Parlamentārā sekretāre

On 19-20 June 2022, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the Annual Council Meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Berlin. Earlier this spring, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica had received an invitation to join the ECFR as its member.

Discussions at this year’s Council Meeting focused on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the assessment of its impact on Europe’s security, the EU-China relationship, and stability in the Middle East. In the course of several sessions, experts exchanged views on the strengthening of Europe’s global role, current economic challenges, and energy security, including in the context of climate change.

As part of her visit, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica also met with members of the deputy Chair and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Bundestag. The meeting addressed regional security and the NATO Madrid Summit, as well as the provision of the required support towards Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The Parliamentary Secretary underlined: “Granting Ukraine the EU candidate country status is a much-needed step for the Ukrainian people to see a firm and clear European perspective for their country. Besides, the EU accession perspective will give the stability and predictability in the region for economic recovery and growth. At the same time, we must understand that the further process will be elaborate, lengthy and will allow for no shortcuts.” The Parliamentary Secretary also underlined that the ability to take an unequivocal decision on Ukraine’s as well as Moldova’s candidate status is an essential and symbolic step to clearly demonstrate the EU’s political power and unity, as well as solidarity with the Ukrainian people.  

The parties had an in-depths discussion on the need for providing an immediate and large-scale military support for Ukraine. The need for ending Europe’s energy dependency on Russia was also discussed, as well as making major restructuring in European economy. The Parliamentary Secretary underlined that it was currently necessary to provide broad military, political, humanitarian and financial support for Ukraine.

The partners exchange views on the need to strengthen defence in NATO’s eastern flank and take a decision at the NATO Madrid Summit on an extended and long-term presence of NATO forces in the Baltic States.


Background information

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is a European scale think-tank that aims to promote a coordinated, effective and values based European foreign and security policy. The ECFR community comprises prominent European politicians, members of national parliaments and governments, serving foreign ministers, EU Commissioners and members of the European Parliament, representatives from international organisations, business leaders, members of civil society, academics and journalists from more than 30 European countries. The ECFR produces and publishes high-quality policy reports about current foreign policy challenges on a regular basis.

The ECFR was established 15 years ago; its co-chairs are Carl Bildt, Lykke Friis and Norbert Röttgen.

The ECFR Council is one of the leading conferences addressing pan-European foreign policy. Each year, it is held in a different European city bringing together high-ranking decision makers and sectoral experts from across the globe.