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Over 3,000 Guests at the Concert Celebrating Lithuania’s Cooperation with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

A mid-summer concert organised by the Ministry of Finance, dedicated to the cooperation between Lithuania and the Kingdom of Norway, Republic of Iceland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, attracted almost three thousand guests. The concert organised for the first time distinguished by the abundance of good emotions.

Although not being a part of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein may trade and move freely throughout Europe since 1994 as members of the European Economic Area (EEA). As a gratitude for this opportunity, the financial mechanisms of these three countries have been created to invest in various projects in Lithuania.

A total of EUR 268 million of funds from Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein has been invested in Lithuania since 2004. Although the third funding period in Lithuania has already started, the visibility of the financial mechanisms in Lithuania is still modest – only 30 per cent of the public have heard about these investments.

In order to raise awareness of the financial mechanisms, the Ministry of Finance invited all residents of Vilnius and guests of the city on the meadow at the White Bridge to raise their eyes together to the sky and to see off a hot-air balloon which symbolises the cooperation between Lithuania and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.  

“I am delighted that so many people have gathered to meet our partners and to have a wonderful time. Investments reaching Lithuania for almost two decades enabled the implementation of projects in health, culture, environment, non-governmental sector, justice, business development, research and many other projects. It is certainly possible to realise the most ambitious dreams in Lithuania, thus I would like to invite everyone to take an active interest in the opportunities provided by our partners and even to make use of them," said Minister of Finance Gintarė Skaistė in the welcome speech.

“This event is a great celebration of friendship and close partnership between our countries. Norway supports and wishes to contribute to the success of Lithuania. We together strive for a green, sustainable and strong Europe based on common values and democratic principles," said Acting Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Lithuania Bjorn Erik Brustad.

During the festive concert an impressive hot-air balloon rose to the sky. A free concert was organised by the band “The Roop” which is currently especially loved and welcome. Also, the timeless Representative Brass Band of the MoI, which has become a legend, in its full composition played on the stage. Guests were treated with ice-cream, bagels and mineral water.
One of the partners of the event − Birštonas Mineral Water − received funding for the production of recyclable mineral water bottles already in the last financial period. With the support of financial mechanisms the innovative plastic bottles have been developed. During the event, Manager of Birštonas Mineral Water Aistė Pranskuvienė had an opportunity to rejoice a successful cooperation and to treat the present guests.

It was noted that the meadow was completely clean after the event. This shows that nobody wants to throw away not only plastic that may be sorted – each of us has become much more responsible.
In addition to the mineral water, the event did not lack other delicacies. Hundreds of specially-made humus, salmon and fig jam stuffed bagels were tasted in fifteen minutes. The shop of bagels is a project born in Indrė Rutkauskaitė’s head while working in the Jewish community of Lithuania. After writing a project on Jewish culinary heritage, as a symbol of tolerance, Indrė received funding. Thus, already for eight years the smell of bagels wafts across Vilnius.

The third investment period 2014-2021 of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein focuses on improving the health system, research, developments in the area of law enforcement domestic affairs, innovation, environment, energy, non-governmental sector and culture.
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