The 50th Anniversary COSAC Meeting in the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania (Seimas)

29 October 2013, Last updated at, 09:33 EEST
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author: O. Posaškova

The 50th anniversary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC) has opened. A video clip about the Hall of the Act of 11 March, where Lithuania had restored its independence 23 years ago, was shown to Conference participants.

In his welcome address the Chairman of the Meeting, Gediminas Kirkilas, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Chair of the Committee on European Affairs, informed participants that the Conference will be translated into all twenty-four official languages of the European Union.

Loreta Graužinienė, the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, also welcomed the participants and stated that it was a great honor for Lithuania to hold the 50thanniversary and historical meeting of COSAC. The first meeting of COSAC took place on 16 – 17 November 1989 in the National Assembly of the Republic of France. Laurent Fabius, the founder of COSAC, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of France and former Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of France, also participated in the 50th anniversary meeting of COSAC.
“I strongly believe that COSAC plays a significant role in ensuring continued and effective inter-institutional dialogue between national Parliaments and EU Parliaments in the EU,” commented Loreta Graužinienė. “Therefore, I hope that COSAC will develop and strengthen its position in the EU framework. I also expect that we will more effectively use the opportunities included in Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in the Lisbon Treaty, and develop better cooperation between national Parliaments, the European Parliament and other EU institutions.”

Moreover, L. Graužinienė noted that for the first time in COSAC ‘s history, women politicians would be involved in the COSAC Women’s Forum to discuss the most relevant matters on the political agenda of the European Union.
José Manuelis Barroso, the President of the European Commission, could not attend the jubilee meeting and instead arranged a video conference for CASCO participants. “Let me congratulate you for finding time for the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy in today’s agenda. I am sure that the Parliaments - referring to common European objectives and values, as well as taking into account specific national, regional, economic and social structures - will contribute to the development and implementation of national reform plans. Only by working together and trying to achieve these results can we expect to justify European citizens’ trust in national and European political leaders,” he said.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevičius, reviewed the process of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council. Remembering that this year is the European Year of Citizens, he believes that the Lithuanian Presidency will focus on those issues of particular importance to European citizens. According to the Prime Minister, the most important issues are economic growth, the Banking Union, reducing unemployment (especially among young people), the common energy market and the Eastern Partnership.

“We are interested in the Eastern Partnership countries, and hope that they will be secure, economically strong, and emphasize shared European values. The Eastern Partnership is currently the most effective and practically the only EU tool to achieve this goal. The success of the meeting in Vilnius depends on the decision of the Eastern Partners and their ability to carry out reforms, as well as the common position and support for the Eastern Partners from EU countries and institutions,” stated A. Butkevičius.
 

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