Closer cooperation to strengthen Baltic region's competitiveness

On Friday, January 22, during the meeting of the Baltic Council of Ministers, the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia agreed on closer cooperation in order to foster long-term economic development and strengthen competitiveness of the Baltic region.

The Baltic prime ministers emphasised the role of a knowledge-based economy and development of research in sustaining growth of the national economies. The officials reached an agreement on further cooperation in the financial and economic areas by exploiting all the cooperation forms established among the Baltic States. To this end, the respective ministries for finances and/or economics of the three countries will examine the opportunities to establish a working group on economic and financial issues within the framework of the Baltic Council of Ministers. The sides also addressed the opportunities to develop a coordinated taxation system and discussed common Baltic interests concerning the introduction of the euro.

The heads of the States stressed that it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in the Baltic region in order to promote the Baltic-Nordic cooperation format, NB8, in the context of global changes.

During the meeting the sides acknowledged their successful cooperation regarding the new NATO strategic concept by supporting representation of the Baltic interests in discussion of the NATO countries.

The prime ministers agreed that the Committee of Senior Officials of the Baltic Council of Ministers should assess efficiency of the current cooperation formats and future perspectives. The relevant ministries for welfare and health were assigned to present suggestion concerning cooperation of the Baltic Council of Ministers with the Social Affairs Committee of the Baltic Assembly in order to address topical social issues.

The Baltic prime ministers also discussed the meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States scheduled for September 23-24, 2010, as well as their involvement in the conference devoted to region’s competitiveness which would be participated by representatives of the Baltic Assembly and Baltic companies.

Photos of this meeting are available in the State Chancellery’s Flickr photo album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/sets/72157623135988625/

Latvia organised the meeting of the Baltic prime ministers in relation to its Presidency in the Baltic Council of Ministers in 2010. The Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) is an institution for facilitating the cooperation between the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was formally established in its present structure on 13 June 1994. The main task of the BCM is to ensure continuous cooperation among national executive powers.