President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, who arrived on a state visit to Lithuania.
It is the third state visit by a foreign head of state to Lithuania this year, the Press Service of the President has informed.
The two Presidents discussed bilateral relations, the key tasks of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the issues important for Europe’s stability and economic growth, and cooperation in the spheres of economy, energy and culture. President Dalia Grybauskaitė thanked her German counterpart Joachim Gauck for Germany’s support to Lithuania’s EU Presidency.
“Germany is a strategic partner of Lithuania and a staunch advocate of our membership in the EU and NATO. Today we are united by responsible approach to the future of the European Union. Together we strive for a strong, growing and competitive Europe,” the President said.
She noted that high prices for energy resources had a negative impact on the competitiveness of entire Europe and could endanger the energy security. Therefore, an effectively functioning EU internal energy market, which would reduce prices for energy resources and improve competitiveness, is one of the top priorities on the Lithuanian Presidency agenda.
Germany supports Lithuania in implementing the EU’s Third Energy Package. Germany also consistently backs our country’s initiative to end energy isolation. Through joint efforts has been reached a European Council decision to build the common EU internal energy market by 2014 and eliminate energy islands by 2015.
Among the other topics of discussion was economic cooperation. Germany is Lithuania’s second largest trading partner and the third biggest investor in Lithuania. Around 520 German businesses and over 1,000 joint ventures operate in our country.
Joachim Gauck arrived with a prominent business delegation. Among entrepreneurs who arrived in Lithuania are CEOs of energy companies IFE Eriksen AG and E.ON Ruhrgas, engineering and technology giant Robert Bosch AG, and other business entities. Tomorrow, Friday, 12 July, the Presidents of Lithuania and Germany will open a bilateral business forum at the Presidential Palace.
As President Dalia Grybauskaitė noted, Lithuania and Germany are bound by long-standing cultural and scientific ties. The Centre for Baltic Studies will be set up at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Last year, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) granted scholarships to 26 Lithuanian students and researchers. The largest in Europe Frankfurt Book Fair and the largest in the Baltics Vilnius Book Fair enjoy vibrant collaboration.
Saturday, 13 July, the Presidents will open the 17th International Thomas Mann Festival, named after a German writer and Nobel Prize laureate, Thomas Mann, who lived in Nida.
In the run-up to the Vilnius Summit to be held in November, the Presidents of Lithuania and Germany debated Eastern Partnership issues, underlying the importance of the EU’s closer cooperation with its Eastern partners.
Dalia Grybauskaitė extended thanks for the German government’s support to Lithuania’s OECD membership bid.
The Presidents exchanged state decorations. Dalia Grybauskaitė presented to Joachim Gauck the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain. The German President presented to Lithuania’s President the Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.