In the run up to the joint EU conference on the Future of Europe, Lithuania has taken a lead to organise domestic events to discuss the future of the bloc and the role of the country in it.
The conference took place in November and was organised by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) think tank in Vilnius and the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, and was attended by the country's top-level politicians, experts, and members of the public.
The participants said the youngest EU members whose very existence is closely linked to the future of the bloc – and Lithuania would be one of them – should initiate talks on the problems and challenges the union is facing.
When the bloc-wide conference will finally be held, it could become a platform for the small states to take the lead, promoting domestic-level initiatives to the European scale, according to the participants of the event in Lithuania.
The idea of the Future of Europe conference was first raised by French President Emmanuel Macron, and was later included in the working programme of the European Commission.
The conerence will unite events on the level of the European Union as a whole, as well as in individual member states.
According to the EESC, the event in Lithuania aimed to show that Lithuania was interested in disucssions on the future of the EU and has taken an initiative to organise domestic events.
Up until the EU-wide conference takes place, Lithuania will continue holding discussions with the country’s citizens, experts, and politicians.