Speaker of the Seimas in Warsaw: ‘European politics has gravitated towards the eastern part of the EU’
Press release, 16 January 2023
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, is attending a meeting between the Speakers of the Baltic and Polish Parliaments in Warsaw, Poland, today. The outcome of the meeting will be a joint declaration on strengthening parliamentary cooperation in response to geopolitical threats, singed by the Speakers of the Parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland.
Photo by Rolandas Kačinskas, Office of the Seimas
‘The role of parliaments is growing in importance in the light of the challenges to the world order, since Russia’s attack on Ukraine concurrently represents an attack on parliamentary democracy. I therefore support the proposal to sign the declaration. Our parliaments have a great amount of power in shaping public opinion and in combating the propaganda and disinformation spread by our enemies. They also play an important role in reminding the democracies of the moral obligations they must assume. We are sending wake-up calls to the Western societies by constantly reminding them that the war in Ukraine is also a war against them,’ said Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen when referring to the declaration.
According to the Speaker of the Seimas, European politics has now gravitated towards the eastern part of the EU. The Baltic countries and Poland had been at the forefront of the initiatives on, among others, assistance to Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and Belarus, support to the Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, and promotion of resilience in Europe even before Russia launched the war in Ukraine.
‘At the meeting, I pointed out that it was thanks to our active diplomatic effort and our courageous, unequivocal and principled stance that we were being seen and heard. This however implies not only a new status, but also a greater responsibility for our own future, the future of Ukraine and that of Europe as a whole,’ Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen said.
In response to the question from colleagues on the priority platforms for cooperation regarding new geopolitical roles, the Speaker of the Seimas said that ‘we must be active wherever decisions are taken. We must also act on all the platforms that have an impact on the future of Europe.’
Ms Čmilytė-Nielsen believes that ‘the final outcome of the war against Ukraine will undoubtedly be an essential component of the future geopolitical vision of Europe. The future will also depend on the kind of relations the West will build with Russia and on a strong transatlantic link depending on both Europe and the US and enhancing resilience in Europe so the continent can defend itself and others. The fourth component of the future vision is NATO’s steps in relation to our security. The fifth component is Ukraine’s integration into the EU. The ultimate factor is unity within the Union. Only a united and strong Europe can withstand the current challenges.’
According to the Speaker of the Seimas, the shift of political gravity towards our region provides us with an opportunity to make a quality leap in the region’s development. For this reason, making effective use of both regional and bilateral cooperation platforms is needed. The Three Seas Initiative is a case in point and is seen by Lithuania as a useful format for enhancing cooperation, infrastructure connectivity, and economic security in the region.
Ilona Petrovė, Spokesperson for Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6030, mob. +370 698 42071, e-mail: [email protected]