The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference
The BSPC was established in 1991 on the initiative of Finland with the aim of strengthening the common identity of the Baltic Sea region by means of close cooperation of the region’s countries and local governments. The national and regional parliaments in the Baltic Sea region, as well as the Baltic Assembly, the European Parliament, and the Nordic Council are members of the BSPC.
The aims of the BSPC include: the environmental protection of the Baltic Sea, advancing the competitiveness of the region, healthy lifestyle, and the development of tourism.
The BSPC convenes once per year in various countries in the Baltic Sea region, bringing together approximately 150 representatives. The structure of the BSPC consists of:
- the Standing Committee, which sets the BSPC’s agenda and oversees the progress of the implementation of the adopted resolution;
- a working group in charge of a specific topical issue, which typically serves a two‑year mandate. The present Working Group on Climate Change and Biodiversity was established on 24 August 2020.
The BSPC format provides excellent opportunities for Latvian MPs to educate other countries in the region about the history of Latvia and to present facts that help counter misinformation and the misrepresentation of history by some countries.
The BSPC closely collaborates with the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) to protect the environment of the Baltic Sea, reduce pollution, carry out maritime spatial planning, and promote safe maritime operations. Latvia has made several attempts to involve Belarus in this cooperation format more closely, as Belarus is connected to the Baltic Sea via the river Daugava.
During the BSPC Annual Conference, MPs adopt a resolution containing recommendations for national governments in the Baltic Sea region. The governments must submit a written report on the implementation of the resolution. Additionally, a representative of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (an institution for the cooperation of the national governments of the Baltic Sea region) has to present a verbal report on the implementation of the resolution and respond to the MPs’ questions.