Lithuania is expected to be visited by delegations led by Mogens Lykketoft, Speaker of the Folketing, Denmark; Eiki Nestor, President of the Riigikogu, Estonia; Einar Kristinn Gudfinnsson, Speaker of Althingi, Iceland; Solvita Aboltina, Speaker of the Saeima, Latvia; Olemic Thommessen, President of the Storting, Norway; Eero Heinaluoma, Speaker of the Eduskunta, Finland; and Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Riksdag, Sweden.
The event will begin with an opening address by Loreta Graužinienė, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. The speakers of the NB8 parliaments will exchange views on matters topical for the region. Special focus will be given to the Eastern Partnership prospects after the 2013 Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius while looking forward to the next summit to be held during the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (in the second half of 2015).
The politicians will also cover the latest security challenges to the region in the context of the events in Ukraine, the EU fiscal and monetary union, and matters pertaining to the Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and the Arctic Strategy. Effective implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and strengthened regional cooperation were among the top priorities within the programme of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Further discussion on this subject is expected to continue the dialogue which was previously launched.
Other items on the agenda: 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament to be held in New York in 2015; forthcoming visits of NB8 Speakers abroad; the venue of the next Conference of the Speakers of the NB8 Parliaments; etc.
NB8 (Nordic Baltic Eight) is the regional cooperation format involving Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which has regularly taken place in various areas and at different political levels since 1992. Parliamentary NB8 cooperation started in 1989. It involves annual meetings with the participation of parliamentary representatives of different levels, such as speakers of parliaments or committee members.