Vydas Gedvilas, Speaker of the Seimas, met with Matyas Eorsi, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (PFD).
Vydas Gedvilas and Matyas Eorsi. Photography by Olga Posaškova (Seimas Office)
Mr Eorsi informed the Speaker of his intentions to make the PFD a politically successful and more balanced organisation prepared to engage with the political parties of all stripes: right, left and centre. The second major challenge, as Mr Eorsi said, was to make the Forum global and able to deal with global challenges. According to Mr Eorsi, this would include the Forum’s participation in the transitional process in Burma as well as the combat against financial populism. The Secretary General noted that the Eastern Partnership is very important for both the PDF and Lithuania.
This year, the Forum is planning two major events. One of them will be held in Washington D.C., USA, in September. The Speaker of the Seimas is expected to head the Lithuanian Parliamentary Delegation at the event.
The second event will take place in November in connection with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. “We are planning to hold a parliamentary conference focusing on the Eastern Partnership on the margins of the Eastern Partnership Summit. I think it would be a great event and an excellent opportunity to debate with parliamentarians and representatives of the Eastern Partnership countries,” said Mr Orsi and outlined two possible key topics for discussion: the interaction between the legislative and executive powers, and women in politics.
In Secretary General’s opinion, this event in Vilnius, especially given an agreement is reached on the participation of Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, would be a unique event, discussed and referred to for years to come.
The Speaker of the Seimas talked to Mr Eorsi about Lithuania’s key economic, financial, and energy challenges and the most important task of the year: the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. “We want to showcase Lithuania and to do it with flying colours. The Presidency events will contribute to raising Lithuania’s profile and prestige. Our country will host very many events. The Seimas alone will organise 17 events, instead of the 10 planned before. Members of the Seimas and the Seimas Committees are very active and eager to share their experience with the committees of other EU Member States. We support all the good initiatives”.
The Secretary General of the PDF thanked the Speaker of the Seimas for the opportunity to establish the Forum Secretariat at the Seimas and for the full support to its operations. Mr Gedvilas replied that continuity of foreign policy remained a priority and that the governing majority in the new legislature of the Seimas would continue the work embarked on by the previous Seimas. Therefore, support for the Forum will continue in the future.
On 27 – 28 November 2013, the Seimas will host a meeting on democratic development for Foreign Affairs Committee Chairs and the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy in the framework of the parliamentary dimension of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
In conformity with the effective statute, the Forum objectives are strengthening of democracy, dissemination of democratic principles and respect for democratic values.
Saulė Eglė Trembo, Public Relations Unit, tel: +370 5239 6203, e-mail: email@example.com