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At the 32nd session of the Baltic Assembly and the 19th Baltic Council, held on 28 – 29 November in Riga, Estonia will be handed the presidency of the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council for 2014. This means that Estonia will assume leadership role in developing Baltic parliamentary and governmental cooperation.

The future president of the Baltic Assembly Laine Randjärv said the following about her new duties: “An important indicator of the Baltic cooperation is our ability to continue the activities that are important to the whole Europe through our presidency.”

The 32nd session of the Baltic Assembly and the 19th Baltic Council will discuss the priorities of Estonia’s presidency in 2014, as well as the general processes for improving the efficiency of Baltic parliamentary cooperation. “We believe in the strength of the Baltic cooperation and will fulfil our duties with the utmost responsibility and joy, to further improve the actual parliamentary cooperation in our region,” Randjärv said.

The Baltic Assembly agenda also includes the important issues of the development of a common regional tourism concept, the fight against value added tax frauds, the digital single market and the fight against organised crime.

Aivar Riisalu, the chairman of the sub-meeting on regional tourism, highlighted the common features of the Baltic states: our products, proximity, traditions and similar target markets. “When we combine our small budgets and look at the target groups from a common perspective, we will definitely have better chances of improving efficiency and quality,” Riisalu said.

Every year, the Baltic Assembly awards medals to worthy recipients for their achievements and special merits in strengthening and promoting Baltic unity and cooperation. Estonian recipients of the medal are the Vice-President of the European Commission Siim Kallas, Prorector of Science of the University of Tartu Marco Kirm, and Ambassador and Special Diplomatic Representative for Baltic Sea Co-operation Raul Mälk.

The Prize for Arts is awarded to composer Peeter Vähi for his oratorio “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene”, which is based on an original text in Coptic.

Before opening the session, the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and the Vice-President Laine Randjärv, along with the speakers of the three Baltic states and the heads of delegations to the Baltic Assembly, visited the ruins of the Maxima supermarket in the Zolitūde district of Riga. Ergma and Randjärv laid flowers and lit candles on behalf of the Riigikogu and the Republic of Estonia.

Taking part in the 32nd session of the Baltic Assembly and the 19th Baltic Council in Riga are the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, Vice-President Laine Randjärv and members Peep Aru, Väino Linde, Aivar Riisalu, Sven Sester ja Andre Sepp.

Photos

The Riigikogu Press Service

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