Friday, May 14, Vilnius - "I am delighted that young people are showing interest in the future development of the Baltic Sea region and in the problems of today. It is great to see your active contribution to building a youth-led platform for long-term cooperation and the protection youth interests," President Dalia Grybauskaitė told the participants of the B-Young event held in Vilnius to discuss unemployment, the environment, entrepreneurship, emigration, tolerance, and other issues of concern to the young generation.
In her welcome address to the Baltic Sea youth event, the President underlined that good relations with neighboring countries and regional cooperation were a top priority in Lithuania's foreign policy. She further said that successful cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries were best reflected in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region which was set to accelerate regional development and the resolution of issues topical for the whole region.
Dalia Grybauskaitė underscored that the Baltic Sea states were bound together by common economic, infrastructural, cultural, and scientific interests as well as by strategic projects. She expressed her strong belief that youth and other non-governmental organizations would contribute in a major way to the implementation of joint projects.
"It is not by chance that the non-governmental sector - the civil-minded people, the academic community and, of course, youth -is seen in Lithuania, like in other Baltic Sea region countries, as an active player for implementation the Baltic Sea Strategy," the President said.
According to the President, only close and effective collaboration between the government and youth organizations, based on voluntary participation as well as on the values of human rights, freedom and democracy, will give a definite momentum for the Baltic Sea region to emerge as an area of genuine trust, well-being and cooperation.
The B-Young event, held in Vilnius on May 13 through 16, has gathered around 150 youth activists from 10 Baltic Sea region countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Germany.
This youth event is part of the Lithuanian presidency agenda for the Council of the Baltic Sea States. It is attended by Sergey Koperdak, Head of Youth Unit, DG Education and Culture EC as well as by representatives of the European Youth Forum, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Baltic youth organizations, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the embassies of the Baltic Sea countries.