At the invitation of President Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, will make a state visit to Lithuania on May 27-29. During his visit in Lithuania, the Estonian President will be accompanied by First Lady Evelin Ilves. The Presidents of Lithuania and Estonia will discuss bilateral relations, regional cooperation, topical issues in the sphere of energy as well as on the EU and NATO agenda, and Lithuania's upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending a European Council meeting in Brussels, which has discussed EU tax policies. The European Union is taking measures at international level to fight tax evasion and fraud, aiming to enhance the financial stability in the EU member states. "Tax evasion is a major worldwide problem. The total loss of national budget revenues of the EU member states due to such evasion is estimated to be around one trillion euros a year. It is therefore necessary to work internationally to make tax evasion more difficult. This is also important seeking to improve the EU's competitiveness," the President said.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending a European Council meeting in Brussels. At their meeting, the heads of state and government have outlined guidelines for the EU internal and external policies in the energy sector, with a key focus on building the EU's internal energy market and on external energy policy, and discussed tools to lower high prices of energy resources. "The completion of the European Union's internal energy market will end the energy isolation of Lithuania. It will ensure greater energy security and more alternative energy supplies, serving to promote competitiveness of the energy sector and lower consumer prices," the President said.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė has left for Brussels to attend a European Council meeting. At their meeting, EU heads of state and government will discuss how to reduce prices for energy resources and to fight tax fraud and tax evasion. Effective measures to tackle these problems are needed for boosting the EU competitiveness and ensuring faster economic growth of the member states. Discussions on the number of members of the European Parliament and European Commission from 2014 will also be held.
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.