Toast Remarks by H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, at State Luncheon in Honor of H.E. George Abela, President of the Republic of Malta
Your Excellency Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the eighteenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Malta.
Eight years ago we together joined the European Union, becoming partners in a unified area of freedom, democracy and solidarity. An area founded on respect for human rights and other freedoms. An area that brings down barriers between nations and people - where the challenges of your neighbor are also your challenges. And all of this is built on a strong foundation of solidarity.
Regrettably, there is no shortage of challenges today. The current economic and financial crisis is a serious test for Europe and the world. We have to stand together and strong in the face of this crisis. The core values of the area of freedom and democracy must not and cannot give way to narrow local interests. The European Union must continue as an example of how, in solidarity, to overcome challenges and ensure sustainable growth.
Five years ago we signed the Lisbon Treaty. We agreed to seek a stronger, more effective Union that is closer to its citizens. So let us continue working to expand the cohesion policy, to develop economic growth and jobs, and to promote investment in education, high technologies, energy security, and transport connections.
I therefore wish that in several years' time, when we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Malta and the tenth anniversary of our membership in the European Union, we can be proud of both strong bilateral ties and a strong European Union, victorious over the challenges it faces, where the voices of small countries are heard in European unison.
To a Europe that is united! To strong bonds between our countries and people!
Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania
Last updated: 2012-05-29 13:19
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