Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to proclaim its independence on 11 March 1990. Its first head of state was Vytautas Landsbergis (Kaunas, 1932), a musicologist who had participated in the foundation, two years earlier, of the Lithuanian pro-independence movement Sajudis, the first organized parliamentary opposition in the USSR. Landsbergis, as Chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania, promoted and chaired the session of parliament which set the secession in motion. He then had to confront an attempted invasion by the Soviet troops and the initial doubts of the western countries about recognizing the independence of Lithuania and the other Baltic States.
From 1992 Landsbergis was an MP in the Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, for four terms, holding the position of leader of the opposition and also of Speaker of the Parliament between 1996 and 2000. Since 2004 he has been a Member of the European Parliament, where he has stood out for wanting to ban Communist symbols in the countries of the Union. Vytautas Landsbergis will participate in the conference “Architects of the new Europe”, organized by the Centre d’Estudis de Temes Contemporanis, which will be held in Barcelona on the 7 and 8 October.
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