On 10 September 2021, the Members of the Presidium met at the Consultative Council of the Baltic Assembly in Vilnius, Lithuania. During the meeting, parliamentarians debated on the work of the Committees of the Baltic Assembly in 2021, discussed the progress, as well as the obstacles, problems and challenges of the parliamentary cooperation of the Baltic states and accepted the draft documents of the 40th Session of the Baltic Assembly. Lastly, the priorities and agenda of the Baltic Assembly under the Latvian presidency was discussed and the working plan of the Baltic Assembly in 2022 was approved.
Progress of the Baltic cooperation
During the first part of the meeting, President of the Baltic Assembly Andrius Kupčinskas welcomed the Baltic parliamentarians to the first physical meeting of the Baltic Assembly this year. 41% of the recommendations were implemented during the Lithuanian presidency and there has also been an expansion of the cooperation agenda and fields for cooperation. “The Baltic states have improved their cooperation regarding challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the need for deeper cooperation”, stated the President of the Baltic Assembly.
Work of the Baltic Assembly during the Lithuanian Presidency in 2021
Each Chair of the Committee informed the parliamentarians about the main conclusions of their work during the Lithuanian Presidency. It can be concluded that the Lithuanian Presidency of the Baltic Assembly was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – the work of the Committees was mostly carried out remotely and meetings were held digitally. The digital format had its benefits, for example, experts from all three countries and even beyond were able to participate in the meetings to ensure interesting and comprehensive discussions. Despite the lack of physical contact and other challenges, the agenda of the Committees was successfully implemented and numerous recommendations were proposed.
During the Consultative Council, the final document of the 40th Session of the Baltic Assembly, the Resolution of the 40th Session of the Baltic Assembly and other important documents were approved for submission to the Session.
Work of the Baltic Assembly during the Latvian Presidency in 2022
Lastly, discussions about the Latvian Presidency in 2022 took place. Vice President of the Baltic Assembly Jānis Vucāns noted that the motto of the Baltic Assembly under the Latvian delegation will be “Partnership. Prosperity. Protection” United, strong, interconnected, socially responsible and sustainable Baltic region. The Latvian presidency will continue to work towards economic and social stability and swift recovery of the Baltic states. The presidency will also shed a light on the issues that need the same level of attention such as climate and energy challenges, development of science and technologies, social inequality, fight against organized crime and regional development.
The main priorities of the Latvian Presidency will be:
- Rapid recovery and sustainable growth of the Baltic states;
- Socially protected people living in a safe and resilient Baltic region;
- Interconnected and innovative Baltic states.
After the meeting, priorities and the draft working plan for 2022 was approved. The next time the Baltic Assembly will meet will be in the 40th Session on November 4-5, 2021 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Latvia will take over the Presidency of the Baltic Assembly in January 1, 2022.
The Consultative Council comprises of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the standing committees of the Baltic Assembly. The work of the Consultative Council is based on solving conceptual issues and considering all draft documents for the upcoming Session.
Photos of the meeting of the Consultative Council© Photos by the Secretariat of the Baltic Assembly