On April 17, 2015, The European Institute, in partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, held a discussion on Lithuania’s adoption of the Euro and the advantages and obstacles of the Eurozone with The Honorable Andrius Kubilius, former Prime Minister of Lithuania and Leader of the Opposition in the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas), and Antonio de Lecea, Principal Advisor for Economic & Financial Affairs at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. Mr. Kubiliusstated that Lithuania’s accession to the European Monetary Union was core to his country’s strategic infrastructure integration within the Euro-Atlantic community. Although the Lithuanian economy shrank by 15% during the financial crisis, it is now boasts one of the fastest growing in Europe. Looking ahead, Mr. Kubilius noted, Lithuania will prioritize biotechnology and service industries in order to build sustainable economic growth and ensure competitiveness in the global marketplace. Beyond the considerable achievements of the European Monetary Union since its creation,  Mr. de Lecea  more needs to be done in terms of investment, structural reforms, the integration of markets and the adjustment  of legal divergences that have so far stymied the creation of a proper banking union. If all member states reformed and narrowed divergences, they would see an annual growth of 6% over the next decade. In June, the Presidents of the Council, Commission, Eurogroup and the European Central Bank will release a medium to long-term blueprint to those ends.  

By James David Spellman, Principal Strategic Communications LLC

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