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President congratulates Lithuania with five years in the European Union

Thursday, April 30, Vilnius - In his congratulations to Lithuania celebrating five years of EU membership, President Valdas Adamkus underlined that Lithuania's belonging to the European Union signified its final return to the community of democratic and free-market European nations.

"I am greatly pleased that the voice of Lithuania was heard out in such areas as foreign policy or EU energy policy," Mr. Adamkus said, pointing out that it was necessary to be well informed and knowledgeable in all the fields of importance to the European Union before Lithuania took over EU presidency in 2013.


President Adamkus underlined that although the people of Lithuania and Europe were living in an atmosphere of economic downturn they should not over-concentrate on their problems and should keep a broader perspective of European integration.


"If we had not joined the European Union, I believe that the current slowdown would be much more painful because our companies would find it more difficult to retain their slot in the EU market, while our people would confront more obstacles to traveling, studying or doing business in the community," Mr. Adamkus said.


President Adamkus pointed out that the principle of solidarity, repeatedly demonstrated by EU member states, would help - as always - overcome global economic challenges.


"The celebration of this small anniversary is a good opportunity to think about whether we are making the best of the advantages offered by EU membership and whether we are making a sufficient contribution to implementing the common goals of the entire European community," Mr. Adamkus said. "If we had kept to a prudent budgetary policy and carried through structural reforms as planned back in 2004, Lithuania would have introduced the euro and would now feel more secure in the face of the crisis."


President Adamkus stressed that the main aspect of Lithuania's five years of EU membership was realizing that membership benefits could be fully utilized only if national priorities and needs were clearly defined.


"I wish the participants of our political processes more togetherness and responsibility. The clearly expressed popular approval of Lithuania's membership in the European Union commits us to this," Mr. Adamkus said.


Press Service of the President


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