Thursday, May 30, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė together with President of the European Parliament (EP) Martin Schulz and Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding attended the debate "Europe of Citizens". By this debate, Lithuania which is taking over the Presidency of the EU Council from July seeks to encourage all European citizens to engage more actively in making decisions important for the future of Europe.
"We will achieve success only if we believe in what we do. At present only every third European citizen trusts Europe. Therefore it is necessary to boost people's interest in ongoing processes within the EU and engagement in the EU's life with their daily activities, ideas and initiatives. Europe is not only Brussels or EU institutions, we all are Europe. Europe will be the way we make it," the President said opening the debate.
The President stressed that involvement of citizens in decision-making process is important both at national and European levels. One of the most significant roles of European citizens is to elect the European Parliament (EP). It is therefore essential that the greatest possible number of people express their will during elections to the European Parliament and elect their representatives responsibly.
According to the President, only by building strong communities, participating in the activities of non-governmental organizations and actively cooperating with the government we will form a true civil society and contribute to Europe's credibility, rapid growth and openness.
For the people to wish to actively participate in the ongoing process in the EU, it is crucial to better inform them about what is happening, what decisions are being adopted, and about the rights they can exercise as EU citizens.
Lithuania attaches special importance to promoting civic engagement. Lithuanian people have joined the preparatory works for the upcoming presidency. They have designed and chose the logo and postcards of the presidency. Almost 100 volunteers will assist during the presidency events. Discussions on the presidency and its importance are held in Lithuanian cities. Currently, more than half of Lithuania's residents have positive approach to the country's EU membership.
Among the participants of the debate, which was held in the eve of Lithuania's presidency of the EU Council, were Seimas members, diplomats, foreign ambassadors, academicians, representatives of non-governmental organizations and students, who shared their insights and ideas how to engage the people of Europe in tackling the EU issues.
Copyright - Dž. G. Barysaitė
Last updated 2013.05.30 18:32Back