Address by President Dalia Grybauskaitė at the official opening ceremony of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

05 July 2013, Last updated at, 16:43 EEST
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author: Dž. G. Barysaitė

Dear Europeans,

I guess everything has already been said with this musical performance. It perfectly illustrates what the Presidency of the Council is about. It is a choir where different voices come together.

Lithuanian multivoiced songs [sutartinės] provide the key on how it becomes possible. Sutartinė translates into English as "in concord, in agreement". There is no better illustration of our task for the upcoming six months as the Presidency of the Council. Seeking agreement among member states, steering us all towards a meaningful result.

We will mobilize all members and institutions to strengthen Europe's financial posture, to put economies on the path of growth, to create jobs for people and to make Europe's openness our strength.

This sound of drums will serve as a reminder to keep the tempo. Because time is crucial.

It is symbolic that today Lithuania takes over the Presidency from Ireland. It was during the Irish Presidency in 2004 that Lithuania became a member of the Union. Nine years on, we will try to fill the footsteps of the Irish Presidency, building on the achievements of their success.

The EU flag goes to the Lithuanian people. We offer our hearts and minds to build a common future. A future that - like our sutartinė - speaks of unity.

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