Lithuania government decides to change regional division to keep EU aid

“We will divide (the country into regions) in a way that will ensure that less developed regions within the state will also receive funding for reducing disparities in the level of development in the next financial framework, in 2021-2028,” Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters after the Cabinet meeting on Monday.

Lithuania is likely to exceed 75 percent of the EU’s average GDP in the near future and if no steps are taken, it would lose a significant amount of regional aid, the minister said.

“This is not about creating new public institutions. This is about statistical data collection by separating the most developed area from the rest of Lithuania. It is Vilnius and its suburbs that are raising our GDP to a level where the support status of our entire state changes,” he said.

The Interior Ministry says that if the regional division were not changed, the state would receive up to 2.7 billion euros less in EU aid than it does now.

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