On 3 June 2021, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Andris Pelšs, took part in an informal video-conference of State Secretaries and Directors General of the European Union Member States, at which Portugal, as an incoming EU Presidency, presented its priorities. The European External Action Service (EAAS) and Member States exchanged views on the role of international cultural diplomacy and the need for external communication concerning the European cultural space and how it contributes to global peace and stability, mentioning programmes such as the New European Bauhaus, the European Readr and the European Spaces of Culture.
The State Secretaries also discussed matters related to human resources management in the EAAS and Member State foreign services, with the aim of achieving a better gender balance. Based on experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, closer cooperation shall be developed between EU Member State embassies and EU delegations in third countries.
In a discussion on the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency, the State Secretaries underlined the need to continue work on economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and the EU’s resilience, especially in relation to the health care sector. They noted the vital role of strengthening the transatlantic partnership, the importance of the Eastern Partnership summit, a continued process of EU enlargement, the implementation of a green and digital transformation, further discussions on the Pact on Migration and Asylum, the climate and energy package, as well as other topics.
With Latvia supporting the idea of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and to promote the quality of the exchange of views on Europe’s future, Andris Pelšs underlined the necessity of bringing together the opinions of as broad a range of the members of the European community as possible during the discussion. To make that happen, Latvia is planning to organise digital discussions for sharing ideas with students and a broader public at the national level.
The State Secretary also noted Latvia’s support for the EU’s ambitious climate goals of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions of by 55% by 2030 and complete the EU’s transition to climate neutrality by 2050. It is essential that the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate be introduced as soon as possible, Andris Pelšs underlined.
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