On Monday, 11 April, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, and Miroslava Nĕmcová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, had a meeting in the Saeima followed by a press briefing during which Āboltiņa noted that close historical and cultural ties link Latvia and its trustworthy ally – the Czech Republic.
“Common historical experience links Latvia and the Czech Republic: we jointly freed ourselves from the shackles of Communism and together returned to the family of free and democratic nations of the European Union,” said Speaker Āboltiņa. “Close cooperation in culture and education unites the two countries: the Latvian language is taught at two Czech universities, and students at the University of Latvia learn the Czech language. That is a foundation for good and friendly relations between our nations.”
“Latvia and the Czech Republic have excellent relations in the European Union and NATO, and our bilateral cooperation is also active. Our parliament has the most active cooperation on committee and friendship group level with the Czech Republic,” said Speaker Āboltiņa.
Regarding the recent developments in the European Union, Solvita Āboltiņa highlighted that Latvia is keenly interested in the Common Agricultural Policy reforms that would review the amounts of direct payments, and in further availability of the Cohesion Fund that can be used to level out economic disparities.
The discussion also touched upon topical economic issues and the effect of the economic crisis on all EU member states. The Speaker of the Czech Parliament pointed out that Latvia can serve as an example for other countries that are currently facing similar problems. Speaker Āboltiņa explained that the current government took office in the midst of the crisis and it had to make difficult decisions and enforce major budget cuts responsibly. She noted that along with slashing expenditures, steps for boosting economic activity have also been taken.
During the meeting, the Czech delegation expressed particular interest in social dialogue with the parliament and government. Āboltiņa explained that, as the Speaker, she has set several priorities for herself, including the creation of an open parliament, strengthening of a regular dialogue with NGOs and social partners, and involvement in public initiatives.
From 10 to 12 April, at the invitation of the Saeima, Miroslava Nĕmcová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, and the accompanying delegation, is visiting Latvia. The Czech delegation is going to meet high public officials, as well as visit the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility, the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia and the Līgatne underground bunker.
Photos of the Czech delegation’s visit to the Saeima are available at:
When using the material, please give credit to the Saeima Chancellery.
Saeima Press Service