Public lecture by Prof Vytautas Landsbergis MEP

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British-Lithuanian Society – Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
invite you to a lecture by
Friday 2nd March 2012
6.30 pm till 8.30 pm
University College London, Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
(Gower Street gate; UCL quad southeast corner entrance)

Prof Vytautas Landsbergis is a Lithuanian right of centre politician and Member of the European Parliament. He was the first Head of State of Lithuania after its independence declaration from the Soviet Union, and served as the Head of the Lithuanian Parliament Seimas. Prof Landsbergis has been active in Lithuania’s political arena for two decades, and undoubtedly contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union. He has written books on a variety of topics, including a biography of Lithuanian composer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas ?iurlionis, as well as works on politics and music. Prior to entering politics he was a musicologist and pianist.

Vytautas Landsbergis entered politics, in 1988, as one of the founders of S?j?dis, the Lithuanian pro-independence political movement. After S?j?dis’ victory in the 1990 elections, he became the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania. On 11th March 1990 he presided at the Parliamentary session during which the restoration of Lithuanian independence from the USSR was declared. Lithuania became the first Soviet Republic to do so. He held this post from March 1990 until the next elections in November 1992.

The Soviet Union attempted to stifle Lithuanian independence by economic blockade in 1990, but it failed and other Soviet Republics soon followed suit and also declared their independence from Moscow – leading to the break up of the Soviet Union.

In 1993, Vytautas Landsbergis founded a new political party, the Homeland Union (T?vynes S?junga). It gained a landslide victory in the 1996 parliamentary elections and Prof Landsbergis served as the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament (called Seimas) from 1996 until 2000.

In 2004 and 2008, Prof Landsbergis was elected by Lithuanian voters to the European Parliament. He belongs to the European Peoples’ Party (Christian Democrats) – EPP – group, and sits on several committees including Foreign Affairs, and Security and Defence.