21 September 2015 The delegation of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee visiting the National Assembly
Monday, 21 September 2015
Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee Delegation Visits National Assembly
A delegation of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee paid an official visit to the National Assembly today where it met, separately, with the members of the European Integration Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Senic said that the opening of the first negotiation chapters is of paramount importance for the citizens of Serbia. He added that the screening process was completed in March of this year and he expected the negotiation chapters to be opened in the coming period.
The European Integration Committee Chairman also highlighted the importance of promoting regional cooperation and informed the Latvian parliamentary delegation of the Committee’s recent activities to that end.
Greeting the MPs, the Chairperson of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Cigane said she was well aware of the European Integration Committee’s hard work, underlining its importance for the opening of the first EU negotiation chapters.
Cigane said that Serbia’s political will has been recognised, as has its determination to join all forces to attain its goal, adding that on the path to Europe, Serbia’s has the Latvian Parliament’s full support.
The members of the delegation of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee shared the experiences gained during the country’s EU talks, and how communication with the citizens was maintained during the process.
The meeting also touched on the current migrant crisis and how to overcome it in the best way possible.
Besides the Chairman, the meeting was also attended by European Integration Committee members Dragan Sormaz, Dusica Stojkovic and Branko Ruzic.
The delegation of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee, headed by the Chairperson Lolita Cigane, also met with the members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
The officials agreed that the migrant crisis shaking the European Union should not push the question of EU enlargement into the background, and that Serbia has Latvia’s full support for a speedy opening of the first negotiation chapters.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Aleksandra Djurovic informed the Latvian parliamentarians about Serbia’s foreign policy priorities, stressing that the National Assembly has reached a consensus regarding European integration.
“Besides EU accession, regional cooperation is another foreign policy priority, because we are aware that only peace and stability can lead to economic growth in the entire region”, stressed Djurovic.
She informed the Latvian delegation about the cooperation the Foreign Affairs Committee has with the relevant parliamentary committees in the region, especially in international organisations, which is already realised in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Djurovic restated that Serbia would not be putting up walls and fences in response to the migrant crisis and added that it is too ambitious to expect Serbia, as a transit country, to solve the problem at the moment when even Europe has no solution for it.
“The EU member states need to show more solidarity concerning the issue and Europe should show its strength by finding a solution to the crisis” concluded Djurovic.
Speaking of cooperation with the Russian Federation, Djurovic said that it in no way impacts on the European integration process.
“Serbia is especially thankful to the Russian Federation for its support of the territorial integrity and to the United Nation for the support regarding Kosovo-Metohija, but Serbia belongs in the European Union and we as a small country should put the interest of our citizens first, and that is Serbia’s EU accession”, stressed Djurovic.
The Chairperson of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Cigane commended the Balkan regional cooperation in international organisations and all of the National Assembly’s activities concerning the European integration process. She said that Latvia has always, not only during its EU Presidency, advocated the enlargement policy, hoping that the first negotiation chapters with Serbia would be opened soon, and that the migrant crisis would not have a negative impact on the process.
The Latvian delegation also commended the adoption of the Third Energy Package of EU directives, implemented in the Energy Law, and applauded the establishment of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Latvia at the National Assembly which was seen as a step forward in the improvement of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Besides Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Aleksandra Djurovic, the meeting was also attended by MPs Aleksandra Tomic and Dusica Stojkovic, as well as Armands Krauze and Kristīne Gailīte, members of the Latvian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee.