Speaker of the Seimas and President of the European Parliament discussed prospects of Ukraine’s EU membership
Press release, 29 March 2022
On 29 March 2022, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, in Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia. The meeting discussed the prospect of Ukraine’s membership of the European Union (EU) and the role that the European Parliament and national parliaments could play in this process, in particular, by forming a broad coalition of EU parliamentarians to achieve this goal.
Photos by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas
‘I am convinced that the status of EU candidate country is the least we can offer to Ukraine, fighting for the future of Europe. The European Parliament has a major leadership role to play here. Lithuania supports and will support the action of the European Parliament aimed at encouraging all EU institutions to grant Ukraine the EU candidate status. Ukraine must become an integral part of the European Union. It merits the status. I have recently visited Kyiv and saw how incredibly resolutely Ukrainians fought for the European values. I do invite parliament members from other countries to follow suit and see it with their own eyes,’ the Speaker of the Seimas stated.
Later, in her speech at the Conference of the Speakers of European Parliaments, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen said that the current narrative about the EU as a guarantor of stability, security, and prosperity was particularly close to her heart. Because it was the EU and NATO membership that ensured stability, security and sustainable prosperity for Lithuania and other Baltic states.
‘Just try to imagine how Eastern Europe would have looked like now without the enlargement of the European Union. Instead of successful democracies, growing modern economy, and strong civil society, it would probably be yet another grey zone in Europe. We must therefore acknowledge the success of the European Union, value its achievements, and be proud of the important geopolitical decisions it has once made,’ Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen said at the conference.
The Speaker of the Seimas reminded us about the strategic policy of the EU Eastern Partnership which had become even more important in the face of the current war against Ukraine. It is therefore necessary not only to continue with the Eastern Partnership, but also to give it new impetus and define clearer strategic objectives.
‘In Slovenia, I emphasised that Lithuania’s focus on the Eastern Partnership countries did not mean that we were unaware of strategic importance of the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union. In fact, Lithuania has always consistently supported the European choice of the Western Balkan countries. As a geopolitical and geostrategic player the European Union must have an overall picture instead of its individual parts. The North and South, the East and West of Europe must find their place in the strategic compass of the EU,” Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen stated.
On 29 March, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen also met with Elżbieta Witek, Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. Moreover, at the invitation of Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, a meeting with the Speakers of the Nordic and Baltic Parliaments (NB8) was held. At the meeting, the Speaker of the Seimas presented a programme of her visit to Moldova planned at the end of May this year.
Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas
Today, the Speaker of the Seimas is leaving for Prague to take part in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Baltic States and the Czech Republic.
Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson of Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6030, mob. +370 698 42071, e-mail: [email protected]