On Thursday, 16 June, the Saeima adopted the Law on the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960 and on the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, thus ratifying the agreement whereby Latvia joins the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
On Thursday, 16 June, the Saeima supported a draft resolution on the participation of the Latvian National Armed Forces troops in the United Nations-led Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. The parliament extended the Latvian troops’ mission in Mali pursuant to the relevant UN Security Council resolution. The previous term of the mission had been set at 30 June 2016.
On Thursday, 9 June, the Saeima reconsidered the amendments to the Immigration Law pertaining to the parliament’s previously supported provision that upon applying for a residence permit extension, foreigners are to pay EUR 5 000 into the state budget.
On Thursday, 9 May, Saeima adopted in the final reading the Law on Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, of the other part, ratifying the cooperation agreement signed on 21 December 2015.
“The quality of the insolvency system affects not only the private sector, but also the public sector, as the state budget loses the funds that are not recovered in business insolvency cases. Therefore, a properly functioning system is crucial for national economic development and sustainability; its quality affects the development of the business environment, as well as the appeal of the state for investors,” Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, said in her opening address at a discussion on the rule of law in insolvency proceedings and bailouts, hosted by the Saeima on Friday, 3 June.
During their visit to Astana, Inese Lībiņa Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, and Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, met with Gulmira Isimbayeva, Deputy Chairperson of the House of the Majilis of the parliament of Kazakhstan. The Saeima delegation noted the successful parliamentary relationship as well as active municipal contacts between Latvia and Kazakhstan; they serve as a good basis for developing cooperation in other areas, including economy. The representatives of the Saeima emphasised that Kazakhstan is already Latvia’s main trade partner in Central Asia.
Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, and Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, are on a visit to Astana, Kazakhstan, where they met with Rapil Zhoshibaev, Commissioner of Expo Astana 2017. The Saeima representatives confirmed Latvia’s readiness to participate in the international exhibition to be held next year in Kazakhstan.
During their visit to Astana, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, and Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, met with the highest officials of Kazakhstan and stressed that Kazakhstan is an important partner for Latvia in the Central Asia region. It is evidenced by the fact that cooperation with Central Asia was among the priorities of the Latvian presidency of the EU and continues to be high on Latvia’s foreign policy agenda also after the conclusion of our presidency. The representatives of the Presidium of the Saeima met with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, and Roman Vasilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the co-chair of the Kazakh – Latvian Intergovernmental Commission.
On Thursday, 26 May, the Saeima approved in the second reading the amendments to the Law on the Change of a Given Name, Surname and Nationality Record. According to these amendments, citizens of Latvia who are not ethnically Latvian but have permanently lived in the country for at least 15 years, have learned the official language, and affiliate themselves with Latvian culture, will be granted a right to change their nationality to Latvian.
On Wednesday, 25 May, within the framework of a working visit to Georgia, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with the highest officials of the state. Speaker Mūrniece said that “Latvia will continue to support Georgia and will urge for prompt introduction of a visa-free regime with the European Union. Georgia has diligently completed its homework and implemented various reforms so that its citizens may enjoy the advantages provided by a visa-free regime.”
On 24-27 May Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, will be on a working visit to Tbilisi, Georgia, to participate in the ceremonial events in honour of the 25th anniversary of Georgia’s independence, as well as to meet with high-level officials.
On Monday, 23 May, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, addressed the Conference of the Speakers of the Parliaments of the European Union in Luxembourg. At the session devoted to strengthening the EU, Speaker Mūrniece stated that the challenges arising from migration, growing social inequality and the financial and economic situation can only be overcome by a joint effort, and that the European Union is founded on cooperation and solidarity among sovereign states.
“Strong media and close transnational cooperation are key elements of dealing with the current hybrid threats”, highlighted Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, opening a high-level conference dedicated to the strengthening of the security in the Baltic region on Friday, 13 May.