- May 31, 2013
Picket line on opening of European Home
On Friday, May 31, in Vilnius, there was an opening ceremony of the European Home. It was accompanied by a picket against human rights abuses.
“Mr Schulz, do you want to be called Šulcas?,” “Europe, defend our rights!,” “NO for financial repressions,” “Keep your hands off L. Kotłowska and B. Daszkiewicz!,” said the posters held by a group gathered in front of the building of the European Home. “European leaders have to help us. There is no other way we could be heard, so we organised the picket,” said one of the participants. “In Europe there should be equal conditions of human rights protection. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, therefore all citizens of our country have the right to exercise European standards,” said another participant.
“I’ve come here today because I want my opinion on bilingual names of streets and fines for them to be heard,” said a student taking part in the picket, adding that he was not pleased with the standardisation of high levels finals in the Lithuanian language in Lithuanian schools and schools of national minorities as well as with gradual elimination of the Polish language from the Polish educational establishments with Polish as the language of instruction. Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of the Republic of Lithuania; Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, who was then visiting in Lithuania; and Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship participated in the opening ceremony.
In her speech President Grybauskaitė referred to the picket and said: “I understand their stand. Europe should listen to every one of its citizens.” The European Home will house the European Commission Representation in Lithuania, the Information Office of the European Parliament, and the European Institute for Gender Equality. The registered office of the European Home is at Gediminas Avenue 16 in Vilnius.
Tłumaczenie by Elwira Łykus w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Elwira Łykus within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.