VILNIUS - Europe has taught Lithuania "confidence, respect, and ability to grow", President Dalia Grybauskaite said as she congratulated the nation on the 15th anniversary of its EU membership on Wednesday.
"Europe taught us a lot, including confidence, respect, and ability to grow and develop and take care of our people. It now depended on us how we used this potential and no one else could tell us how we should live, they could only help us," she said during an official celebration of the anniversary in the square in front the presidential palace in Vilnius.
Grybauskaite underlined that Lithuanians, as EU nationals, are free to travel, study and stay in any country in Europe.
"Being a part of the European Union we understand very well that the stronger this organization is, the stronger we are. The EU also gave us an opportunity to avoid internal populism and that guaranteed security both socially and in terms of defense," she said.
Lithuania joined the EU on May 1, 2004.