Āboltiņa: Excellent relations between Latvia and Poland help to solve EU and regional development issues

On Wednesday, 30 May, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Ewa Kopacz, Marshal of the Polish Sejm. The Speaker stressed that excellent bilateral relations between Latvia and Poland and their close cooperation help both countries to jointly defend their vital interests at the EU level, including access to cohesion and agricultural funding, as well as to solve regional development issues.

Marshal Kopacz and the accompanying delegation of Polish parliament members are on a visit to Latvia on 30–31 May upon the invitation of Speaker Āboltiņa.

"Relations between Latvia and Poland are good on all levels, including the political dimension, personal contacts, education, art and culture. I would like to especially highlight our good economic relations because the total trade turnover between our countries reached a billion euros last year. Furthermore, today we have received an important message that the Lesser Poland Voivodeship is interested in concluding a cooperation agreement with Latgale; that is a positive practical example of how two countries can cooperate and support each other," stated the Speaker of the Latvian parliament at the press briefing.

The Speaker of the Saeima said that Latvia regards Poland as a regional leader, and she emphasised the need to strengthen the consultation process on all political levels, including the parliamentary level, with regard to topical issues on the EU agenda. "We actively cooperate within the so-called Friends of the Cohesion group, and we also have a similar opinion regarding common agriculture payments," Āboltiņa remarked.

The Marshal of the Polish Sejm also stressed that both countries have the same interests in the negotiations concerning the EU’s new multi-annual budget and that close cooperation is necessary in the struggle for cohesion and agricultural financing. Likewise, Marshal Kopacz thanked Latvia for the support it has given to the local Polish community, including its Polish schools.

"We highly value the fact that Polish nationals supported us in the founding of our country and actively participated in its restoration. Today the Polish community is still very loyal to Latvia," the Speaker of the Saeima said, emphasising that Latvia consistently ensures opportunities to receive education in minority languages, including Polish.

During the official visit, the Marshal of the Polish Sejm will meet with Andris Bērziņš, President of Latvia, and Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Marshal Kopacz will also lay flowers at the Monument of Freedom, as well as visit the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, the Ita Kozakēviča Polish Secondary School, and the a/s Dzintars company. She will also tour the Old Town Riga, the block featuring Art Nouveau buildings and the Riga Central Market.

On Thursday, 31 May, the Marshal of the Polish Sejm will address the Saeima during its plenary sitting.

Marshal Kopacz is accompanied by Kazimierz Kleina, who is a member of the Polish Senate, and members of the Sejm – Artur Górski, Piotr Bauć, Józef Racki, Marek Balt, Andrzej Romanek and Krystyna Skowrońska.

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