclusions of the Competitiveness Council regarding the growth-promoting EU industrial and innovation policy  will facilitate the debate on industrial competitiveness planned for the February 2014 European Council discussion.

According to the Minister Evaldas Gustas, the Lithuanian Presidency will pay due attention to SME’s. They are the driving force of our economy and have a substantial impact on economic development in Europe and on creation of new jobs. Lithuania will seek that the progress of the Member States in implementing the Small Business Act measures be assessed and the obstacles hindering full implementation of the said measures be identified.