The Debate “Ask me anything about Lithuania in the EU” that European Movement in Serbia organized at the EU Info Point Novi Sad was an opportunity for young people from Novi Sad to talk about Lithuania’s EU experience with Indrė Kulėšienė. Indre works as a Project Manager in the organization of YEPA and has many years of experience in projects which promote young entrepreneurs, youth employment, informal education and volunteering.
Indre spoke about the membership negotiations that Lithuania led with the EU for five years, pointing out that after the collapse of the USSR, the EU was significant for Lithuania primarily for security and economic reasons and as well as a mechanism to strengthen institutions, initiates economic growth and respect for human rights.
She said that there are differences between Serbia and Lithuania when it comes to the support for membership in the EU. Support for Lithuanian membership during the accession negotiations was over 90%. She advised that the best way to implement internal reforms is to make the citizens feel the benefits of negotiating with the Union and later on membership.
“Regional cooperation is of great importance in speeding up of the enlargement process”, she said and added that Serbia and other Western Balkan countries should look up to the Baltic countries and everything they had achieved through regional cooperation.
In answering the question about young highly educated people emigrating in the EU, Kulėšienė stressed that the Lithuanian government has been trying to bring young people back with their projects and programs and some progress has already been made.
“Lithuania is now perceived as a country that has the opportunity to provide better conditions and prospects for youth, which is evident by the high turnout to the European Parliament elections – more than 90% in support of the membership in the Union after 15 years of ‘the Big Bang’, reminded the guest from Lithuania at the end.
The EnlargEUrope project, within which the event is organized, is implemented by the European Movement in Serbia in cooperation with partner organizations from Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Poland and Lithuania. The goal of the project is to contribute to better understanding and promotion of the importance of the enlargement process by connecting the past and current experience of present and future citizens of the European Union. The project is co-financed by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme.