Latvian, Estonian parliamentary speakers compare notes on media

The speakers of the Estonian and Latvian parliaments met in Tallinn Friday to discuss cooperation and security issues.

"President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor and the Speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece focused on the topics connected with bilateral and regional cooperation, including the issues of security and increasing the safety of citizens," a statement from the Riigikogu press service said..

Expanding the area of coverage of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian digital television to include the whole Baltic region was also discussed.

"Knowing each other is a very important aspect in the relations between the people and also between the states. We should seriously try to expand our common information space, and increase our knowledge about Latvia and Lithuania, and they should increase their knowledge about us. The knowledge and information we have of each other should be deeper. Our media spaces more available to each other," said Nestor.

Nestor welcomed Latvia's decision to increase its defense budget year by year and wishing success to Estonia's southern neighbor during the upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Mūrniece introduced the key priorities of the presidency focusing on increasing the competitiveness of the EU, developing a common digital market and the Eastern Partnership.

Nestor hoped that the cooperation within the Baltic Assembly could be made more effective and efficient by increasing the role of the standing committees of national parliaments in its work.

The changed security situation in Europe and the Baltic Sea region in connection with Russia's aggression towards Ukraine and notable increase in its military activities was also discussed at the meeting.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Barbi Pilvre, member of the Nationa Defence Committee Ene Ergma and Chairperson of the Estonia-Latvia Parliamentary Group Mailis Reps also took part in the meeting of the speakers.

During their visit to Estonia, on Friday the Latvian delegation also met with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and the Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Margus Allikmaa, and visited the Museum of Occupations.

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