President Grybauskaitė was encouraged to use her power as president to make sure that sexual minorities are able to freely march in Vilnius.
"The Lithuanians fought for the freedom of assembly as so many other states that got off the Soviet empire, but now in your city, in Vilnius, the mayor has banned a pride, the march for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which is going to take place on the 27th of July, which I am also taking part in. So I really do hope that you will go ahead and really put your weight as the president of Lithuania, as the presidency of the European Union, to make sure that LGBT people are able to walk through freely and not threatened in the middle of your home town," Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek said.
"I would very much encourage the Lithuanian presidency to start leading by example by lifting the ban on the pride march in the center of Vilnius. (...) I hope to see you in Vilnius on the 27th of July and celebrate the diversity of Europe," Dutch MEP Sophia in 't Veld told Grybauskaitė and pledged to come to Vilnius in late July as well.
"I really look forward to the good news from Lithuania, saying that we are opening up the streets for all peaceful demonstrations, including on LGBT rights," Swedish MEP Cecilia Wikstrom told BNS.
"This is not the worst offense what we have seen on sexual minority rights in Europe, but indeed this is an act that casts a shadow on the country’s policy, and I hope and I wish all the best and I wish more open-mindedness on this issue," Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikainen told BNS.
Meanwhile, Polish MEP Pawel Robert Kowal called on Lithuania to deal with the problem of youth emigration.
"Applying to Lithuania and Poland alike, young people go abroad to look for jobs. New funds are being invested in fighting unemployment. You need to come up with a fresh proposal to encourage young Poles and young Lithuanians to stay in their respected countries," he said.
Kowal also proposed resolving Lithuanian-Polish disagreements and also pledged Poland's support. "We, by our part, will do our best to support you and I have high expectations," he said.
Meanwhile, another Polish MEP, Miroslaw Piotrowski, said that the Polish minority in Lithuania is discriminated against and that the Lithuanian authorities "are fighting against the Polish identity." He mentioned as an example that Poles cannot use their native language at local institutions.
"Polish graves in cemeteries are devastated. I think that Lithuania, which is going to spend EUR 62 million on its presidency, should spend at least EUR 1 million on renovating Polish graveyards. That would mean a symbolic return to European standards and making its actions credible," he said.
"Very false information that he provided here about the situation of Poles in Lithuania. From where is that information? If all resources are from local nationalists of Polish origin in Lithuania, its not reliable," Lithuanian MEP Vytautas Landsbergis responded.
French MEP Helene Flautre drew attention to the CIA prison problem.
"We demand that the Council recognizes EU member states' participation in the illegal CIA rendition program. (...) It's finally high time for the European Union to be equal to its claims for human rights when it comes to the fight against terrorism and foreign security," she said.
Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė presented priorities of the Lithuanian EU presidency in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. The president, among other things, called on politicians not to forger to fulfil their promises on economic and financial policies.