Latvia’s presidency in regional cooperation organization – Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) – concluded on 30 June 2019, as reported by Defence Ministry.
Latvia became in charge of the organization on 1 July 2018. Cooperation in the Baltic Sea region is an important priority for Latvia’s foreign policy. CBSS plays a major role for organizing inter-governmental cooperation. Presidency over CBSS provided Latvia an opportunity to monitor and promote inter-governmental cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, establish the region’s practical cooperation directions, as well as contribute to protection of common interests and goals.
The ministry notes that while performing duties as the presiding country over CBSS in 2018-2019, Latvia focused on important and practical projects in areas that are priorities for Latvia: 1. Security of the region’s society; 2. Sustainable development, territorial development and climate change; 3. Cultural heritage.
During Latvia’s presidency over CBSS, the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry took on coordinating role. Under the ministry’s management there were six meeting of CBSS member states and Foreign Affairs Ministry’s senior committees. Representatives of Latvian ministries and other institutions supervised and hosted CBSS work and expert group meetings.
At the same time, Latvia presided in formats important for regional development like Baltic Sea Cultural Heritage Committee, Baltic Sea Cultural Heritage Committee, Baltic Sea Region Spatial Planning and Development Committee, VASAB-Vision and Strategy Around the Baltic Sea, Baltic Sea Trade Union Network BASTUN.
The final meeting of CBSS under Latvia’s presidency took place on 3 June. Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs hosted the meeting. At the end of the meeting, foreign affairs minister of CBSS member states approved two remaining documents left from Latvia’s presidency: Jurmala Declaration of CBSS Reform Action Plan 2018-2020.