At the Parliamentary Assembly of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, BSPC Vice-President Carola Veit underlined the crucial importance of parliamentary cooperation and partnerships between the various parliamentary forums. “Parliamentary cooperation and peaceful and constructive dialogue are now important elements of our efforts to promote sustainable development and the well-being of the people in our regions,” said Veit in her capacity as Vice-President of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference at the 5th plenary session of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly. SEECP members are 13 South-eastern European states. The BSPC was for the first time represented at the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly. Carola Veit also presented some core contents of the resolution of the 26th BSPC in Hamburg and promoted its implementation in other countries
The aim of the conference in Ljubljana was to intensify cooperation between parliamentary assemblies. Members of parliament should establish direct contact with each other and bring their findings gained through this exchange to the domestic parliaments. They deal with a wide range of issues, such as refugee issues, the threat posed by international terrorism and environmental protection.
Veit reported on the results of the 26th Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference last year in Hamburg. Under her presidency, the conference had focused on science and research, democratic participation in the digital age and sustainable tourism. In addition, the new “Migration and Integration” working group had been set up.
Regarding Democratic Participation and the Digital Age, the BSPC had called in its resolution on the governments to
“- further improve and develop means of democratic participation, e.g. through transparency, comprehensive information, government accountability and other instruments of citizen participation;
– stimulate a common dialogue and debate in the region on ethical conditions for the digitization of states and societies and the possibilities of a common legal framework in this policy field. The task of the Parliaments is to guarantee fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in the digital world as well.”
She pointed out that the BSPC wants to initiate cooperation and to achieve progress in the whole region. Therefore, the member parliaments of the BSPC had asked their governments to report on the implementation of the annual resolutions and recommendations for action.
She concluded her speech by saying, “We’re facing similar problems. But we have partly much differing regards on them. So it is most demanding to always stay open to listen and understand. It is our task to solve them together, because the problems do not stop at our borders. We are looking forward to coming together for discussions and further, closer cooperation.“
Another meeting with representatives of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly is scheduled for the summer: Carola Veit invited the Chair of the SEECP to the annual conference of the BSPC in August on the Åland Islands.
In the margins of the conference, she also had talks with representatives of the Baltic Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC).