MIL-OSI Translation: Statement by the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis after the meeting of the presidents of the Aarhus Group

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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Latvia –

Source: President of Latvia in Latvian

These have been two events and new knowledge days. I am honored that my colleagues in the country – the heads of state from 12 countries – visit Latvia in the centenary of their year. This is an important time for Latvia, but for the whole of Europe – a time of new changes and challenges. This meeting was a great opportunity for us to discuss in a direct and open debate the key to us – how to preserve and further develop a united, secure and prosperous Europe. For many years, the future of Europe has been Arajolos the central theme of the meeting of the presidents of the group. We discussed the challenges faced by the Member States of the European Union and their citizens and solutions to overcome them, working together for policy makers and citizens. We were looking for the answer to the question – is the public’s demand for a future Europe sufficiently identified? What is the vision of the citizens of the Member States on the development of the EU and the future of the EU? Citizens are those who elect politicians. Without their point of view and engagement, we will not be able to achieve a sustainable and stable development of the European Union. Responsible attitudes towards the future of Europe are deeply rooted in the pages of the tragic European history. Latvia has a clear European perspective, which is determined by the history of Latvia’s 100 years. It is closely linked to the fate of many European nations and nations. We have witnessed two world wars, three occupations, regime change, and all the tragic destinies of mankind. All over people’s courage, determination and faith in the future. At the moment, the debate about the future of Europe can no longer remain solely as a theme for philosophical insights. The future of Europe has a practical necessity. It is a necessity – to evaluate where we have made mistakes. There is a need – to make quick decisions and implement results-based solutions. It is a necessity – not a waste of resources and a sustainable policy that will serve the citizens of the European Union. However, yesterday’s working session in Rundale Palace talked about the security challenges of today. The success of the European Union for several decades – prosperity, peace and political stability have been questioned in recent years. It has also been the cause of external attempts to deny the achievements of European democracy and even intervene in European political life. It has to be admitted that, internally, we have been cautious about recognizing these challenges and lagging behind with decisions and explanations that are important for sustainable and societal reasons. Efforts to intervene at national elections and to influence national political choices, false news, manipulation of public opinion, the use of technology to spread misinformation and many others have become part of the everyday life of European politics. Given the variety of challenges and the often unpredictable impact, it is important to ensure a wide range of security the existence of policies and their modernization. Europe must continue its commitment to strengthen its military capabilities. We must not be afraid to face up to challenges such as inequality, the gap between power and society, the risks posed by climate change, the fragmentation of society, and the lives of so-called information bubbles. These are today’s challenges, which sometimes manipulate external players to question our ability to act. Important national and European resilience in soft security will diminish if we have not done enough to strengthen our military capabilities. In turn, military protection will suffer if we do not act to strengthen soft security. Latvia is committed to identifying and preventing potential risks and making Europe and its citizens safe. Latvia is proud to contribute to strengthening European security. Latvia has become home to NATO’s Center for Excellence in Strategic Communication, and we are one of the Founding Members of the European Center for the Fighting of Hybrid Threats.

Again, I would like to thank my fellow Members – the Presidents for their excellent discussion and their presence in Latvia in this important and symbolic century of ours.

MIL OSI

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI

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