Prime Minister: Lithuania's responsibility will be the creation of welfare for all European Union citizens

01 July 2013, Last updated at, 12:32 EEST
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Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius | author: BFL

Today the beginning of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) was celebrated by a flag-raising ceremony at Government House, where Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, foreign ambassadors and other guests took part in the celebration.

“Today is a majestic day. This is the day when honour and responsibility are inseparable. […] I proudly announce that the Republic of Lithuania gives meaning to its freedom, and is responsible for the welfare not only of Lithuanians but of all EU citizens, and will work for the good of all Europe together with other EU countries,” the Prime Minister said.

State and historic flags of the Republic of Lithuania and the flag of the European Union were raised at Government House, accompanied by the Lithuanian Armed Forces Orchestra, with the hymns of Lithuania and the European Union being sung. The European Union flag exhibition “Independent Histories” was then opened at Government House.

The Prime Minister greeted assembled guests at Government House and noted that Lithuania’s Presidency is at a time of difficult economic conditions and an exceptional period of the democratic calendar. “At the end of this parliamentary cycle, and closely cooperating with the European Parliament and the European Committee (EC), we must finish the already started legislative works,” said the Head of Government, and highlighted that Lithuania has the ambition to speed the implementation of the Agreement on economic growth and job creation.

According to the Prime Minister, much effort will be directed towards the solution of energy issues: in 2014 a new inner energy market will be created, with more invested into modern trans-European energy infrastructure. The Eastern Partnership is another priority of the Lithuanian Presidency.

Lithuania is the first Baltic State to preside at the Council of the EU. Every half year, each of the 28 EU countries leads the creation of the EU legislative. Lithuania took over the presidency from Ireland, and will hand over to Greece on January 1, 2014.

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