MEP Melbarde appointed Foreign Ministry parliamentary secretary

  • 2024-05-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - European Parliament Member Dace Melbarde (New Unity) has been appointed Foreign Ministry parliamentary secretary, and has already taken her post, the Foreign Ministry told LETA.

She is joining the team of Baiba Braze, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, having completed her duties of office under the current term of the European Parliament, where she was elected to serve in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

With this decision, Melbarde is resigning from her mandate as an MEP, New Unity spokesperson Anna Udre told LETA. The new position will not affect Melbarde's activities as a New Unity candidate in the EP election campaign, where she is expected to continue her active participation outside her daily work, the party association said.

New Unity supports Melbarde as Parliamentary Secretary at the Foreign Ministry, as she "has repeatedly demonstrated her high working ability and understanding of political processes as an MEP, as well as her competence in foreign affairs".

Melbarde was initially voted into the European Parliament from the National Alliance ticket, but later left the party and joined New Unity. Current MP Edvins Snore (National Alliance) was next in terms of votes from the National Alliance ticket, and could now replace Melbarde in the EP.

However, Snore told LETA that he will not take over Melbarde's mandate, as he is currently running for the EP himself, and would like to obtain a mandate by voters in next month's EP elections.

According to the National Alliance politician, Unity does not have high hopes in the EP elections if Melbarde has given up her mandate.

Melbarde previously served as Minister of Culture (2013–2019). Prior to that, she was Director of the Latvian National Cultural Center (2011–2013) and Country Manager of the British Council Latvia, (2009–2011), as well as serving for a number of years at the National Commission of Latvia for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as President of the Commission (2013–2019) and Secretary-General (1999–2004).

Melbarde holds a Master’s degree in Public Management from the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Latvia. She has earned her Master’s degree in Theory and Management of Culture from the Latvian Academy of Culture and a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Latvia. Melbarde is currently doing doctoral research at the Latvian Academy of Culture.

Melbarde received the Honorary Award of the World Association of Free Latvians Cultural Fund in 2017. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of the Three Stars, Third Class, and a Cabinet of Ministers Certificate of Merit.