Seimas delegation to the LXIX COSAC: the single market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements, however joint efforts are needed to unlock its full potential
At the LXIX Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC) held on 14-16 May, Deputy Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs Arminas Lydeka was one of the first to open the discussion, wishing Sweden to arrive at the NATO Summit in Vilnius as a full-fledged member of NATO and Lithuania to do well at next year’s Eurovision.
Mr Lydeka congratulated the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the adoption of the 10th sanctions package and the start of discussions on the 11th sanctions package, which is expected to cover Rosatom and the phasing out of nuclear cooperation, imports of diamonds, more banks and ICT services. The MP stressed the need to remove any exceptions and derogations in both the Russian and Belarusian sanctioning regimes and the importance of keeping the EU’s standards at their high in the current geopolitical context, and congratulated Sweden on the successful continuation of all the processes related to the annual rule of law dialogue.
Speaking about the challenges we face as we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the single market, Vytautas Gapšys emphasised that it is to be welcomed that ‘the single market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements and the driving force behind Europe’s green transition. However, China’s economic coercion and Russia’s war in Ukraine have shown very clearly that it is vital for the EU’s internal market to ensure secure global supply chains by strengthening partnerships with countries that share similar values.’ The MP stressed that Lithuania supports greater diversification of supply chains for critical products and the development of trade with strategic partners. Moreover, we are aware of the need to address existing administrative bottlenecks or other internal market barriers in order to ensure energy security and the rapid development of renewable resources across the EU. An integrated EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure a sustainable and secure supply of affordable energy for EU citizens.
Photo by Melker Dahlstrand, The Riksdag
Mr Gapšys welcomed the European Commission’s initiative to revise state aid rules with a view to simplifying access to state aid for green technologies. ‘However, it is important not to create fragmentation of the single market through state aid rules,’ claimed the Lithuanian representative and welcomed the Commission’s proposal on key raw materials, expressing the view that appropriate steps have been taken to maintain EU competitiveness. ‘There are still fragmented areas. For example, financial services in the banking sector, where significant barriers exist between countries as regards the provision of such services, and the consumer is still the one who suffers,’ pointed out Mr Gapšys, Deputy Chair of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs.
At Sessions I and II of the LXIX Plenary Meeting of COSAC on 15 May, the participants discussed the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU and the single market of the European Union, which turns 30 this year.
COSAC stands for the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union. The Conference, which is held regularly, enables the national Parliaments and the European Parliament to exchange information and best practices. The Conference may submit any proposal to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.
Sweden holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 31 July 2023.
Aistė Pikiotienė, Adviser, Office of the Committee on European Affairs of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, tel. +370 5 239 6864