TALLINN - Addressing the Baltic Assembly’s 30th session in Tallinn last Friday, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that Baltic cooperation in important areas is strategically important for the region; however, national interests must also be respected.
The foreign minister said that he will try to achieve that Baltic cooperation develops in a mutually beneficial way. He said that work must continue to strengthen Baltic economic and financial cooperation, as well as work together to achieve fairer allocation of finances from the European Union, Rinkevics emphasized.
The Baltics must work together to prevent a possible reduction in cohesion fund financing, as well as unfair direct payments to Baltic farmers, he added. The Latvian foreign minister also said that the three Baltic countries must work together to ensure energy security, as well as integrate the Baltic transportation network with Europe.
Baltic parliamentarians at the Assembly session put forward priorities for 2012. In the agreed upon document, the Baltic Assembly’s priorities for 2012 will be the innovative and competitive development of the Baltic economy, security, as well as Baltic-Nordic cultural integration.
For the first time in the framework of cooperation of the Baltic parliaments and governments, the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers gathered for a joint session, called the Baltic Council. During the event, the Baltic Council of Ministers delivered a report on Baltic cooperation during the past year and outlined plans for future cooperation.
In 2011, the presidency the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers is held by Estonia, and next year the function will be taken over by Lithuania. The next Baltic Assembly session will take place on Nov. 8-9, 2012 in Vilnius.