"The European Union supports and promotes the region through the Baltic Sea Strategy, specially designed to encourage regional cooperation. Today, the governments of all the countries in the region, especially EU member states, bear the great responsibility for its implementation, engaging as widely as possible other members of the Baltic Club, and their permanent partner - the European Commission," President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the Summit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) held in Vilnius to discuss promotion of competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and energy cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region.
The Lithuanian leader stressed the need to remove the artificial barriers for integration of the Baltic Sea Region and the rest of Europe. For this, the President said, me must establish power and transport connections, encourage people-to-people contacts, develop relations between non-governmental organizations, businesses and the cultural community, and promote shared values in environmental protection.
"I have no doubt that by pooling our efforts we will create an economically prosperous and easily accessible Baltic Sea Region, which is attractive to live in and to visit and which is safe and secure," the President of Lithuania said, underlining that the vision of the Baltic Sea region's future is founded on faster and deeper integration.
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The CBSS Summit is attended by the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Finland's Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, also deputy prime ministers from Denmark, Russia and Sweden, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski, and the Chair of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference Christina Gestrin.
The President: Baltic energy independence is a priority for the whole European Union
President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, who is currently visiting Lithuania.
Topics discussed during the working breakfast included the preparation for the Brussels European Council in June, the economic and financial crisis in the EU, the EU's Strategy 2020, and measures to promote sustainable economic growth in the EU.
Energy independence of the Baltic countries is a priority for Lithuania, the Baltic Sea region and the whole European Union, President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
"Despite the six years of membership in the European Union, the Baltic region is still an energy island. The Baltic countries, and Lithuania in particular, have a higher price to pay for energy resources, especially gas, than other European states. This is because we are still in energy isolation and dependent on a single source," the President of Lithuania said.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that all Baltic countries, including Lithuania, would seek that financial allocations were provided for in the EU's forthcoming financial perspective for energy projects vital for the region.
"Lithuania and other Baltic countries will seek that energy grids and electricity connections as well as integration of the Baltic region into the European economic area were included in the next financial perspective and among the most important interests of the whole European Union," the President of Lithuania said.
Press Service of the President of the Republic of Lithuania