Resolution of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania on Directions in Foreign Policy

Created: 2014.01.27 / Updated: 2021.02.10 16:53

Official translation

 

 

10 December 2020
No XIV-65
Vilnius

 

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania,

having regard to the long-standing traditions of continuity of the foreign and European policy of the Republic of Lithuania and agreement on the key priorities of the foreign and European policy,

seeking to continue these traditions in the legislative period of 2020–2024 by establishing the long-term foreign and European policy guidelines and exercising parliamentary scrutiny of this policy,

having regard to the discussions launched on the future of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU), Decision No 100-P-78/105-P-59 of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 18 September 2020 on the Evaluation of the Future of the European Union and on the Interests of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as the consultations on the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (hereinafter referred to as NATO) and the EU discussions on strengthening cooperation with the new Administration of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the US),

takes the view that the foreign policy of the Republic of Lithuania is based on common values, democracy, respect for human rights, and geopolitics underpinned by strong defence of freedom and democracy against autocracies. Being a member of the EU and NATO, the Republic of Lithuania should act to maintain and strengthen the democratic principles and policies of the internal and external functioning of the EU and NATO;

stresses that the area of fundamental values enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities, must be expanded both within and beyond the Union; that the rule of law based on the supremacy of law constitutes a foundation of any modern constitutional democracy and one of the fundamental principles arising from the common constitutional traditions of all EU Member States, the responsibility for which rests primarily with each Member State; that the EU will not be able to function properly unless the rights and freedoms of its citizens are guaranteed or where they are unjustifiably restricted, or unless a culture of the rule of law, strong and independent institutions, in particular an independent legal system and the media, a vibrant civil society resilient to corruption and populism, and trust in the state are established and strengthened;

takes note that the EU stands against anti-Semitism, homophobia and all forms of hatred, that the rights of all the people in the EU must be guaranteed, irrespective of their origin, gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, social status, state of health or age, for the sake of humanity, common good and solidarity;

notes that the overarching and undisputed common goal of the EU Member States is the strengthening and further development of the European project for the benefit of future generations. The strategic geopolitical interest of the Republic of Lithuania is to strengthen the EU and remain at the core of the EU-building Member States, and to actively create coalitions that meet the interests of the Republic of Lithuania. The Member States may exploit the possibilities of enhanced cooperation provided for in the EU Treaties, but it is necessary to ensure transparency and openness in this process, without creating insurmountable criteria for the subsequent accession of other Member States to such cooperation and by preserving the equality of the EU Member States;

recognises that the EU is facing old problems and emerging new challenges, such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, migration, rapidly ageing population, growing populism and authoritarianism, and therefore supports the EU’s objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and the European Commission’s proposals not only on the recovery of the Member States from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also on structural reforms, inter alia, related to green and digital transformation, development of innovations, economic resilience of the Member States, social progress, cohesion, and convergence. A modern, strong and competitive economy, a well-functioning internal market, the banking union, the capital markets union, and active participation in EU’s centrally managed programmes constitute a guarantee of prosperity for the EU and hence for Lithuanian citizens;

takes note that the agreed EU action on foreign policy should primarily focus on strengthening and developing democracy both in the EU’s neighbourhood and around the world.  Supports the strengthening of the global commitments and instruments on democracy and believes that the EU’s global role should grow not only by simplifying decision-making but also by enhancing a common approach on foreign and security policy of the Member States, focussing first on the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood countries;

takes the view that the EU’s foreign and development cooperation policies must ensure stability, security, and economic interests in our neighbourhood; notes that the scope of cooperation between the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU needs to be differentiated, taking into account the provisions of the association agreements on the European integration, the progress in meeting the commitments, and further steps planned, and supports all the efforts to increase the commitments of such agreements towards deeper integration in order to open the door for the most advanced countries to obtain a candidate status and negotiate EU accession;

stresses that the EU enlargement should take place according to the accession criteria set out in the Treaties and considers the Western Balkans to be a successful example of the EU enlargement, which should further inspire the European integration processes in other regions, including the Eastern Partnership region; will seek that, during the Polish and Lithuanian Presidencies of the Council of the EU in 2025 and 2027, the associated EU Eastern Partnership countries (Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine) are granted the status of EU candidate countries and the EU accession negotiations are launched; maintains a firm view that every effort must be made to ensure that free and democratic elections are held in Belarus as soon as possible and that the EU provides all necessary political and financial assistance for democratic and economic reforms in Belarus, and to enable, after such elections and at the request of the people of Belarus, the removal of barriers to the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital; states that the example of the leading Eastern Partnership countries will be important in developing EU’s relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan;

takes note that the success story of the Eastern Partnership countries is strategically important in assisting the building of a democratic and pro-European Russia instead of the Russian Federation that is aggressive and unfriendly and that violates international obligations, creates continuous geopolitical tension, and pursues, in relation to Lithuania, the EU, and third countries, a policy whose adverse effects have not yet been properly evaluated, and reminds that the Russian Federation has repeatedly violated international law by encroaching on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the EU neighbours; stresses that it strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine within their internationally recognised borders, and also takes the view that the EU must pursue a consistent policy of non-recognition of the illegal occupations by the Russian Federation and notes that in order to eliminate the threats posed by the policy of the Russian Federation, the EU needs a systemically revised, coordinated, and long-term policy that would not only enable a proper response to unfriendly actions on the part of the Russian Federation but also help the pursuit of democratic changes in this country; 

stresses that it is of paramount importance for the security of the EU that all nuclear power plants operating or under construction in the EU’s neighbouring countries comply with the highest nuclear safety and environmental standards. The implementation of nuclear safety and environmental requirements must be an integral part of the EU foreign policy. The Lithuania’s position in principle regarding the prevention of access of electricity, to the markets of the EU Member States, from neighbouring countries which operate unsafe nuclear power plants that do not meet the EU requirements for stress tests and violate international nuclear safety and environmental conventions, must be adhered to. This provision should be reflected in all EU strategic documents and included in decisions of the EU Council. The fastest possible synchronisation of Lithuania’s energy system with the continental European network, interconnection of the gas market with Poland, transport links Via Baltica and Rail Baltica of pan-regional importance, and enhancement of military mobility capabilities remain important short-term priorities for Lithuania;

states that the US is an indispensable ally of the Republic of Lithuania. The objective of the Republic of Lithuania must be to strengthen the EU-US cooperation, especially in the areas of trade, energy, cyber security and other hybrid threats; to expand political and parliamentary dialogue on foreign policy issue worldwide, including the development of the area of democracy and freedom, and to increase the US permanent military presence in Europe and especially in the Eastern flank of NATO and in the Republic of Lithuania; take an active part in the Three Seas Initiative, supported in particular by the US, by implementing projects of pan-regional interest in the areas of transport, energy and digitalisation; focus the attention and funding of the EU’s key partners on the implementation of these projects, as well as involve the associated EU Eastern Partnership countries;

stresses the unique role of NATO as a strategic partner of the EU in the area of security and defence within the framework of Euro-Atlantic security and collective defence. The US, NATO and the EU are the most important pillars of our security. The Seimas is convinced that to ensure a safer Europe and a safer world, the actions of the EU and NATO must complement each other, strengthen the two organisations and ensure synergies and cooperation, especially in areas such as military mobility, fight against hybrid threats and disinformation, increased cyber security, greater resilience, and development of military capabilities through a consistent increase in defence funding. The Seimas will strongly support the enlargement of NATO to Lithuania’s Eastern neighbours and NATO partners, Ukraine and Georgia, seeking membership of this Organisation, will actively participate in and exercise parliamentary control over the NATO 2030 process, with a particular emphasis on the principled stance towards adherence to international norms and the position on non-complying countries, as well as on political and practical support for political and practical readiness for membership of the Alliance of the NATO-aspirant countries;

notes that the United Kingdom (hereinafter referred to as the UK), even after leaving the EU, remains a particularly significant EU neighbour and partner of the Republic of Lithuania; supports the particularly close relations between the EU and the UK in the areas of coordination of trade, services, mobility of persons and social security and is convinced that the UK has been, is and will remain a strategic partner of the EU in security and defence, that bilateral relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the UK must be further developed and that the interests of Lithuanian citizens in the UK must be protected;

notes that the People’s Republic of China is gaining ever greater political, economic and military power, thus increasing its geopolitical influence and often challenging EU’s unity and essential interests of the Community. The EU should properly assess the changing geopolitical situation, find a common position on its relations with the People’s Republic of China to ensure the highest democratic, environmental, social, fair economic practice and, above all, human rights standards promoted by the EU, as well as to safeguard the strategic economic independence, enabling stronger export controls and protection of strategic infrastructure in Europe. The Seimas undertakes to support the development of economic, social, commercial and cultural cooperation with Taiwan and Hong Kong;

takes the view that violations of international law must be responded to in a principled manner, including through an effective policy of restrictive measures and a regime of appropriate sanctions. The Seimas welcomes the adoption of the European Union Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, which would also be extended to corruption crimes and affect all actors, both decision-makers and perpetrators, directly responsible for serious human rights violations worldwide; 

seeks to reinforce historical justice by ensuring a rigorous EU-level assessment of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes and states against the nations of the world, as well as supports raising of the awareness of the Holocaust and the extent of the crimes committed by the communist and other totalitarian regimes and the implementation of the relevant education programmes;

agrees that today’s challenges require the EU to implement an effective policy in the field of justice and home affairs by ensuring the monitoring and protection of external borders, civil protection and an effective migration policy. The EU’s asylum and immigration policy, which must be effective, humane and safe, is also crucial for building trust in the Schengen area. We need not only to know the people who enter our area of free movement, but also to ensure that they are the ones who really need international assistance or who can contribute their high-level qualifications to the growth of the EU. Persons illegally staying in the EU must be returned to the countries of origin or transit. This requires not only proper border crossing procedures, but also security checks carried out by the Member States and an effective return policy. Cooperation with countries of origin and transit of migrants must become one of the most important measures to prevent irregular migration, while readmission agreements with countries of origin must be a key element of return policies. Immigration and asylum policy should be based on a clear scheme for the integration of persons and the implementation of this policy should be guided by the transparent criteria based on the principle of solidarity and clear to all EU Member States.

 

Speaker of Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen

 

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