On Tuesday, 24 April, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, participated in the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in Tallinn. In a keynote speech delivered during the session on the security and defence of the EU, the Speaker emphasised that a close security cooperation between the European Union and NATO has never been as important as it is now, especially in the area of cybersecurity and hybrid-threats.
Speaker Mūrniece pointed out that Europeans strongly support closer EU cooperation in the area of security, adding that the crises at the EU borders, terrorism, Kremlin’s hybrid-threats and other factors clearly indicate that security and defence standards must be raised.
Speaker Mūrniece welcomed the progress achieved by the EU member states. Latvia supports the new EU defence initiatives, such as PESCO or the Permanent Structured Cooperation. In the PESCO framework, it is important to maintain focus on specific practical projects aimed at promoting military mobility and enhancing defence capabilities.
From Latvia’s viewpoint, military mobility is one of the most important aspects of PESCO, as it is aimed at simplifying and speeding-up border-crossing procedures for military personnel and equipment within Europe. Speaker Mūrniece welcomed the first steps and hoped for tangible results to be achieved in the nearest future.
Speaker Mūrniece underlined that each EU member state has its own strong suit that can bring a valuable contribution to PESCO. The Baltic States can contribute in the area of IT and cybersecurity.
It is important to strengthen the defence industry and reduce its fragmentation. Speaker Mūrniece expressed support to the establishment of the European Defence Fund and emphasised the need to make the Fund’s resources available also to small and medium enterprises.
Speaker Mūrniece underlined the importance of raising public awareness and promoting critical thinking to counter disinformation campaigns and false news. Strategic communication also plays a decisive role in this.
At the same time, it is obvious that the EU cannot and will not substitute the functions of NATO. We want to cooperate and complement each other, said Speaker Mūrniece.
This year, the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments is hosted by Estonia. The annual conference is held each spring and is hosted by the EU member state which held the presidency of the EU Council during the second half of the previous year.
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Saeima Press Service