13 presidents to hold 'informal' September summit in Latvia

What is the collective noun for a large group of presidents? A ruling? A constitution? A gaggle? Whatever, a large group of national heads of state will meet in Latvia in September, the office of the Latvian president announced July 30.

The 14th meeting of the "Arraiolos group" will involve 13 presidents from European Union member states, the presidential chancellery said, and will take place in Rīga and Rundāle Palace (above) on September 13 and 14.

Arraiolos is a small town in Portugal where the first such meeting took place in 2003. Subsequent meetings of non-executive presidents of European Union member states have been dubbed Arraiolos meetings. In 2017 the meeting was held in Malta.

Last year the government supported a proposal to increase revenues of the President’s Chancellery by €360,192 in 2018 in order to pay for the Arraiolos group meeting which includes Latvia, Malta, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia.

It is not the first time Rīga has played host to the meeting: it did so previously in 2007.

"The Presidents' meeting is taking place during the celebrations of Latvia's centennial, and will give an opportunity to discuss the future of Europe, while revising the lessons of the past since the creation of several European countries, including Latvia, in 1918. At the meeting, the leaders will also discuss modern security challenges and national responses to them," said a preview from the chancellery.

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