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EU member Lithuania prepares to throw weight around

  • 2004-04-29
  • By The Baltic Times
VILNIUS --- In one of its first acts as Parliament of a EU member state, the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament) passed a resolution on Saturday stating its intention for Lithuania to become an "active and influential state" as soon as possible.

According to the Seimas resolution, Lithuanian diplomats should become some of the staunchest supporters of NATO's open-door policy, which encourages other post-Soviet states to apply for membership.
At an international parliamentary conference held at the Seimas on Friday, politicians and academics proposed the establishment of an EU parliamentary assembly for Eastern Europe to encourage contact between new EU members and the post-Soviet states of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and the Caucasus countries.
A similar parliamentary group exists for the Mediterranean region.In addition to acting as an advocate for its eastern neighbors, the Seimas resolution called for Lithuania to become the first of the new EU member states to join the Schengen zone and to adopt the euro.
The resolution was passed at an extraordinary parliamentary session on Saturday to mark Lithuania's entrance into the EU.