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On Thursday, 10 May, the Saeima unanimously approved a concept of national defence that focuses on a radical paradigm shift whereby Latvia is transformed from a security consumer into a security provider within NATO.
Latvia’s Presidency of the European Union (EU) in 2015 is our country’s opportunity to be noticed and to promote our interests in setting the EU agenda. Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, emphasised this on Wednesday, 9 May, at the presentation in the Saeima of the publication “Latvia’s Interests in the European Union”, which is dedicated to the opportunities of small countries to be heard and to affect decisions at the EU level.
On Wednesday, 9 May, the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima supported the proposal that the draft law with which Latvia is to ratify the so-called Fiscal Compact of the European Union (EU) be reviewed in the first reading. The Committee also came to an agreement that the ratification process shall require a two-thirds majority.
On Wednesday, 2 May, members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, while meeting with representatives from the Riga 2014 foundation, stressed that when Riga becomes the European capital of culture in 2014, it will be a great opportunity for all of Latvia that our country should take maximum advantage of in order to raise the visibility of Latvia and to attract tourists; moreover, the extensive cultural programme will offer a good preview before Latvia assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) scheduled for the first half of 2015.
“The millstone of freedom has to be carried day by day throughout one’s lifetime, for it is the most precious, albeit the heaviest burden. Since 4 May 1990, each patriot, each and every one of us, has to keep on carrying it. You cannot cast off your freedom; you cannot collapse under its weight or complain about how heavy it is,” said Speaker Āboltiņa in her address at the ceremonial sitting of the Saeima on 4 May.
“Those who say that Latvia has no future should come and see the way the Youth Parliament works. You are the future of Latvia. I am convinced that Latvia’s future will be in good hands – in the hands of young, patriotic, smart, educated, willing and capable people,” said Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, in addressing the young people at the closing of the event.
On Friday, 27 April, the Education, Culture and Science Committee of the Youth Parliament elaborated a declaration on “Participation of children and youths in shaping a modern educational system”, which states that there is a need to balance theoretical and practical components of school curricula so that they aid students in making the right career choice. Ina Druviete, Chairperson of the Education, Culture and Science Committee of the Saeima, stressed the significant role of education in one’s social and personal life and pointed out the need for continuous evolution of the education system.
On Friday, 27 April, the members of the 2nd Youth Parliament, guided by Ojārs Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, created a group for interparliamentary relations with the USA in order to promote interest among youths about collaboration opportunities with the United States of America (USA). Next week the members of the group will visit the U.S. embassy to meet the U.S. Ambassador in person.
On Friday, 27 April, one hundred young people will gather at the Saeima in order to learn about the everyday work of the legislature through personal experience and defend their ideas from the rostrum.