“Without question, the main challenges at present are security, energy independence, neighbourhood policy, and EU enlargement,” said Andris Sprūds, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, on Monday, 24 April, at the opening of the meeting of the chairs of the European affairs committees of the parliaments of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine.
Sprūds underlined that the Baltic States, Poland, and Ukraine are countries with a similar outlook regarding matters of security, development, and the future, and exchanging views with like-minded partners is important in the current geopolitical situation.
The committee chairs discussed the EU neighbourhood and security policy in the context of external challenges, as well as assistance to Ukraine. In addition, the participants spoke about supporting the European integration of the EU candidate countries.
Uģis Rotbergs, Deputy Chair of the European Affairs Committee, emphasised: “Knowing our neighbour, we must be ready to respond to various challenges quickly and in unity.” In addition, Rotbergs highlighted the importance of high-quality mutual parliamentary dialogue in achieving common goals.
Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the European Union of the Verkhovna Rada, and Andris Kužnieks, Deputy Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia and Head of the Political Department of the Representation, also addressed the participants.
In her speech, Klympush-Tsintsadze conveyed the expectation of the Ukrainian people to have a clear perspective as to when the EU would start accession talks with Ukraine. She also highlighted the importance of Baltic and Polish support for Ukraine’s European integration.
Concluding the meeting, the committee chairs visited the Riga Hydroelectric Power Plant and solar collector park in Salaspils to learn about Latvia’s experience in promoting energy independence and transitioning to renewable electricity.
The chairs of the European affairs committees of the Baltic and Polish parliaments usually gather twice a year to discuss topical EU issues. These meetings strengthen cooperation ties, foster the exchange of views, and help arrive at compromises while developing policies in line with the national interests of the countries.
Saeima Press Service