Memorandum of Understanding signed at the Saeima to promote public participation in EU-related discussions

(06.03.2023.)
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On Monday, 6 March, the Saeima, the European Commission, and the European Parliament Liaison Office in Latvia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic partnership. The aim of the Memorandum is to jointly raise awareness and educate society about important matters concerning Latvia’s membership in the European Union (EU), promote broader public participation in EU-related discussions, and inform about the role of national parliaments in EU-level decision making.

The Memorandum was signed by Andris Sprūds, Chair of the European Affairs Committee, on behalf of the 14th Saeima; Zane Petre, Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, on behalf of the European Commission; and Marta Rībele, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Latvia, on behalf of the European Parliament. The parties expressed their appreciation for the ongoing cooperation on EU matters and the coordination of events and activities.

Sprūds underlined that next year would mark the 20th anniversary since Latvia’s accession to the EU. “In the shadow of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, we are well aware of the EU community’s like-mindedness and its decisive importance,” noted the Chair of the European Affairs Committee. Sprūds emphasised that the idea of the Memorandum of Understanding involves not only strengthening the mutual coordination of the parties, cooperation, and developing active dialogue with society, but also ensuring that Latvia’s position is heard and taken into account in the EU.

In the Memorandum, the parties define the overarching objective of the strategic partnership: to develop dialogue with the EU population by raising awareness about the EU, its work and institutions and by deepening knowledge and understanding about the aims, structure, and achievements of Latvia’s membership in the EU.

The signing of the Memorandum also establishes a strategic partnership to coordinate trilateral cooperation, educate society about the importance of national parliaments in EU decision making and the implications of EU membership for Latvia, and also to promote the participation of civil society and municipalities in discussions about topical EU issues.

In addition, the parties to the Memorandum are committed to improving public awareness and developing dialogue about EU issues important to Latvia, as well as engaging in public diplomacy, including the promotion of Latvia’s experience and best practice as an EU member.

To achieve these objectives, the parties have established the Strategic Partnership Coordination Council, set to meet at least three times per year.

A memorandum of this kind was first signed during the 12th convocation of the Saeima.

 

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Saeima Press Service

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