On 14-15 March 2023, the thematic session of the Nordic Council was held in Reykjavik (Iceland). The main topic of the thematic session was energy security in the region. The Baltic Assembly in the event was represented by Vice President Jānis Vucāns, Member of the Presidium Jānis Reirs and Member of the Security and Defence Committee Andrius Mazuronis.
Member of the Presidium Jānis Reirs addressed the Nordic colleagues by calling for closer energy cooperation between both organisations and the Baltic-Nordic countries. “Our countries continue to look at energy as a national issue. Too many problems are being addressed individually despite that the regional approach brings much more benefits. The Russian war in Ukraine opened our eyes. Once again, we realize that cooperation is much more important than competition, also in economic issues. The Baltic and Nordic countries have close regional ties and mutual trust in each other. We need to use this power to protect our region, citizens and Europe from import dependency, threats that climate change brings, high prices, and also, of course, many security risks,” said Jānis Reirs.
He also reminded that the parliamentarians of the Nordic and Baltic countries have the benefit to address the energy crisis in a safe and peaceful state. “Ukraine has to solve the same problems and many more in the state of war. Let us not forget to support Ukraine’s energy grid, but also the country’s way to victory over Russia,” emphasized Jānis Reirs.
President of the Nordic Council Jorodd Asphjell opened the debate by emphasizing the crisis is in energy sector that is caused by the war in Europe. He emphasized the importance of ensuring the security of supply and the vision of the Nordics to become the most integrated region by 2030. Jorodd Asphjell said that considering today’s energy and climate crisis, there is a double urgency to meet the climate targets and ensure energy stability.
Vice President of the Benelux Parliament Patricia Creutz highlighted the importance of interparliamentary cooperation between the Baltic Assembly, the Benelux Parliament and the Nordic Council. She informed about the successes of the Benelux countries in the use of hydrogen and expressed the readiness to share the best practices with the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic Council.
During the thematic session, the international strategy of the Nordic Council was discussed and adopted. According to the strategy, in the international collaboration, the Nordic Council will particularly prioritise its immediate surrounding areas, i.e., the Baltic Sea area, the Arctic, Europe, and the neighbours. The Nordic Council promotes the international strategy’s objectives in its relations with other parliamentary organisations, the most important of which are the Baltic Assembly, BSPC, the European Parliament, CPAR, the West Nordic Council, and the Benelux Parliament. The strategy also outlines that issues concerning security in the Baltic Sea area, the Arctic, and the North Atlantic will be high on the agenda in international collaboration and in the dialogue with the Baltic Assembly and other partners.
Photos of the theme session
© Photos by the Nordic Council