On Thursday, 5 November, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Norbert Lammert, President of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundestag), in Berlin, capital of Germany. “Being aware of the migration challenges in Europe, Latvia finds it especially important to strengthen the control over the Eastern borders of the European Union (EU) and implement other measures to improve the defence efficiency. In other words, it is essential to provide efficient and permanent presence of NATO troops in our region in the long run”, she told her colleague.
On Thursday, 29 October, the Saeima conceptually supported amendments to the Constitution in the first reading. The amendments propose that members of the Saeima may be held administratively liable without the consent of the Saeima.
On Thursday, 29 October, the Saeima conceptually supported the draft Law on International and National Sanctions in the first reading. The draft law will enable Latvia to impose national sanctions to ensure peace, prevent international crime or violations of human rights outside the territory of Latvia, to prevent negative impact on Latvia’s foreign policy interests or national security, as well as to combat international terrorism or prevent manufacturing, storage, trafficking, use and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
On Wednesday, 21 October, Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, and Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, issued a joint statement on Latvia’s unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
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.
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.
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.
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.