Meeting of Baltic Assembly committees to focus on circular economy, digital cooperation

  • 2020-02-14
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A joint meeting of the economics, energy and innovation committee and the natural resources and environment committee of the Baltic Assembly, where topics to be discussed as economic cooperation of the Baltic states include circular economy and digital issues, will be held in the Conference Hall of the Riigikogu on Friday.

Chairman of the Baltic Assembly's natural resources and environment committee Erki Savisaar said that at the session devoted to circular economy, recycling of bio, textile and construction waste would be spoken about.

"For example, the bio waste decomposing in landfills is a threat to the environment because of the methane that is produced, and therefore the OECD calls upon the states to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste. At the meeting, we will discuss the recommendations according to which investments into separate collecting and treatment of bio-waste should be encouraged, and the projects that stimulate sustainable treatment of bio waste should be supported. Establishing of landfill restrictions and bio-waste prohibition should also be considered,” Savisaar added.

The possibility of creating joint deposit refund system will also be explored at the meeting.

"If the Baltic states could develop a joint deposit refund system, that would open possibilities for extended cooperation also in other areas of waste recycling. Regional waste treatment projects make the economy viable," Savisaar said.

Chairman of the Baltic Assembly's economics, energy and innovation committee Sven Sester said that last year, the Baltic Assembly had adopted a number of recommendations on digital cooperation.

"One of the recommendations was developing of regional approach in regard to the artificial intelligence and other new technologies. Cooperation is necessary, because individual projects are expensive. Besides that, the EU supports regional initiatives, and joint applications and projects have to be discussed before the EU financing plans are implemented," Sester said.

Speaking of digital cooperation, Sester pointed out the X-Road information exchange. "The potential of cross-border information exchange cannot be overestimated, and the three Baltic states have to make joint efforts to create a common digital infrastructure that would cover e-governance projects in different areas," he added.

The Baltic Assembly is a consultative cooperation organization of the parliaments of the three Baltic states, which discusses issues of mutual interest. This year, Estonia is the presiding country of the Baltic Assembly.