To show their solidarity, the speakers of parliament of the Baltic States and the Nordic countries (NB8) will pay a joint visit to Georgia upon the invitation of the country’s speaker of parliament. The agreement was reached by the speakers of the parliaments of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden on Monday, 22 August, at the annual conference of the speakers of parliament of the NB8 countries that this year takes place in Riga.
One of the items on the agenda at the meeting of Georgian and NB8 officials is set to be the progress towards a visa-waiver agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Senior officials of the NB8 parliaments have gone on joint visits before. In February this year, top NB8 parliamentary figures visited Ukraine upon the initiative of Latvia as the NB8 presiding country.
The agenda of today's NB8 speaker meeting focused on the issues identified as this year’s priorities for cooperation among the eight countries: the speakers of parliament discussed the strengthening of regional security and support for the European Union's Eastern Partnership. Regarding the regional security issues, the NB8 speakers discussed the strengthening of energy security, cyber security, the fight against hybrid threats, as well as strategic communication activities. The speakers of parliament also conferred about other topical issues and challenges currently on the European agenda.
The participants of the conference are: from Estonia – Eiki Nestor, President of the Riigikogu; Lithuania – Loreta Graužinienė, Speaker of the Seimas; Finland – Maria Lohela, Speaker of the Eduskunta; Denmark – Pia Kjærsgaard, Speaker of the Folketing; Iceland – Einar K. Gudfinnsson, Speaker of the Althingi; Norway – Olemic Thommessen, President of the Storting; Sweden – Tobias Billström, First Deputy Speaker of the Riksdag. The meeting is chaired by Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima.
The NB8 format has facilitated active cooperation since the early 1990s and brings together five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – and the three Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Prime ministers, parliamentarians, ministers, and other officials of the NB8 countries meet on a regular basis.
The meeting of the speakers of parliament of the Baltic and Nordic countries takes place once a year in one of the participating countries. Next year’s NB8 speaker meeting will convene in Norway’s Lillehammer.
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Saeima Press Service