On Friday, 4 November, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that “bilateral relations between Latvia and China are closer than ever before. Our country is genuinely interested in continuing our active political dialogue and frequent exchange of visits to further promote cooperation in economy, education, science and culture.” This is the first visit to Latvia by a Premier of China.
Address by Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the 12th Saeima, at the celebratory Saeima sitting in honour of the 98th anniversary of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Latvia on 18 November 2016 (18.11.2016.)
Honourable Mr President,
On Friday, 28 October, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, opened the 35th session of the Baltic Assembly in Riga. In her opening address, the Speaker underlined the importance of regional security and emphasized that the Baltic countries should join efforts in this area. Speaker Mūrniece urged the neighbours to intensify the security and defence cooperation, stressing the necessity to strengthen the defence infrastructure of the Baltic states and to implement joint military procurements.
"When it comes to the implementation of the Rail Baltica project, there is no time and no place for disputes, indecision or short-term interests, because the project will have a significant impact on the movement of people and goods domestically and across borders," stated Jānis Vucāns, President of the Baltic Assembly (BA) and head of the Latvian delegation to the BA, on Friday, 28 October. He stressed that a targeted and irreversible development of the project must be a common goal of all Baltic States.
On Thursday, 27 October, during a ceremony held at the culture palace Ziemeļblāzma, Professor Maija Dambrova received the Baltic Assembly Prize for Science for her scientific work on energy metabolism, as well as her contribution to research of the mechanism of action of the pharmaceutical Mildronate.
Baltic parliamentarians to meet in Riga to discuss closer cooperation in the fields of migration, demographics and transport (25.10.2016.)
On 27 and 28 October, MPs from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania will convene in Riga for the 35th Session of the Baltic Assembly (BA) in order to discuss such issues as migration and protection of the external border of the European Union, the demographic situation in the Baltic States, as well as the development of regional transport infrastructure, with a special emphasis on the Rail Baltica project.
Speaker of the Saeima: Montenegro’s accession to NATO confirms the alliance’s commitment to its “open-door policy” (07.10.2016.)
On Thursday, 6 October, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, welcomed Darko Pajovic, President of the Parliament of Montenegro, to the parliament of Latvia. Speaker Mūrniece praised Montenegro’s progress in its NATO accession efforts and expressed support to the country’s EU integration aspirations.
Saeima supports Montenegro’s accession to NATO (06.10.2016.)
On Thursday, 6 October, the Saeima adopted in the final reading the draft law “On the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Montenegro”, thus supporting ratification of the Protocol on Montenegro joining NATO.
Speaker of the Saeima urges Estonia to continue its efforts in strengthening the Eastern Partnership (05.10.2016.)
On Wednesday, 5 October, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, welcomed Jürgen Ligi, the newly-appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, to the parliament of Latvia. The Speaker of the Saeima congratulated the neighbouring country with its forthcoming presidency of the Council of the EU and encouraged Estonia to continue the initiatives launched during the Latvian presidency, especially the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership.
On Tuesday, 27 September, having convened in the Saeima to evaluate the nominees for the Baltic Assembly (BA) prizes, the international jury decided to award this year’s Prize for Science to Maija Dambrova for her scientific work on energy metabolism, as well as her contribution to research of the mechanism of action of the metabolic agent Mildronate.
Criminal liability to be introduced for engaging in military and combat activities abroad (22.09.2016.)
On Thursday, 22 September, the Saeima adopted in the first reading amendments to the National Security Law and Criminal Law. The amendments that prohibit citizens and non-citizens of Latvia from serving in foreign armies, police services, and security agencies are aimed at addressing the potential risks associated with Latvian nationals joining the aforementioned foreign forces. The proposed amendments introduce criminal liability and imprisonment for a term of up to four years in case on noncompliance.
“Public announcements about the failure of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the European Union and the United States of America are groundless. Member states of the EU have not mandated the negotiations to be suspended, and therefore Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom continues to lead the process,” said Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima.
Chairpersons of the Committees on European Affairs of the parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland issue joint statement supporting the Rail Baltica project (19.09.2016.)
On Monday, 19 September, the Chairpersons of the Committees on European Affairs of the parliaments of the Baltic States and Poland issued a joint statement supporting the Rail Baltica project and urging the responsible parties to follow closely the project deadlines significant for ensuring availability of EU financing for the Rail Baltica project.
Gundars Daudze: European parliaments need to re-think their approach to the migration crisis (16.09.2016.)
At a discussion about the role and responsibilities of parliaments in the migration and refugee crisis in Europe in the framework of the European Summit of Presidents and Speakers of Parliament in Strasbourg, Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, said: “European parliaments have to re-think their current approach to the migration crisis. It is the task of the national parliaments to find the middle ground, where the interests of their citizens are protected, whilst also providing as much help as possible to people fleeing actual warfare. It is important that parliaments adopt well-considered legislation precluding potential and unwanted risks; assistance should only be provided to those who truly need it, but not to people who are trying to take advantage of the situation.”
On Thursday, 15 September, the Saeima adopted in the first reading the draft law “On the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Montenegro”, thus conceptually supporting ratification of the Protocol on Montenegro joining NATO.