“The Baltic States and the Nordic countries should work in close cooperation to defend their common European values, democracy, and human rights,” stressed Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, in a meeting at the Parliament of Latvia with Andreas Norlén, Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden, during his official visit to Latvia.
The Speakers of the Parliaments of Latvia and Sweden agreed that the Council of Europe must ensure the protection of the democratic values fundamental to Europe. “The decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to restore the voting rights of Russia undermines the influence and prestige of the organisation,” emphasised Mūrniece.
“Latvia and Sweden share powerful historical and cultural ties, as well as close political and economic relations. Sweden is an important economic partner with major investments in the Latvian economy. It is the right moment to deepen cooperation with Sweden both bilaterally as well as within the Baltic and Nordic region. It is in our interest to build up contacts between committees of both Parliaments in areas such as European affairs, education and research, digitalisation, innovation, and climate change,” noted Mūrniece.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the security situation in the region. “Considering the modern challenges, active cooperation towards security enhancement in the region is needed more than ever before. Our country is located at the eastern border of the European Union, and it is our mission to provide a realistic assessment of the security situation,” asserted the Speaker of the Saeima.
Mūrniece and Norlén expressed their commitment to the promotion of an active Eastern Partnership policy and emphasised the role of transatlantic cooperation in maintaining European and global security.
In the morning, at the plenary sitting of the Saeima, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden gave a speech about democracy, its challenges and opportunities.
During Mūrniece’s meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden, also present were Marija Golubeva, Deputy Secretary of the Presidium of the Saeima; Arvils Ašeradens, Chair of the Education, Culture and Science Committee and Chair of the Group for promoting cooperation with the Parliament of Sweden; and Juris Rancāns, Chair of the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee.
In addition, Dagmāra Beitnere-Le Galla, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima; Jānis Vucāns, Head of the Latvian delegation to the Baltic Assembly; Gatis Eglītis, Deputy Chair of the European Affairs Committee; and Inga Goldberga, Member of the Baltic Affairs Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee, met with Norlén today.
The Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden and his delegation are on an official visit to Latvia until 12 October. It is a return visit following the official visit of Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, to Sweden in March 2019.
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Saeima Press Service