Sessions of the Baltic Assembly

32nd Session on 27-28 November 2013 in Rīga, Latvia

Baltic parliamentarians convened in Riga for the 32nd Session of the Baltic Assembly and the 19th Baltic Council

Events of the 32nd Session of the Baltic Assembly were held on 28–29 November in Riga, giving a chance for the Baltic parliamentarians to address strengthening of cooperation in areas such as tourism, combating of organised crime, research and innovation, as well as establishment of a digital single market.

This year, the Session of the Baltic Assembly was opened by Raimonds Vējonis, President of the Baltic Assembly, Speakers of the Baltic parliaments - Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima; Ene Ergma, President of the Riigikogu; and Loreta Graužinienė, Speaker of the Seimas; as well as Vice Presidents of the Baltic Assembly Laine Randjärv and Giedre Purvaneckienė.

Vējonis explained to the audience that the basic principle of the Baltic cooperation is quite simple, but it requires efficient coordination between the parliaments and the executive power in order to achieve the goal of boosting the region’s competitiveness. He also noted that it is proper to celebrate achievements, but it is equally important to openly discuss unresolved problems.

"We have made progress in combating tax fraud, the Baltic Assembly has unremittingly recognised the  importance of the RailBaltic/RailBaltica project and the need to strengthen the region’s energy independence; however, the lack of progress in these principal areas clearly indicates that there are weaknesses in cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers," said Vējonis. 

The President of the Baltic Assembly acknowledged awareness of the time and resources required by the executive power to carry out its daily tasks, given the challenges various sectors are facing in the current economic and social environment; however, he stressed that the executive power cannot afford to merely deal with the problems as they arise but should rather focus on strategic areas of the region’s development and cooperation.

“In this context I would like to draw your attention to the cooperation within the Baltic Council of Ministers, where, I believe, there is much room for improvement. It is my conviction that the cooperation between the line ministries should be further strengthened,” said Vējonis, adding that the Baltic Assembly managed to swiftly adopt a new format of functioning and develop practical partnerships in areas such as Baltic cooperation in health care, combating of VAT fraud at the European level and improving the legal framework for the supervision of financial markets.  

Recently the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers succeeded in agreeing on trilateral cooperation in finding joint solutions for repercussions of the economic crisis. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this agreement or take it for granted, for it is proof of our ability to come to an agreement and, albeit slowly, to move forward and attain the goal of strengthening the position of the Baltic States in the European Union as democratic, prosperous and reliable countries,” said Vējonis.

 

Among areas in which the potential of Baltic cooperation is untapped Vējonis mentioned research and innovation, finance, competitiveness of the region, as well as joint penetration of export markets and attraction of foreign investments.

The President of the Baltic Assembly and Daniels Pavļuts, Minister for Economics of the Republic of Latvia, who represented the Baltic Council of Minitesrs, within the framework of the 19th Baltic Council, which is the cooperation platform for Baltic parliaments and the executive powers, signed a Joint Statement thus agreeing on further cooperation in areas such as harmonisation of positions regarding the Eastern Partnership and protection of the common interests within the European Union, especially in the agricultural and tourism sector. Furthermore, the Joint Statement includes an agreement to cooperate in jointly seeking the most appropriate ways to diversify natural gas supplies to the region, implementing the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP), as well as cooperation in the area of research and innovation and within the framework of energy infrastructure projects of regional importance.  

 

During the Session, the Baltic Assembly also awarded its prizes for literature, the arts and science, the Baltic Innovation Prize as well as medals for strengthening the unity of the Baltic States.This year the Prize for Science were awarded to Dr.Hist. Renāte Blumberga; the Prize for Literature - to Donaldas Kajokas, and the Prize for the Arts - to composer Peeter Vähi. The Baltic Innovation Prize was awarded to the company ELMI Ltd. The companies GoSwift PLC and Uniplicity received diplomas.

 

Programme of the Session

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157638170901165/with/11115362613/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPJXqvku1jIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Nr5S8IVjc  

Saeima Press Service; Rules for using the content: http://saeima.lv/en/copyrights  

 

Documents adopted during the Session:

Final Document of the 32nd Session of the Baltic Assembly

(download)
Resolution of the 32nd Session of the Baltic Assembly (download)
Joint Statement of the 19th Baltic Council (download)
Decision on the Establishment and Mandate of the Ad Hoc Group on the Baltic Assembly Prizes for Literature, the Arts and Science (download)

 

 

After signing the documents (Photo Chancellery of the Saeima, author by Ernests Dinka)

 

 

  Photo Chancellery of the Saeima, author by Ernests Dinka