On 6–8 of April 2014 the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania (Seimas) will host the Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments which will finalise the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On 7 of April the parliamentary delegations and other guests will plant 28 lime trees at the Vilnius University Botanical Garden to form the European Union ring to commemorate this significant inter-parliamentary event.
"The idea of planting a tree is a very meaningful one. The next time when parliamentary delegations reassemble in Vilnius and it may happen in ten or more years, they will find the mature lime trees to symbolize strong and mature inter-parliamentary cooperation", says Loreta Graužienienė, the Speaker of Seimas.
The planted European Union's ring is a joint initiative of the scientists of the Vilnius University Botanical Garden and Seimas, which evolved right after the Presidency opening events, some of which took place in the Botanical Garden (the set up dating back to 1781). Approaching the major inter-parliamentary event, the university researchers prepared a special 80 meter diameter land plot neighbouring another commemoration area – the oak grove planted to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Vilnius University.
The lime tree (Tilia x europaea) has been chosen due to its symbolic perception, existing in different nations. In France and Switzerland the lime tree is a symbol of freedom, in Germany it symbolises love and justice, in Poland it is accepted as a sacred tree, while it is the national tree in the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.