The Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference holds its 25th annual conference on 28-30 August 2016 in Riga. The Latvian parliament is host of this Silver Jubilee edition under the chairmanship of the BSPC-President and President of the Baltic Assembly Prof. Dr. Jānis Vucāns. Around 200 parliamentarians, ambassadors of the Baltic Sea States in Latvia, experts and other invited guests participate in the conference.
The conference takes place under the heading “High Quality Education and Labour – The Future of the Baltic Sea Region”. The BSPC President welcomed the participants on Monday morning, followed by welcome addresses by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr Raimonds Vejonis, and the Speaker of the Latvian Parliament, Ms Inara Murniece.
In three thematic sessions, the parliamentarians will debate the state of the region, including “Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region”, “How to develop competitiveness in the Baltic Sea Region by linking education and the labour market” and “Realising employment opportunities – Improving labour mobility and combating youth unemployment”. Among the speakers are the Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Ms Maja Gojkovic, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Edgars Rinkevics, the Latvian Minister for Education and Science, Mr Karlis Šadurskis, the Latvian Minister of Welfare, Mr Janis Reirs, the Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labour, Ms Algimanta Pabedinskiene, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, Ms Annete Kramme, the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Mr Thor Kleppen Sættem, the former EU-Commissioner and Danish cabinet minister, Mr Poul Nielson, the President of the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions and Co-President of the Baltic Sea Trade Union Network, Mr Jan Guz as well as representatives of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, of HELCOM, the Baltic Sea NGO Forum and the Baltic Sea Labour Forum.
A ceremonial session in honour of the 25th anniversary of the BSPC – “Baltic Sea parliamentary cooperation: yesterday, today tomorrow” – was held on Monday afternoon. The former President of the Baltic Assembly and long-standing member of the BSPC Standing Committee, Mr Trivimi Velliste, took part in the session.