The Minister welcomed the participants of the meeting of EU states and institutions’ communicators
On 7 June, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius welcomed the participants of the informal meeting of the Club of Venice uniting top-level public relations officials and communications experts of the European Union Member States and institutions, which started in Vilnius.
“It is important to cooperate and unite our powers in the fight against propaganda and fake news. This is not the restriction of freedom of speech, but a fight, first of all, with lies. Lies cannot be considered to be an alternative approach. When speaking about strategic communication, we do not talk about censorship, but instead we talk about communication that is assertive, accountable and based on alternative sources of information,” the Minister said in his opening speech.
High-ranking communications officers and experts are taking part and give speeches in the event, including Jaume Duch Guillot, the European Parliament spokesperson, Mike Hanley, the Head of Digital Communication at the World Economic Forum, Silvio Gonzato, the Director General of the European External Action Service, Alex Aiken, the Executive Officer of the Government Communication Office of the United Kingdom, Chris Riley, the Head of NATO Strategic Communication, and other communication directors from EU Member States.
The participants of the Club of Venice meeting in Vilnius will discuss how to strengthen resilience to disinformation and propaganda, especially in the run-up to the 2019 European Parliament elections, how to promote public confidence in the authorities, and will discuss the challenges faced while strengthening the communication capacities in state institutions. It is expected to ratify documents promoting the resilience of the countries and their societies to disinformation in digital spaces during the event.
The Club of Venice is an informal group of EU high-level communications officers, founded in 1986, discussing the most relevant issues and challenges, sharing experiences and best practice in communication in its annual meetings.
On 28 September, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Albinas Zananavičius, paid a visit to Warsaw where he discussed on-going negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027), withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, energy projects in the Baltic region, and other key matters on the EU agenda with Konrad Szymański, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.
On 4 July, Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, in Vilnius to discuss the main Lithuanian interests in Brexit negotiations – Lithuanian citizens residing, working and studying in the United Kingdom should retain their rights and social guarantees, and the principles unifying the EU should stay in place. Lithuanian priorities in future EU-UK relations were discussed too.
On 28 May, Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, took part in a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels. The foreign ministers of the EU Member States discussed Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela related matters, the situation in Gaza and a document to be designed as a substitute for the Cotonou Agreement.