Agricultural spending accounts for about 40% of the European Union's annual budget and has been at the heart of EU policy since the very start of the European project. As the last revision of the agricultural policy dates from 2003 and 12 countries have joined the EU since then, it is clear that it must be updated in order to face new challenges. EP has now agreed what line to take and negotiations will start in earnest. Read on to find out more.

The banking sector should be reformed so that retail banking activities such as taking deposits, operating bank accounts and granting loans, are separated from riskier activities such as trading with financial instruments and derivatives. That is the message of a report adopted by the EP's economic committee on 18 June. We spoke to Arlene McCarthy, a British member of the S&D group who wrote the report, about why an overhaul of the banking sector is needed.

A meeting of the Rail Baltica Task Force which ended in Riga yesterday and which was attended also by a representative of the European Commission discussed a proposal for a more effective implementation of the project.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Jospeh Daul, Chairman of the Group of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, and the Group's Vice-Chairs Marian-Jean Marinescu and József Szájer.


New automobile registrations in Latvia fell by 10% in April, the fifth steepest decrease in Europe, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association's latest report. New car registrations in Lithuania reduced by 1.9% to 1,043 new automobiles, the third smallest decrease across Europe, informs LETA.


President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with representatives of the world-famous companies of the United States and attended an inaugural meeting of the American-Lithuanian Business Council. It is the first such association formed exclusively to promote economic cooperation between the two countries.

Businesses indicate a possible increase in the burden of taxation and production costs as the most important issue of the future, while the availability of financing sources is seen as the factor of least concern. Such results were revealed in the Survey of Non-financial Enterprises, conducted by the Bank of Lithuania.

Minister of energy Jaroslav Neverovič met with the EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. Lithuanian priorities during the Presidency of the European Council were discussed during the meeting. Commissioner G. Oettinger expressed his firm support for these priorities that Lithuania has set for its time of Presidency.



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