On 27 June 2018 State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Andrejs Pildegovičs, briefed foreign diplomats accredited in Latvia on the forthcoming Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Latvia will officially take over from Sweden on 1 July 2018.
The State Secretary introduced the three priorities of the Latvian Presidency: Integrity & Societal Security, Dialogue and Responsibility. Mr Pildegovičs then presented the main events and activities planned for the year ahead.
During its Presidency, Latvia will actively work in particular with the long-term priority of the CBSS “Safe and Secure Region” which includes the combat against trafficking in human beings, the fight against organised crime, identifying children at risk and ensuring their protection as well as strengthening civil security and border control cooperation.
Further, cultural heritage plays an increasing role in shaping and enriching the regional identity around the Baltic Sea. Therefore, the upcoming Presidency will devote itself to safeguarding the cultural heritage in the region and also pay attention to facilitating dialogue and practical cooperation between the experts in the field of cultural heritage.
The Latvian Presidency will moreover ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals through raising awareness on climate change and its effects by prioritising sustainable spatial planning strategies and actions set out in the “Baltic 2030 Action Plan”. It is the responsibility of the CBSS to act upon its role as a platform for dialogue where knowledge and best practices can be exchanged. The proposal for an implementation framework put forward during the Swedish Presidency will be the foundation of the new mandate of the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development, to be approved under the Latvian Chairmanship.
The Latvian Presidency will also set out to implement the ideas and proposals recommended by the CBSS Vision Group in their report ‘’Vision for the Baltic Sea Region beyond 2020’’. The report was presented to the CBSS Ministers of Foreign Affairs and High-Level Government Representatives at the Stockholm Ministerial on 18 June.
The briefing at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attended by State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Latvia, Mr Dimitrijs Trofimovs; Director General of the CBSS Secretariat Ambassador, Maira Mora as well as representatives of the National Cultural Heritage Board and the Latvian Ministry of Environment and Regional Development.