null First videoconference of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of V4 countries, Estonia and Latvia on 6 October 2020

Marek Kuchciński, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm, in cooperation with Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Seaima, organised a joint committee videoconference for the chairpersons of Foreign Affairs Committees of the V4 and B3 (except Lithuania) parliaments for the first time on 6th October 2020.

The main issues addressed at the meeting held in V4+ format included international and regional events as well as the dialogue on the future of Europe. The videoconference was attended by Marek Kuchciński, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm, Bogdan Klich, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Senate, Ondřej Veselý, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Pavel Fischer, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Czech Senate, Juraj Blanár, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Slovak National Council. Besides the V4 countries Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Seaima and Enn Eesmaa, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Riigikogu were present. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Seimas did not attend the meeting because of the parliamentary elections on 11th October.

With respect to the importance of the meeting Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Latvian Seaima as well as Henn Põlluaas, President of the Estonian Riigikogu held opening speeches in the first panel, while in the second panel Zbigniew Rau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Edgars Rinkēvičs Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia after their opening remarks also answered to the questions raised by the chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees.

The Hungarian National Assembly was represented at the meeting by Zsolt Németh, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who in his contributions shared an overview about the Hungarian position on the current foreign policy issues, and - praising the cooperation of the V4+B3 Foreign Affairs Committees –also referred to his proposals for the framework of the cooperation that was sent to the participants in writing after the meeting.

The Committee Chairs agreed on the success of this new V4+B3 format meeting and all were the same opinion that it would be important to have consultations of this kind on a regular (most probably on a 6 monthly) basis.

In closing the meeting, Marek Kuchciński, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm offered to organize the next meeting of the chairpersons of Foreign Affairs Committees of the V4 and B3 parliaments in the first half of 2021.

 

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