The Various Interests Group of the EESC organised a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Wednesday 23 October 2013. The conference, which was streamed live on the website of the Lithuanian Presidency, was attended by over 160 participants representing a wide cross-section of organised civil society organisations throughout Lithuania.
Within the context of the first Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the objectives of the conference were multiple. Firstly, it examined how the Republic of Lithuania, its civil society and citizens perceive the European Union and the role of Lithuania within the EU. Secondly, there was an exchange views on the current and future opportunities and challenges facing the EU. Finally, sessions were dedicated to revisiting Lithuania's expectations of EU membership and examined the necessity for a social Europe and a Europe of citizens, notably in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament elections.