Press release from the Saeima
It is in the interests of Latvia to assert itself as a co-shaper of the future of Europe, an advocate of a strong Europe and a custodian of democratic European values, stressed Vita Anda Tērauda, Chair of the Saeima European Affairs Committee, on Thursday, 23 January, during the annual parliamentary debate on foreign affairs.
The founding treaties of the European Union (EU) enshrine the values and mission of protecting and promoting democracy both inside and outside the EU, stated Tērauda, stressing that while democratic values may seem self-evident and eternal, they should be reiterated day in, day out. “We need new mechanisms and solutions offering different ways of upholding justice and values. It is important to keep the question of values at the top of the European agenda and to set the benchmark of values equally high for all Member States,” stressed the Chair of the European Affairs Committee.
The discussion on EU enlargement was also pointed out as crucial by Tērauda. “It is in the interests of Europe and Latvia to expand the area of democracy in Europe, thereby strengthening security in the region,” said the Chair of the European Affairs Committee, noting that the delayed talks with Albania and North Macedonia last autumn sent a demoralising signal to all those countries that resolutely implement democratic reforms in order to join the EU.
The Chair of the European Affairs Committee stressed the need to continue seeking solutions to the challenges generated by the digital world. “One should be aware that authoritarian regimes are systematically using digital tools to intensify attacks on democracies,” said Tērauda, placing particular emphasis on disinformation, spread of false information, manipulation of public opinion, and interference in electoral process. The Chair of the European Affairs Committee emphasised the agility with which the EU fights off these challenges, also thanks to Latvia’s efforts to keep the focus on this issue.
Tērauda highlighted keeping security issues on the agenda as one of Latvia’s crucial endeavours in the EU. “Together with our closest European neighbours, we form Europe’s eastern border with a country whose actions threaten the region’s security. Since the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, the European Union has pursued a policy of sanctions against Russia. Latvia’s task is to make sure that the sanctions are not relaxed until a solution is found to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and to the situation in Crimea,” emphasised the Chair of the European Affairs Committee.
Addressing European climate policy objectives, Tērauda stressed the need for new financial instruments to achieve them. The Chair of the European Affairs Committee urged Latvia to set an example of determination and courage to utilise innovations and emerging opportunities in ensuring economic growth.
Saeima Press Service
Date of publication: 23 Jan 2020
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