First month of the Lithuanian Presidency: interesting facts

24 October 2014, Last updated at, 14:04 EEST
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The first month of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU has come to an end. How many meetings were held, how many gifts given, how many guests from abroad visited the country, and how many zeppelin dumplings were eaten during this period? Find out about this and more by reading our interesting facts.

The Opening Ceremony of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU took place on 5 July in the Grand Courtyard of Vilnius University. It was attended by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, members of the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, journalists from EU countries, distinguished Lithuanian cultural and artistic figures, politicians, and diplomats, and 900 guests. The event was broadcast live via the website and YouTube.

The first Presidency month attracted much interest on the internet and in social media.

The website has been visited by 60 thousand unique visitors. Interest in the Presidency peaked on 1 July, with 10 thousand visitors. During the first month, the website published 300 news items, such as press releases, themed articles, statements, and speeches, with 10 items a day on average.

More than 170 messages were posted in July on the Twitter social network, with over 2,400 followers.

The official Facebook account 'ES Pirmininkavimas' ('EU Presidency') now has more than 3,800 followers, with 22 new followers on average joining every day since 1 July.

A total of 74 videos were published on our YouTube channel that month, being viewed 19,800 times. Viewers spent about 44 thousand minutes (or more than 30 days) in total watching these videos.

In late June and early July, Lithuanian diplomatic missions abroad hosted some 50 events marking the start of the Lithuanian Presidency and presenting Lithuanian culture.

During the first month, over 50 Presidency events were organised in Lithuania, such as conferences, seminars, expert meetings, and events organised by the Seimas and social partners.

Vilnius hosted 5 informal meetings of ministers (two being joint meetings), with the most important issues in their field discussed by health, social security and labour, environment and climate change, justice and interior, and science ministers, as well as those responsible for industries, companies, and domestic markets.

Informal meetings of ministers were attended by 950 participants, i.e. the heads of delegations and delegates.

Reports about high-level meetings in Vilnius were prepared by 207 journalists from Lithuania and 204 from abroad. The media showed the greatest interest in the visit of the European Commission, the Opening Ceremony, and informal meetings between ministers of justice and the interior and ministers of the environment.

Some 200 delegations have already come and gone through the V.I.P. hall at Vilnius Airport.

Cars designated for event guests have already covered 35 thousand kilometres.

Some 17 tonnes of Presidency souvenirs have been sent abroad, with 7 tonnes distributed across various institutions in Lithuania.

Some 3,800 permits were printed for the participants and organisers of high-level presidency meetings, using 30 printer cartridges.

During the visit of the European Commission and informal meetings of ministers, 118 translators were employed, providing simultaneous interpreting from 24 to 7 languages.

Official photographers took over 1,200 photos during these events, and the official broadcaster prepared 140 videos, which are publicly available through the BDC database. Users have already downloaded approximately 54 thousand (662 GB) files.

Participants of high-level meetings sent 500 postcards. The most popular destinations were Germany, Italy, Belgium, the UK, and Lithuania. Presidency postcards with greetings from Lithuania will also reach Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile, South Korea, and Japan.

Participants of high-level meetings had 5,661 servings of cold meals and 3,240 hot meals, also enjoying 3,849 desserts and 9,487 coffees.

They ate 331 zeppelin dumplings (or cepelinai) and 140 balandėliai (or 'little pigeons').

During gala dinners at the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, 12.3 kilogrammes of garlic fried home-baked dark bread were eaten, as well as 3.6 litres of kastinys, 11.3 kilogrammes of žagarėliai (or angel wings), 9.3 kilogrammes of šakotis (a type of baroque tree cake), and 42 litres of cranberry kisielius (a sweet drink thickened with starch).


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