On 19 May 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in a videoconference of the Foreign Ministers of the Council of the Baltic Sea States arranged by the Danish Presidency. The ministers were joined by the Secretary General of the European External Action Service.
The participants shared views on current cooperation and challenges in the Baltic Sea region, including in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and cooperation to address its consequences.
The Latvian Foreign Minister underlined the importance of the Roadmap of CBSS Reforms 2018–2020, approved at the conclusion of the Latvian Presidency and introduced during the Danish Presidency. The Roadmap underlined the need for the CBSS to become more flexible, innovative and productive, being able to cooperate with its partners in the region more closely and effectively, while retaining its ability to deliver concrete results in areas in which the CBSS is uniquely suited. The document underscored the high importance of regional cooperation formats and organisations, including the CBSS.
Ministers underlined the importance of engaging with young people in the areas high on the agenda of the Baltic Sea cooperation, for instance, finding solutions with respect to environment and climate issues.
The Latvian Foreign Minister noted that exit from the current crisis must take place by both increasing economic growth and facilitating the achievement of goals in addressing climate change with a view to facilitating sustainable development of the Baltic Sea region. At the end of the meeting, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopted a final declaration https://www.cbss.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bornholm-Declaration.pdf.
Denmark took over the CBSS Presidency from Latvia on 1 July 2019 and will pass on the role to Lithuania on 30 June 2020. The Council of the Baltic Sea States, established in 1992, comprises the three Baltic States, the five Nordic countries as well as Germany, Poland, Russia, and the EU.
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