Last updated in October 2013
Germany is seen as an important EU member country, as an economic powerhouse and a close partner of Lithuania. The country has historical ties with Germany, the former Lithuania Minor, or Prussian Lithuania, which included the cities of Klaipėda (Memel) and Šilutė (Heydekrug), having been part of the German Reich. Resumed on 28 August 1991, relations between Germany and Lithuania are good and continue to progress on a sound footing. They are based on a sense of solidarity and partnership in the EU and NATO as well as on a close-knit network of contacts in the economic, scientific, cultural and social sectors. There are frequent high-level visits in both directions, the most recent being that by Federal President Gauck, who paid an official visit to Lithuania from 11 to 13 July 2013 at the invitation of Lithuanian President Grybauskaite.
Germany is Lithuania’s second largest trading partner, after Russia, and a major investor in the country.
Cultural relations between Germany and Lithuania are based on the cultural agreement signed in Bonn on 21 July 1993. There is a Goethe Institute in Vilnius and there are numerous artistic and civil-society ties and partnerships between the two countries. In addition, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has academic teachers working at four universities in Vilnius and Kaunas and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) has an expert advisor/coordinator and five federal programme teachers for German working there. German ranks third among foreign languages taught in Lithuania, after English and Russian. There are eight PASCH schools and one FIT school in the country.
In addition to the more than 49 town twinning arrangements and regional partnerships, there is a lively cooperation between universities. On 1 September 2010, a (single-stream) German section was established at the Jesuit Grammar School in Vilnius. A German-Lithuanian war graves agreement was signed on 4 July 1996. Since then, several German war cemeteries have been inaugurated or restored.