On 31 October 2019, the Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, will be on a working visit in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, where he will participate in the ceremony for the Balts Award bestowed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Lithuania for outstanding achievements in the research and fostering of the Balts’ heritage and the strengthening of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Minister will meet with the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, for a discussion on bilateral and regional cooperation and sharing views on current issues in the region’s security policy and on the European Union (EU) agenda. The Latvian Foreign Minister is also to deliver a lecture on the future of the Eastern Partnership at the European Humanities University.
The Balts Award will be bestowed by the Latvian and Lithuanian Foreign Ministries for the second time. The first Balts Award was presented in 2018, when Latvia and Lithuanian celebrated their centenaries. The first recipient of the award was the professor and linguist, Laimute Balode.
The aim of the Balts’ Award is to recognize the excellence and achievements related to individual contributions and accomplishments in the promotion of Latvian-Lithuanian and Lithuanian-Latvian translations, teaching and enhancing the use of the Latvian and Lithuanian languages, research on the Latvian and Lithuanian tangible and intangible cultural and historical heritage, as well as investigative journalism on Latvian and Lithuanian history, culture and tourism. The monetary value of the award is EUR 3000, co-funded by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Lithuania.
The idea of the Balts Award was first put forward by the Latvian Foreign Minister and his Lithuanian counterpart on the Balts Unity Day, 22 September 2017. In accordance with the Balts Award competition rules, the annual award-giving ceremony is to be organised alternately by Latvia and Lithuania.