Celebrating Europe Day: festivities in the capital with a visit by EC President Ursula von der Leyen

Europe Day is celebrated in Lithuania and across Europe on 9 May. On Thursday, the Seimas will hold a solemn sitting to commemorate the day and the 20th anniversary of Lithuania's membership of the European Union.

Europos sąjungos vėliava<br>V.Ščiavinsko nuotr.
Europos sąjungos vėliava<br>V.Ščiavinsko nuotr.
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May 9, 2024, 10:21 AM, atnaujinta May 9, 2024, 10:24 AM

The Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen will give a welcoming speech at the commemoration. The solemn commemoration will also feature speeches by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (EC); Roman Prodi, President of the EC 1999–2004; Andrius Kubilius, MEP, First Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Seimas, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chairwoman of the Committee on the Integration of Ukraine into the European Union of the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine, as well as by other guests of the event.

Vilnius Street in the capital will be renamed Europe Street

After the official part of the commemoration in the Seimas, there will be plenty of events in the capital itself. On Europe Day, one of the capital's streets will be renamed Vilnius Street, temporarily becoming Europe Street.

A plaque will be unveiled especially for it. The ceremony will be attended by MEP Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Mayor of Vilnius Valdas Benkunskas, and the film screening about those born on 1 May 2004. Eimantas Belickas, director of Karta. EU.

On this day, the capital's residents and guests will also be invited to take the European Exam and participate in a discussion on the Erasmus+ international experience.

In the afternoon, the percussion band Ritmas Kitaip will perform, and a giant EU flag will be unfurled in the air with the athletes of Slackline Lietuva, accompanied by the dancers of the dance studio Gelios.

The events marking the 20th anniversary of Lithuania's EU membership and Europe Day will end with an open-air cinema. Vilnius residents will be able to see the film Karta. EU, directed by Belickas, followed by a live stream of the second semi-final of Eurovision.

EC President Ursula von der Leyen visits Lithuania

On the occasion of Europe Day, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission (EC), will visit Lithuania.

On Thursday, the EC President is scheduled to meet with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda. According to the President's Office, the President will meet with Ms von der Leyen to discuss support for Ukraine, the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and strengthening the defence industry.

During her visit to Lithuania, the EC President will also meet with the Speaker of the Seimas, Viktorija Čmilyte-Nielsen, and the Prime Minister, Ingrida Šimonytė.

During her visit, Ms von der Leyen will attend the 20th anniversary of Lithuania's EU membership and Europe Day celebrations at the Seimas and the EU flag-raising ceremony at Lukiškės Square.

ELTA recalls that the EU, which currently has 27 members, was established by the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into force in 1993.

Lithuania formally applied to join the EU in 1995. Five years later, the country started membership negotiations, culminating in the 2002 EU Summit in Copenhagen.

In April 2003, Lithuania signed the EU Accession Treaty in Athens. In a referendum held in May, around 90% of Lithuanian citizens voted in favour of EU membership.

Lithuania officially joined the EU on 1 May 2004. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia were admitted to the Community alongside Lithuania.

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