On Tuesday, 6 October, having convened in the Saeima to evaluate the nominees for the Baltic Assembly (BA) prizes, an international jury decided to award this year’s Prize for Literature to the Latvian writer Māris Bērziņš, author of the novel “Svina garša” (Taste of Lead). The novel, published earlier this year, portrays fateful events in the lives of Latvians at the beginning of World War II.
Speaker Mūrniece and newly appointed Chinese ambassador discuss opportunities to expand Latvian exports (22.09.2015.)
Economic cooperation between Latvia and China has increased in recent years and we hope that the appointing of the new ambassador will only further our successful cooperation. This was emphasised by Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Tuesday, 22 September, when she met with Huang Yong, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Latvia, on his introductory visit to the Saeima.
On Tuesday, 22 September, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, met with Aidan Kirwan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Ireland. The Deputy Speaker highlighted the large number of Latvian nationals living and working in Ireland, and the importance of maintaining contacts between them and their homeland. Lībiņa-Egnere expressed her gratitude to the Irish ambassador for his contribution in addressing issues of vital importance for Latvian citizens, and voiced hope that the active dialogue would continue.
On Friday, 18 September, following an extended and strenuous debate, the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima adopted the national position on the granting of sanctuary to asylum seekers, thus demonstrating constructive involvement and spirit of solidarity in contributing to the resolution of the state of emergency in Europe, said Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the Committee.
Electricity to become cheaper for families with children with disabilities, as well as people with group I disabilities (18.09.2015.)
Families caring for children with disabilities, as well as people with group I disabilities will receive the status of the protected user and therefore pay less for electricity. This is envisioned in the amendments to the Electricity Market Law which the Saeima adopted in the final reading on Thursday, 17 September.
Amendments to the Population Register Law, which the Saeima approved in the first reading on Thursday, 17 September, anticipate that as of 2017 a new type of personal identification number will be issued that will not include the birth-date.
Inese Lībiņa-Egnere in Tbilisi: Latvia will continue to share its reform experience with Georgia (15.09.2015.)
In its progress towards European integration Georgia is still a forerunner among the Eastern Partnership countries. Latvia is ready to continue sharing its experience in implementing reforms, inter alia, in the judicial sector, gained by our country during its accession to the European Union (EU) and also as a full-fledged member state over the past decade. Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, emphasised this when meeting with David Usupashvili, Speaker of the parliament of Georgia, on Tuesday, 15 September in Tbilisi.
Speaker of the Saeima at World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in New York: Ukraine needs unanimous support from the international community (01.09.2015.)
“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine undermines the system of international law, which has been developed over 70 years. It is in the interest of every member of the international community that we return to implementation of the rules based system. International organizations must encourage the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, emphasised in her address to the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in New York on Monday, 31 August. When discussing peace as a prerequisite for sustainable global development, she remarked that unfortunately war has become a daily reality in many places for many people – in Syria, Iraq and also Ukraine.
Ināra Mūrniece at the Meeting of Women Speakers in New York: Latvia is among global champions in women leadership (29.08.2015.)
“Today, Latvia is a real leader in terms of women leadership - be it politics, business, judiciary or academia. Latvia’s success has been recognised by the World Economic Forum 2014, ranking Latvia among the leading 15 states in the world. In terms of gender balance on the boards of top-listed companies, Latvia is among the frontrunners in Europe, where 40% of board members are women,” said Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, addressing the participants of the 10th Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament, held in New York on Saturday, 29 August.
Speakers of the Lithuanian and Latvian parliaments stress the need to support Ukraine and strengthen the security in the Baltic region (07.08.2015.)
“International community must continue supporting Ukraine both on the political level and with specific aid initiatives,” Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, stressed during her meeting with Lithuanian counterpart Loreta Graužinienė on Monday, 3 August. The two met as part of Graužinienė’s working visit to Latvia.
On Wednesday, 15 July, members of the European Affairs Committee were updated on the latest developments in Greece and the euro area. Members of the Committee learned that even if today the Hellenic parliament approves the reform agreement adopted by the extraordinary Euro Summit meeting on 12 July, and the countries of the euro area decide to give a new loan to Greece, the assistance will not be covered from national budgets of Latvia or any other country.
Raimonds Vējonis sworn in as President (08.07.2015.)
On Wednesday, 8 July, during the extraordinary plenary sitting of the Saeima, Raimonds Vējonis assumed his duties of office and took the solemn oath: “I swear that all of my work will be dedicated to the welfare of the people of Latvia. I will do everything in my power to promote the prosperity of the Republic of Latvia and all who live here. I will hold sacred and will observe the Constitution of Latvia and the laws of the State. I will act justly towards all and will fulfil my duties conscientiously.”
Speaker of the Saeima awards certificates of merit to entrepreneurs and diplomats who supported the Latvian Presidency (27.06.2015.)
On Friday, 26 June 2015, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, awarded certificates of merit to supporters of the Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union.
On Saturday, 27 June, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, opened the 76th EU-US interparliamentary meeting by thanking the U.S. for supporting Latvia’s security. “We highly appreciate the leading role the U.S. have taken in reinforcing the NATO Air Policing Mission over the Baltic States, organising military training and organising high-level visits to our region,” said Speaker Mūrniece to the members of the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament. With regard to developments in Ukraine, the Speaker of the Saeima expressed concerns about implementation of the Minsk agreements. “Violent confrontations continue, and people are dying every day. Consequently, the EU extended sanctions against Russia till January. We should make sure that further restrictive measures are imposed if Russia continues its aggression in Ukraine. Our strong and unified action is a key in the quest for the most effective means to deal with the situation,” noted Ināra Mūrniece.
On Saturday, 27 June, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, will open the 76th EU-US Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD) meeting at the Saeima.