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At the end of the annual session of the Baltic Assembly, held in Riga today, Latvia will hand over the presidency of the organisation to Estonia, who will lead the developing of cooperation between the parliaments and government agencies of the Baltic States next year.

“As the consistent development of our region is very important to us, Estonia will continue with the issues that have been significant for us all during previous presidencies,” said Helir-Valdor Seeder, who will be the next President of the Baltic Assembly. “Our presidency will focus on strategically important priorities that have a practical impact on each individual state and the whole region.”

Seeder said that the main aims of the Baltic Assembly are the strengthening of the security and defence cooperation of the Baltic States, a comprehensive approach to energy market, transport and infrastructure, and the development of research and innovation. “During Estonia’s presidency, we will carefully follow also the representation of Baltic interests in the European Union and other international organisations,” Seeder added. “We will also continue cooperation with the Nordic Council, Benelux parliament and Visegrad countries to develop common positions at the European Union level.”

The 35th Session of the Baltic Assembly, which is held in Riga today, will begin with the meeting of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and the Speakers of national parliaments, where the President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor will participate. It will be followed by the sittings of the Baltic Assembly committees and awarding of the medals of the Baltic Assembly to the persons to whom the Baltic cooperation is important and who stand for the preservation of regional values.

The afternoon session, where the issues relating to migration and the external border of the EU will be discussed, will be chaired by current Vice President of the Baltic Assembly Helir-Valdor Seeder. New challenges and common solutions of the Baltic States in mitigation of the refugee crisis, intensification of the cooperation of border guard agencies, protection of borders and new possible routes of migration flow will be spoken about.

Besides that, the demographic situation in the Baltic States and state policies for family support, and also investments into welfare and economic growth will be dealt with in the afternoon. The Rail Baltica project, transport corridors, initiating of new projects and cross-border cooperation will also be discussed.

At the end of the Session, the Final Document of the 35th Session of the Baltic Assembly will be signed, and recommendations to the Governments on improving the security, economic progress and welfare of the population of the region will be adopted.

Yesterday evening, the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Assembly and the ceremony of awarding the Baltic Assembly Prizes for literature, arts, science and innovation were held in Ziemeļblāzma Culture Palace in Riga. A festive opening of the new building of the Latvian Saeima was also held.

The Estonian delegation to the 35th Session of the Baltic Assembly in Riga consists of the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor, Vice-President of the Riigikogu Helir-Valdor Seeder, and members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Toomas Kivimägi, Krista Aru, Rainer Vakra, Heljo Pikhof, Uno Kaskpeit, Andre Sepp, Peep Aru and Kalvi Kõva.

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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