Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins with solemn and festive events at the Seimas

02 July 2013, Last updated at, 08:15 EEST
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On 1 July, the Republic of Lithuania takes over the Presidency ofthe Council of the European Union. This important historical event will be marked by festive and solemn events at the Seimas.

 

On 4 July, Thursday, the solemn sitting of the Seimas to mark the start of the Lithuanian Presidency will be held in the Hall of the Act of 11 March. The sitting will open at 9.30 am and will be chaired by Vydas Gedvilas, Speaker of the Seimas. The event will be attended by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, Constitutional Court President Kęstutis Urbaitis, former heads of state, European Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta, and the following Speakers of the Parliaments of the European Union Member States: Seán Barrett, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann; Ene Ergma, President of the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia; Josip Leko, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament; Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia; Bogdan Borusewicz, Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland; Eugeniusz Tomasz Grzeszczak, Deputy Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland; Othmar Karas, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and other honoured guests.

At 11.20 am, the signing of the Declaration on Cooperation among the Houses of Parliaments of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece in support of the preparation and fulfilment of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidencies of these three European Union Member States is scheduled in the Hall of the Act of 11 March. The Declaration will be signed by Vydas Gedvilas, Speaker of the Seimas, Athanassios Papaioannou, Secretary General of the Hellenic Parliament, and Seán Barrett, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann.

At 12.00 am, the ceremony of hoisting the Lithuanian national and historical flags as well as the European Union flag will take place in the Independence Square.

At 12.40 pm, the Exhibition Gallery, Building 1 of the Seimas, will host the opening of the exhibition of historical documents showing the links between Lithuania and Europe as well as key moments in the development of the state from the first mention of Lithuania in written sources in 1009 to Lithuania’s accession to the European Union in 2004. The introduction to the exhibition will be made by Vydas Gedvilas, Speaker of the Seimas, together with exhibition co-organiser Dr Rimantas Miknius from the Lithuanian Institute of History.

Open hours will be held at the Exhibition Gallery from 1 to 3 pm.

The solemn sitting of the Seimas will be broadcast live on the Seimas website , website of the parliamentary dimension of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and television channel Seimas Live. The solemn sitting and the flag-hoisting ceremony will also be aired live on the Lithuanian Radio and Television.

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