On Monday, 16 December, in the framework of her official visit to Italy, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian parliament, and proposed that both parliaments draft an agreement on cooperation within the framework of the trio presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). The trio presidency consisting of Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg will last from mid-2014 until the end of 2015.
The speakers agreed that the declaration could be signed during the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments, which will take place in Vilnius on 6–8 April next year.
The Speaker of the Saeima informed the President of the Chamber of Deputies regarding Latvia’s preparations for its first presidency and attested that our country is already hard at work discussing the priorities of our presidency, as well as increasing administrative capacity in order to be able to successfully fulfil this important task.
During the meeting, Speaker Āboltiņa confirmed Latvia’s interest in strengthening parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, also at the level of sectoral committees, and stressed that the period of our trio presidency is a perfect time for doing so.
When discussing issues relating to the presidency of the EU, the Speaker of the Saeima told her Italian colleague that one of Latvia’s priorities during its presidency in the first half of 2015 will be the Eastern Partnership and that during Latvia’s presidency, it plans to host an Eastern Partnership summit. Speaker Āboltiņa also informed President Boldrini that upon her initiative, a visit of Nordic and Baltic parliamentarians to Moldova will take place next year in order to show support for the country’s efforts at European integration.
As speakers of national parliaments, Āboltiņa and Boldrini also discussed the role of women in politics, specifically emphasising the importance of female representation in parliaments. Both speakers concurred that as there are currently 38 women speakers of parliament, there is a need to strengthen a cooperation network among them. Likewise, both speakers agreed that one of the best formats for cooperation among women speakers of parliament is the annual Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
President Boldrini invited the Speaker of the Saeima to take part in a conference in Rome in March 2014 to discuss matters related to the EU’s future and its growth opportunities.
From 15 to 18 December Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, is on an official visit to Italy, where she is meeting with Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies, and Pietro Grasso, President of the Senate. During her visit to the Vatican, Āboltiņa will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis and father Lombardi, Director General of Vatican Radio.
Photos from the visit are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157638730034676/
Saeima Press Service