Speaker of the Seimas: Today, Europe is in particular need of a strong, progressive and pro-European voice
Press release, 9 May 2022
In her greetings on Europe Day, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, thanked the people of Lithuania for their contribution to building a European state. At the same time, she proposed that people look back on the path they have taken to celebrate the achievements and to appreciate Lithuania’s far-sighted and justified decision to opt for integration into the European Union and NATO.
‘If it were not for the membership of these communities, it is very likely that today, instead of being a country that embraces the future with confidence and feels the support of its EU partners and Allies, we would be a grey area, with all the consequences and threats this entails.
Our country was denied the opportunity to be part of the European integration in its first phase of development. When Robert Schuman called on the European countries to join forces to build a secure and prosperous Europe on 9 May 1950, the forests of Lithuania were still echoing with the sound of partisan gunfire and cattle wagons were still carrying deportees to Siberia. The hope of a European Lithuania was questioned in the same way as Ukraine’s is now. That is why today, as we celebrate Europe Day, our thoughts are with Ukraine, which is defending, with its blood, its freedom to live in a European country,’ said the Speaker of the Seimas.
Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen believes that, paradoxically, the war in Ukraine has reinforced the idea of a united and free Europe, ‘The war in Ukraine reminds us that European values, human rights and democracy, and Europe itself as it exists today, cannot be taken for granted, and that we must defend them. Today, Europe is in particular need of a strong, progressive and pro-European voice. I call on all of you to join that voice. Happy Europe Day!’
Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson to Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6030, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]