Latvia outlines Baltic Sea priorities for coming year

On 27 June the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrejs Pildegovičs, held a briefing for diplomats accredited in Latvia on the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), due to begin on 1 July, when Latvia takes over duties from Sweden, the ministry said.

"During its presidency, Latvia will continue moving actively forward with an important CBSS priority – a safe and secure region – which includes issues rooted in a multidisciplinary approach, such as counteracting all forms of trafficking in human beings, combating organised crime, protection of children at risk, civil protection, and border control," it said.

Latvia will also place importance on the preservation of cultural heritage in the region, and the third priority relates to the areas set out in the Baltic 2030 Action Plan: pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and spatial planning. During the Presidency, a new mandate is to be drawn up for the CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development.

Other tasks will include analysis and implementation of “A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region Beyond 2020” produced by the CBSS Vision Group. On 18 June, the report was presented at the CBSS Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Stockholm. Alongside other independent experts contributing is Professor Žaneta Ozoliņa from the University of Latvia.

Latvia’s upcoming Presidency is going to be its third since the establishment of the CBSS in 1992. Working together in the CBSS are the three Baltic States, five Nordic countries, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the European Commission. The Council’s Secretariat is located in Stockholm.

Latvia will hold its Presidency until 30 June 2019, then hand it over to Denmark.

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