I see European Union as a creative and dynamic initiative.
It is a fellow-feeling and support for weaker brethren - let's offer our hands



MEP Justas Paleckis Office

Pylimo Street 12-10, LT-01118 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel. +370 5 266 3056
Tel.,Fax +370 5 266 3058
Mail: biuras[at sign]paleckis.lt

Publications in Foreign Media, Speeches

Justas Paleckis speech presenting the display of programme for "Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009" in European Parliament (2008 12 10)

Your Excellencies, Dear Colleagues, especially I would like to greet MEPs from Austria ..., Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy, together with the Ambassador Rytis Martikonis and Elona Bojoriniene, the Director of European Capital of Culture, to present you the display of programme for, "Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009". As you know, Vilnius shares this honorary crown with Austrian town Linz.

According to the geography institute of Paris, the centre of Europe is only 30 km away from Vilnius. Lithuanian capital is indeed the crossroads of Europe, where the roads from East to West and North to South meet. The life at a crossroads could be a curse for wars during times of turbulences and tensions, but also a blessing in the moments of entrenched peace and prosperity. Perhaps this is the reason why Lithuanians are so in favour of the European Union - three-quarters of our citizens evaluate positively the membership in the EU.

Vilnius is the city where various languages, cultures, religions, architectural styles intermingle. Everyone who visited Lithuanian capital felt the magic of Vilnius' old town - the largest in Eastern Europe. In the architecture of Vilnius you can easily spot not only the influence of neighbours - Poles, Jews, Germans, Russians - but also skilful hands of Italian, Austrian, Hungarian and Dutch architects and craftsmen.

I would like to turn to those who haven't been to our capital as yet - to say that especially pleasant discoveries await you there. Most of those who already visited Vilnius I am sure left the city with the feeling: I will certainly come back here. If you do it next year, I am sure you will not be disappointed. Big fans of opera and ballet, concert-goers of different genres of music, lovers of art, cinema and literature will be pleasantly surprised. Particularly, I would distinguish theatre surprises, since the most famous Lithuanian directors - Eimuntas Nekrošius, Oskaras Koršunovas, Rimas Tuminas - with their performances have already conquered many European capitals.

And so, after you get a little bit of feeling and taste of Vilnius tonight, I would like to invite you sincerely for the next year rendezvous with magic Vilnius and its culture.

Now I would like to give the floor to the Ambassador Rytis Martikonis, head of Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union.


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