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Speaker of the Seimas: ‘Parliaments have a significant influence on NATO decisions’

Press release, 1 June 2023

Photo by Ilona Šilenkova, Office of the Seimas


The High Level Meeting of Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries has launched today in Vilnius, initiated by Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen. The parliaments of 27 NATO Member Countries, as well as the parliaments of Sweden and Ukraine, accepted the invitation of the Speaker of the Seimas. This is the first such parliamentary meeting not only in the history of Lithuania, but also within the framework of NATO. This evening, at the invitation of the Speaker of the Seimas, the participants of the Meeting will gather for the official dinner at Vilnius Town Hall.


The Speaker of the Seimas says that collective parliamentary actions have always had and will continue to have a significant impact on the heads of state and government who will gather in Vilnius for the first NATO summit in the history of Lithuania.


‘Fellow Speakers of Parliaments are committed to a constructive exchange of views and cooperation, focusing on effective ways to achieve a common vision. I call on the participants to maintain a balanced outlook in tomorrow’s debate, encompassing both high-level policy issues and a fundamental human dimension. While our focus is on security and defence within NATO, it is very important not to lose sight of the significant impact on people’s lives,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen urges.


According to the Speaker of the Seimas, it is no coincidence that the participants of the event have been invited to the historic Vilnius Town Hall.


‘First of all, this place, the Town Hall, symbolises the rich European history of Vilnius, which celebrates its 700th anniversary this year. For centuries Vilnius has consistently sought to establish itself as an integral part of Western European culture and politics. Despite the two fierce uprisings that were suppressed by tsarist Russia in the 19th century, forced Russification and five decades of Soviet occupation in the 20th century, Lithuania’s unwavering orientation towards Europe could not be curbed,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen says.


Vilnius Town Hall also memorialises Lithuania’s membership of NATO.


‘In Prague, Lithuania along with six other Central and Eastern European countries were invited to NATO in 2002. The news was greeted at the square of the Town Hall, which is associated with another memorable moment –- the visit of former US President George W. Bush, who arrived in Vilnius shortly after this Prague NATO Summit. On that occasion he made a powerful statement: “Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America”, which testified the joint commitment of Lithuania and the United States,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen says.

Photo by Ilona Šilenkova, Office of the Seimas


The Speaker of the Seimas states that today, when the International Day for Protection of Children is celebrated and the appalling statistics is known on children killed, injured, abducted, forced to flee and deprived of their childhoods, the Meeting of the Speakers of Parliaments of NATO Member Countries is a sensitive reminder that the future of children is precisely the basis of the collective parliamentary mission. Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen is convinced that now the best and only way to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainian children is to seek Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the entire territory of Ukraine and to secure a safe and democratic future of Ukraine through EU and NATO membership.


‘This meeting in Vilnius testifies that the parliaments of NATO Member Countries are not afraid to commit themselves to shaping a brighter future of the Euro-Atlantic community and those seeking to become part of it. Our gathering also sends a signal that parliaments must act collectively when peace in Europe, the future of democracy and the coherence of the international system are challenged. Our duties extend beyond individual nations, so we must actively shape the course of global events. Our voices must be heard at this critical moment,’ underlines Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen.



Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas

Spokesperson Ilona Petrovė

tel. +370 5 239 6030,

mob. 8 698 42071

E-mail: [email protected]


   Last updated on 06/02/2023 12:44
   Monika Kutkaitytė