On December 13, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica, opened the European Union Information Providers’ Forum, which brought together more than 100 participants from all the regions of Latvia, LETA learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.
Discussions at this year’s forum focused on security and economic issues, as well as the importance and outline of the upcoming European Year of Youth.
“The EU’s agenda for 2022 will retain its focus on climate and digital transformation. At the same time, as efforts are ongoing to deal with the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, foundation is being laid to enable the EU to respond to possible crisis situations speedily and in a coordinated manner. Special attention should be devoted to the strengthening of values and the rule of law, including in the face of challenges created by disinformation and hybrid attacks aimed at undermining the EU,” the Parliamentary Secretary underlined.
Kalnina-Lukasevica also drew attention to the issues of the EU’s external security, which had come to the fore in the second half of 2021 as the result of the hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime. The topics of security, values and the rule of law were also highlighted at the presentation of a study, “Future of Europe – Latvia’s Viewpoint”, last week. The study and the opinions voiced by the people of Latvia during the Conference on the Future of Europe will be used to formulate Latvia’s position on the current issues concerning EU action. Although at the EU level the conference does not proceed as expected, already at this point, we can appraise the involvement of Latvia’s society and their preparedness to engage in a discussion on matters important for the functioning of the EU, the Parliamentary Secretary said.
In 2022, the Member States will continue receiving and absorbing EU funds and investments made available to them for economic recovery and the facilitation of the green and digital transformation. “With a view to strengthening the competitiveness of Latvia in the age of digital transformation, it is vital to invest in the development of the people’s digital skills,” Kalnina-Lukasevica underlined.
The European Union Information Providers Forum has been held since 2008. The event is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Office of the European Parliament in Latvia and the Representation of the European Commission in Latvia. The forum brings together the providers of EU-related information at the national and local government authorities, and representatives from EU Information Points (ESIP), Europe Direct Information Centres (EDIC), the media and NGOs.