On Tuesday, 2 June, participants of the plenary meeting of COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union) adopted a joint statement expressing concern about the decision of the authorities of the Russian Federation to ban the entry of European politicians and officials, including several prominent and high-ranking members of the European Parliament and national parliaments, into the territory of the Russian Federation.
On Monday, 1 June, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, addressed the participants of the plenary meeting of the LIII COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union), which is held in Riga 1-2 June and gathers nearly 300 European parliamentarians, including members of the European Parliament, as well as high public officials and experts on European affairs. “The Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU is facing several challenges, including the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. These challenges are testing EU’s unity. Therefore, we had to react quickly during these six months. We and Europe as a whole had to respond swiftly to challenges such as the terrorist attacks in Paris, Belgium and Copenhagen, as well as the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine”, said the Speaker.
“The Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the entire EU has demonstrated its ability to face challenges during these six months. This is also attested by the College of Commissioners, which has announced legislative proposals in areas that require immediate action. These include the situation in Ukraine, the fight against terrorism, the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, as well as several issues regarding entrepreneurship”, said Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima.
Political processes need fresh air to be successful, and that can be supplied by a civil society characterised by maturity, self-respect and active civic involvement, said Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Friday, 29 May, at the opening of the annual Saeima and NGO forum on Involvement, Equality and Solidarity – Modern Values for Security and Freedom.
On Monday, 1 June, as a part of the plenary meeting of the LIII COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union) organised by the Saeima, a press conference will be held on the latest developments in the EU – US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
On 1 and 2 June, the plenary meeting of the LIII COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union) will gather in Riga nearly 300 European parliamentarians, including members of the European Parliament, as well as high public officials and experts on European affairs. This will be one of the six events hosted by the Saeima within the framework of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee, and Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, are certain that at the Eastern Partnership Summit, held in Riga on 21-22 May, the pivotal role of this Neighbourhood Policy in the European Union’s foreign policy must be reaffirmed. On Monday, 25 May, right after the Summit, the Saeima will host an inter-parliamentary meeting between members of both committees of the Saeima and parliamentarians of the Eastern Partnership countries, namely, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia and Belarus, in order to assess the results of the Summit.
Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, has accepted the invitation of the Latvian Rotary Club Chapter Rīdzene to become patroness of the benefit concert for Ukrainian children. Proceeds and donations from the Children of War concert on 6 July at the Dzintari Concert Hall will be used for Ukrainian children’s relief. All members of the Saeima will be invited to attend the event.
On Thursday, 7 May, the Saeima endorsed the concept of the proposed Repatriation Law aimed at encouraging citizens of Latvia, as well as people of Latvian or Liv origin and their families to return to Latvia by offering them support for moving and settling in.
“Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and we are fully committed to prevent this brutal history from ever repeating. Europe is witnessing ongoing Russia’s warfare in Ukraine which has already taken more than 6,000 lives. Therefore, we have to learn from the past – we should not leave Ukraine fighting alone. If we hesitate too long, we risk having much bigger conflict on our hands eventually,” said Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Thursday, 7 May, during her working visit to Poland where she participated in a discussion on the legacy and lessons learned from World War II in the context of European integration organised by the European Solidarity Centre.
“Courage of our people and support from our allies enabled Latvia to take one of the most significant historic steps 25 years ago – to regain independence and its rightful place on the European map. Today, I extend gratitude not only to the people of Latvia but also Europe as a whole; and the European Parliament is a proper place for that,” said Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Wednesday, 6 May, at the European Parliament during the opening of a ceremonial event devoted to the 25th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia.
On Wednesday, 6 March, in the European Parliament, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, and Mairead McGuinness, Vice President of the European Parliament, opened a photo exhibition 25 Moments… in honour of the 25th anniversary of the renewal of Latvia’s independence; the exhibition captures the most memorable events in Latvia in the period between the renewal of independence and the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“Even in the darkest hour people preserve the timeless values. Our escape from 50 years of oppression and stagnation attests to that. We were capable of demanding and regaining freedom. Most of the Latvian people, along with the country’s ethnic minorities, desired to restore Latvia as a democratic European nation state,” emphasised Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Monday, 4 May, in her address at the ceremonial sitting of the Saeima at the Latvian National Theatre in honour of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia.
On Monday, 27 April, concluding the 5th Youth Parliament, the young people who were particularly active in sectoral committees and took the initiative in discussions on draft declarations of the Youth Parliament were awarded the title of the Future Politician.