The Baltic Assembly (BA) is a consultative cooperation organisation of the parliaments of the three Baltic States which discusses issues of mutual interest. A 12-member delegation of the Riigikogu represents Estonia in the Assembly.
The task of the Riigikogu delegation to the Baltic Assembly is to express Estonia’s views in the Presidium and at international forums. The Delegation has 12 members. The correlation of political forces in the parliament and the need to represent the standing committees of the Riigikogu are taken into account when the delegation is formed.
The official languages of the BA are Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian. Other languages are used by agreement of the delegations.
The Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania Interparliamentary Assembly or the Baltic Assembly was established on 8 November 1991 in Tallinn. The BA is a consultative cooperation organisation of the parliaments of the three Baltic States which discusses issues of mutual interest in the Baltic region. The positions of the Assembly are presented to the parliaments and the governments of the Baltic states, as well as to international and regional organisations in the form of communications, proposals and recommendations. The BA has bilateral cooperation agreements with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Benelux Interparliamentary Consultative Council.
The work formats of the Assembly are: sessions, meetings of the Presidium and committees, conferences, round tables and seminars. The Presidium meets six times a year, the committees have up to three meetings in a year. the Session of the BA is held once a year alternately in one of the three countries at the same time with the meeting of the Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM). The joint meeting of the BA and the BCM is also called the Baltic Council. The Session is an event of great importance, where the work done is summed up and the priorities are set.
The work of the Presidium is directed by the President and two Vice Presidents. The President is elected from the presiding country for a term of one year. Estonia hold the presidency of the BA in 2017. Strengthening the security and defence cooperation of the Baltic States, the issues of common energy market, and transport and infrastructure, and also smart solutions in education, innovation and research were mainly focused on.
Five committees have been formed for the Baltic parliamentary cooperation:
- Security and Defence Committee
- Economics, Energy and Innovation Committee
- Natural Resources and Environment Committee
- Welfare Committee
- Education, Science and Culture Committee
Increasing of agricultural supports, improving the teaching of history in schools, monitoring the preservation of cultural heritage, project of the wholesale purchase of medicinal products, providing of cross-border emergency medical service, equalisation of fishing quotas, publishing of multilingual dictionary, etc. can be considered the greatest achievements of the BA committees.
The work of the BA is coordinated by the Secretariat which is located in Riga.
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