#Brexit is on our minds these days. On the margins of #FAC talked with colleague @Jeremy_Hunt. Waiting from our British friends more clarity, reset of mindset and exit strategy from stalemate. ‘No deal’ is not an option neither to us nor to #UK.
On March 20 Finland formally joined the Lithuania-initiated project for developing the European Union Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs). The corresponding Declaration of Intent will be signed by Minister of Defence of Finland Jussi Niinistö while on a formal visit in Vilnius.
Seven EU member states – Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, and Romania, have signed such Declarations of Intent. In total, 13 member states are involved in the project – Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, Romania and Finland are participants, and Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, and Slovenia are observers.
On Wednesday, March 20th, the President Dalia Grybauskaitė signed into law the ratification of the protocol on the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO. This concludes the Vilnius process launched in 2000 by ten countries declaring their aspirations to NATO membership. North Macedonia is the last of the Vilnius Ten nations that has not as yet acceded the Alliance.
North Macedonia will become the 30th member state of NATO when the accession protocol is ratified by all member states. It has already been ratified by Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, and Romania.
On 19 March in Brussels, the General Affairs Council prepared the European Council (Article 50) meeting of 21 and 22 March, and discussed the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027. The meeting mainly discussed the way forward to deepen the single market.
“We have to try to strike a balance among a fully functioning single market, effective competition, and a level playing field. A strong and forward-looking EU industrial policy will not work without a fully completed single market and effective instruments of trade policy, ” said the Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the European Union Jovita Neliupšienė.
Rail Baltica high-speed trains from Tallinn to Warsaw and from Tallinn to Vilnius are estimated to run four times per day once the line is launched and up to six times per day within 10 years of operations. Additionally, up to ten trains per day will run on Vilnius-Kaunas-Warsaw route. As a result, Rail Baltica will provide a fast rail connection between the Baltic capitals every two hours.
In addition, the plan includes two night-trains on the route Tallinn-Riga-Kaunas-Warsaw-Berlin and Vilnius-Kaunas-Warsaw-Berlin, enabling passengers to travel further to other destinations in Europe.
Dana Incorporated, a world leader in highly engineered solutions for improving the efficiency, performance, and sustainability of powered vehicles and machinery, will be opening a new global shared service center in Vilnius, Lithuania. The center will employ approximately 100 people in a variety of finance and accounting positions and provide intercompany support to Dana operations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, ltaly, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Urban was founded in 2014 to provide easy and affordable access to wellness, so people can live happier and healthier every day. Since then, Urban has delivered well over 300,000 treatments in London, Paris, Manchester and Birmingham.
As part of the company’s ambitious growth strategy they are opening a new office in Vilnius. This 30-member Lithuanian team will be part of the company’s product development and engineering division. Available positions can be found on the Work in Lithuania platform.
The 2019 edition of Vilnius IFF "Kino Pavasaris" (Cinema Spring) began with a show of support for Kirill Serebrennikov, whose romantic and rebellious film “Summer” opened the festival. Attendees illuminated the opening ceremony in solidarity with the director, who remains under house arrest in Moscow amid unfounded accusations.
In his latest feature, Serebrennikov follows young musicians as they search for an escape in the Soviet underground rock scene of the 1980s. The film explores what it means to strive for artistic freedom while oppressed by restrictions.
Starting March 21, Vilnius IFF is screening 170 films in 19 Lithuanian cities, inviting viewers to escape their hectic routines.
Meet Ruta Sepetys in Rome, Italy! Read more about the event here.
Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is renowned for giving voice to underrepresented history and those who experienced it. Her books have won or been shortlisted for over forty book prizes, are included on over thirty state reading lists, and are currently in development for film and television.
The museum was founded by NPO "Chiune Sugihara. Visas for life".
Opening of the museum was attended by Ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis, ambassadors of the Netherlands, Israel and Poland, representatives of the US and Canadian Embassies. There were present descendants of Ch. Sugihara, and descendents of a family which was saved from holocaust thanks to a "visa for life", issued by Ch. Sugihara.
In his speech Ambassador paid tribute to Ch. Sugihara and emphasized a very unique role that Sugihara plays in bilateral relations between Lithuania and Japan and how to this day he continues to perform his humanistic diplomatic mission by connecting generations and countries.
On 24-25 February, the first summit of the European Union and the League of Arab States (LAS) took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. During the event, high-level representatives discussed opportunities for cooperation between both organizations and a possible response to common challenges: security, armed conflict, illegal migration, humanitarian crises, and climate change.
L. Linkevičius highlighted the importance of constructive dialogue and the need for European and Arab countries to take a more active role in resolving the crises in the region, a growing threat from cyber-attacks, and Lithuania's readiness to share its experience in the field of cyber security.
On 26 February, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Spain Skaistė Aniulienė presented her letters of credence to the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires.
Following the ceremony, the Lithuanian Ambassador and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Marcelo Faurie discussed prospects for the development of bilateral relations, the enhancement of cooperation, and the strengthening of business ties. In Buenos Aires, the Lithuanian Ambassador also met with the delegation led by the Deputy Secretary of the Argentinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship Pablo Bentramin and discussed bilateral agreements that were being prepared for signature, economic cooperation issues, and the situation in Venezuela.
February 28, (Košice) – President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the summit of nine Baltic and Central Europe states, also known as Bucharest 9, focusing on the further strengthening of regional security, defense and deterrence. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, and the presidents of Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria also arrived to the summit.
The President stressed the need to enhance response to cyber threats. According to the President, we are closely interconnected in the cyber space, the number of attacks targeting strategic sectors increase by 10 percent annually, therefore protection of the cyber space becomes as important as border protection. Lithuania demonstrates leadership in this particular area: it has launched an initiative to establish the EU cyber rapid response team and set up a regional cyber defense center in Kaunas in cooperation with the US.
Lithuania's lifesciences production is exported to over 100 countries, 16 research centers cooperate with both domestic and foreign biotechnology companies and universities. Current spotlight of research pointed to bioinformatics.
Vilnius-founded mobility platform Trafi has announced the launch of a new multimodal mobility app called Jelbi in partnership with BVG, the main public transport company in Berlin. The app is expected to launch in early summer this year.
Jelbi will allow urban travellers to switch between different modes of transportation — such as public transport, shared e-scooters and bikes, taxis, and car-sharing solutions — without having to jump between different apps. Available for iOS and Android, Jelbi is a white-label solution powered by Trafi’s technology and branded under the BVG flag.
Lithuania ranks #5 in the Greenest Countries of EU index.
Data was focused on general environmental factors, such as air quality, freshwater abundance, greenhouse gas emissions per capita, energy consumption per capita, share of energy from renewable sources, waste generation per capita, recycling rates and share of natural forests. Data was gathered from several reputable sources including Eurostat, the European Environmental Agency, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
During the three-day event, the central squares of the major cities of Lithuania are painted with the beautiful colours of verba (Easter palms), adorned with pottery and wood carvings, and filled with the delicious scent of riestainiai (bubliks).
Taking over the streets of the Old Town, the fair cherishes some of Vilnius’ ancient traditions while also embracing modern ones, making for an adventure that is both dynamic and unique. From culinary heritage and innovative food experiments, traditional performances and modern entertainment, to archaic crafts and contemporary design pieces – there’s so much to explore.
Since Vilnius’ most beautiful places can be discovered on foot, Go Vilnius, the city’s official development agency, has compiled a list of 23 new walking routes for travellers to explore on their own. Filled with commentaries, approximate walking times and even step counts, the Walkable Vilnius website is available for everyone planning their trip.
Lithuania’s capital was once known throughout the world as the Jerusalem of the North. During the interwar period, almost a third of its population was made up of Jewish families. It was a real golden age for Yiddish culture: Jewish scholars and rabbis lived in the city, and it was home to over 100 synagogues.