Estonian Presidency of the Baltic Assembly was opened today at the meeting of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly in Brussels.
At the beginning of the meeting the Presidium made a joint address in support of the agreement between the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regarding the development of the Rail Baltic railway connection. It is planned to sign the agreement on 31 January.
Head of the Estonian delegation Aadu Must, who chairs the meeting of the Presidium, said that during its Presidency of the Baltic Assembly Estonia would focus on promoting the communication between the legislative and executive powers of the Baltic States in order to better represent common regional interests.
“We have to develop more comprehensive and inclusive regional cooperation and promotion of the Baltic profile at international forums. Regular coordination of positions, targeted public diplomacy and strategic communication are of great importance to the secure Baltic region,” Must said.
At the meeting, Must presented the events of the Estonian Presidency year, of which the most important is the annual session on 9–10 November. Activities of the Baltic Council of Ministers in implementing the decisions of last year, cooperation with international partners the Nordic Council, Benelux parliament and the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova) Parliamentary Assembly will be focused on.
On 23–24 January, the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) and the meeting of the BSPC working group on sustainable tourism will also be held in Brussels.
During the meeting of the BSPC Standing Committee, progress report on the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and progress report about activities of the HELCOM will be analysed. Another important issue to be discussed is the application of the Parliament of Belarus to get an observer status at the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference.
The BSPC working group on sustainable tourism will make summaries for the preparation of the final report. Financing of the tourism sector, the activities of small and medium-sized enterprises, tax policies and long-term development plans of the region will be discussed at the meeting.