The President congratulates Lithuania on taking EU helm

03 July 2013, Last updated at, 08:38 EEST
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author: Reuters/Scanpix

Today Lithuania is taking the helm of the European Union for the first time as it assumes the rotating six-month presidency of the EU Council. President Dalia Grybauskaitė congratulates the people of Lithuania on gaining confidence of the international community and wishes unity and patience in discharging these important and responsible duties.

"A historic six-month period for which we all have been long and responsibly preparing begins - Lithuania is the first of the Baltic States to take over Presidency of the EU Council. I would like to congratulate all of you on this start and to wish success, persistence and patience. Lithuania is embarking on a very responsible and challenging mission - at a difficult for Europe moment to coordinate the decisions important for 28 countries, the decisions that are vital to each and every European citizen today," the President said.

According to the President, the agenda of the Lithuanian EU Presidency features issues critical to people in all member states. Joint efforts will be needed to ensure more rapid implementation of the EU's multiannual budget, reduction of youth unemployment, elimination of energy islands, and more secure neighborhood.

Presidency is a unique opportunity to reveal to Europe everything Lithuania can be proud of - skills and capabilities of our people, beauty and achievements of our state, the President noted.

The President invites Lithuanian people to be hospitable, respectful and attentive to our guests that they could get the best impressions about Lithuania.

The presidency will start with Dalia Grybauskaitė's four working visits to Croatia, France and Germany. To ensure smooth launching of the presidency and more rapid decision-making process, on July 1-3 the President will outline Lithuania's EU Presidency priorities to European institutions, EU national leaders and media.

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