Distinguished Presidents of the European Commission and the European Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we are here by the mandate of our nations and our states. We have gathered here to bring to fruition a Treaty that is of extreme significance for the unification of Europe. This Treaty is a reflection of our shared experience and wisdom. Today we open together a new page in the history of Europe.
In 2009 Lithuania will mark its millennium. Our statehood is deeply rooted in Europe. Seven hundred and fifty years ago Lithuania crowned its first King Mindaugas, who anchored the country in the Christian Europe. Since then, the history of Lithuania has been inseparable from the history of Europe, though there had been attempts to erase Lithuania from the map of Europe. Numerous treaties signed in the course of centuries had different effect on Lithuania: some brought security and prosperity, while the other were the result of pressure by big powers and brought painful losses for us. Today the representatives of twenty-five European nations sign a historic legal and political act, which could be justly called a European Unity Act.
The Treaty that we sign today is yet another proof that the universal European values cannot be destroyed by force, and that democracy and respect for human rights always triumph where freedom is cherished. The well being of nations can be achieved only through united and concerted effort. The signing of this Treaty proves that we are willing and can act together; that we can jointly build the future of Europe and solve the most sensitive issues that concern our citizens.
Next month the people of Lithuania will come to the polls to vote for the future of their country. I believe that they, just like the Maltese, Slovene and Hungarian nations, will say an emphatic YES to being part of a secure, united and prosperous Europe.
I am convinced that Lithuania will be an active, responsible and creative member of the Union. Through our creativity we shall contribute to the prosperity of a united Europe. Lithuanian borders will soon become the external borders of the European Union, and will be both friendly and secure. The European Union will embrace the Baltic Sea. I believe that the Baltic Sea region will become one of the most dynamically and rapidly developing regions in Europe. Our old new neighbours in the East will surely soon feel the benefits of an enlarged Union.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are here today to honour the people of our countries, all Europeans who at all times and under all circumstances have been building the foundation for the success of the European Union. We have a great honour and even a greater responsibility to continue their work in building a united and strong Europe.
Press Service of the President