RIGA - The European Union (EU) must take measures to ensure its defense in various areas, including cyberspace and military defense, Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics stressed at a meeting with EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton at Riga Castle on Friday.
The officials discussed strengthening the Latvian and EU defense industries, reducing the EU's strategic dependencies, as well as the fight against disinformation, Martins Dregeris, adviser to the president, told LETA.
The President thanked the Commissioner for the European Commission's efforts to support Ukraine, including in the military field.
Rinkevics noted that the development of the European Defense Investment Program would be an important step towards increasing the EU's defense capacity. The President stressed that Latvian companies should also take a more active part in the use of the European Defense Fund and in new legislative initiatives.
The president also stressed the need to protect critical infrastructure, in particular the underwater infrastructure in the Baltic Sea.
In discussing the fight against disinformation, the president called on the EU to develop a legal framework in the field of artificial intelligence in order to guarantee the security and fundamental rights of people and businesses. The two sides agreed on the role and responsibility of social networking platforms in the dissemination of information.
At the end of the meeting, the president congratulated Commissioner Breton on the 30th anniversary of the EU internal market and noted that it was important to continue working on the expansion of trade opportunities in all 27 Member States.