LITHUANIA – KLAIPĖDA
Lithuania is an active member of the European Union (since May 1, 2004) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (since March 29, 2004). Lithuania is the only Baltic country with nearly eight hundred years of statehood tradition, while its name was first mentioned almost one thousand years ago, in 1009.
Wedged at the dividing line of Western and Eastern civilizations, Lithuania battled dramatically for its independence and survival. Once in the Middle Ages, Lithuania was the largest state in the entire Eastern Europe, where crafts and overseas trade prospered.
The first mention of Lithuania dates back to the mid-XIII century. The town of Klaipeda was founded in 1252. Klaipeda is a unique Lithuanian city by virtue of its colourful, turbulent and tragic history and also because the Old Town’s architectural style is similar to many western European cities with which it had close links.
Lithuania is an independent and democratic republic. In Lithuania, the powers of the State are exercised by the Seimas (the Parliament), the President of the Republic, the Government, and the Judiciary. The scope of powers is defined by the Constitution. Public authorities serve the people.
The history of the Klaipėda city dates back to the time when the Livonian Order built a castle called Memelburg. A town grew around the castle close to where the waters of the Curonian Lagoon flow into the Baltic Sea.
Klaipeda is now Lithuania’s gateway to the world and the capital of the west of Lithuania. It is a vibrant and exciting city in which to live and work. The City has its own university, which is a true scientific and cultural centre. The Lithuanian Christian College has just celebrated its tenth anniversary and goes from strength to strength.
The seaport of Klaipeda is popular with investors and foreign partners because of its attractive and competitive conditions to develop industry and promote small and medium businesses.
Klaipeda will become increasingly important because of its direct links with other European and world-wide ports and because it is a sea transport centre, where regular shipping lines and fast modern motorway routes merge together.