President Dalia Grybauskaitė will attend the European Council on May 22. At their meeting in Brussels, EU heads of state and government will discuss energy security and high prices for energy resources - a major challenge that the European Union faces today. In order to better protect the interests of European consumers, the EU's internal energy market must be reinforced and its external energy policies coordinated more closely.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė offered her condolences to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, over the tornado that swept through Oklahoma City suburbs, leaving more than 90 people dead and many more injured.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, at Georgetown University. The honorary doctorate was conferred to the President for "political leadership, truth, transparency and responsibility." In her acceptance speech, the President said that during 23 years of regained independence Lithuania had travelled a difficult but exciting road of success. "Lithuania was at the forefront, breaking down the Soviet empire. We were the first to declare independence, the first to suffer harsh consequences - human casualties and economic blockade. We were learning by doing: how to build a country, how to make it function well. Having gone through all this, we are stronger now," the President said.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė participated in the end of school year event at the Kristijonas Donelaitis Lithuanian School and presented students with school graduation certificates. The President wished the children to cherish the Lithuanian culture, not to forget their mother tongue, and never stop learning and improving their native language skills. "The uniqueness and strength of the Lithuanian people lie in our traditions and our language. We are a proud nation, not broken by any disasters or blows of history. So I wish you to remain Lithuanians and have Lithuania in your hearts, wherever you live", the President said.
Dear Professors, dear Students, dear Guests, thank you for a very generous introduction. And thank you for the honorable degree. Georgetown University was an extremely important stage in my life. My office in Vilnius overlooks the beautiful campus of Vilnius University. Vilnius University was founded in the 16th century by the Jesuits, like Georgetown. I remember when 21 years ago I first came to Georgetown for the Pew Economic Freedom Fellows program. Travelling from the newly independent Lithuania, still via Moscow, and still unsure whether they will let us go.
Georgetown shares with Lithuania two important connections: the game of basketball and today's honoree, Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania's President and a 1992 Economics Fellow at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service - and in earlier years herself quite a basketball player. Lithuania's first female head of state was elected to the Presidency in 2009 by an historic landslide, receiving more than 68% of the vote. This stunning victory capped a remarkable career of public service that, over two decades, moved from Director of the Economic Relations to Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Deputy Finance and Deputy Foreign Minister, to Finance Minister, to EU Budget Commissioner to President.
Your Excellency Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I sincerely welcome you on your visit to Lithuania. Finland is not only a geographically close neighbour of Lithuania, but also its reliable, long-standing partner and friend. I greatly appreciate Finland's stance during the Cold War not to recognize the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States regardless of the circumstances and extreme pressure to do so.