Thursday, February 6, Vilnius – Tomorrow, February 7, President Dalia Grybauskaitė will travel to Germany at the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In Erfurt, the Lithuanian President and the Head of the German Government will hold a working meeting to discuss bilateral cooperation and energy security issues, ways to strengthen business relations and promote investments between the two countries. Germany is one of our major trading partners and the third largest investor in Lithuania. German investment stood at approximately 4.3 billion litas in 2013.
Among the other issues to be discussed at the meeting will also be economic stability and growth and how to tackle unemployment, especially of the young. According to the President, Lithuania and Europe are recovering from the crisis but not as rapidly as people expect. Unemployment still remains one of the key challenges in Lithuania and across the EU – the unemployment rate in our country and in the whole of Europe was around 11 percent last year.
According to the President, Lithuania and other member states have to make an effective use of the structural support earmarked in the EU budget and of the measures to boost employment. Lithuania will be able to use 109 million euros for implementation of the Youth Guarantee initiative in the period 2014-2015.
The President and the Chancellor will also review Lithuania’s perspectives to adopt the euro next year. Germany’s support to Lithuania is very important in seeking membership of the euro area. EU finance ministers are expected to take a decision concerning our country’s joining the euro area this coming June.
The trip includes the President’s visit to the Lithuanian February 16 High School in the town of Hüttenfeld where the President will meet with teachers, students and the Lithuanian community. Discussion will focus on opportunities to obtain education in the Lithuanian language abroad, promotion of connections with Lithuania and the contribution German Lithuanians could make to advancing Lithuania-Germany cooperation in the fields of business and culture.
For patriotic education of its students and for fostering the Lithuanian identity, the February 16 High School was presented with the Gediminas Castle Tower flag in 2012. It is the first Lithuanian school abroad which has received such high recognition from Lithuania.