Resolution of the 29th Session of the Baltic Assembly

Published: 0000-00-00

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Of the 29th Session of the Baltic Assembly
The Baltic Assembly,
having convened on 21 – 22 October 2010 in Riga, the Republic of Latvia, for its 29th Session;
having discussed cooperation between the Baltic States in stabilising the economy, renewing competitiveness, and implementing measures that will promote security, growth and the quality of life, as well as joint health-care projects of the Baltic States;
acknowledging that only through cooperation and joint political effort the Baltic States can meet global challenges and promote the growth, prosperity and stability of the region;
emphasising that the parliaments and governments of the Baltic States should pay particular attention to economic stabilisation and social security by setting specific objectives for medium- and long-term development;
expressing appreciation to Estonia for the goal it has achieved – introduction of the euro in 2011 – and emphasising that adoption of the euro in Estonia will positively affect the economic situation in the other Baltic States, which are pursuing a realistic strategy for introducing the euro;
Regarding economic cooperation:
emphasising that the Baltic States have to collectively mobilise resources for developing a competitive economy by coordinating investments for research and development, by systematically developing a knowledge-based and creative industry in the region and by coordinating joint infrastructure and communication projects,
calls on the parliaments and governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Baltic Council of Ministers:
–     to intensify coordination of taxation policy and entrepreneurship-related regulations in the Baltic States – for instance, to develop similar tax systems in all the Baltic States;
–     to adopt decisions related to joint infrastructure projects and to pay particular attention to large-scale energy projects and common development of renewable energy resources;
–     to mutually coordinate projects and initiatives within the framework of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region; not to conclude additional agreements with other neighbouring countries without mutual accord if such agreements can affect strategically significant projects about whose development the Baltic States have already agreed; and to pay particular attention to removing administrative barriers in the market by improving energy efficiency and developing transport connections;
–     to arrive at a common vision for developing the Rail Baltica infrastructure project; to jointly set the schedule for implementing this project and to agree that after the TEN-T policy review, the Via Baltica route should be integrated into the main EU transport network;
Regarding the social and health care sector:
expressing its confidence that the pooling of health-care resources will facilitate development of a qualitative, unified and cost-efficient health-care system in the region while clearly being aware of the fact that the development of joint projects is a lengthy process;
welcoming the decision taken by the Baltic States’ Prime Ministers to establish in the Baltic Council of Ministers a task force on social and health care issues;
calls on the parliaments and governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Baltic Council of Ministers:
–    to develop at the executive level an action plan which would serve as the basis for Baltic States’ mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation in the field of health care by determining necessary amendments to legislation, costs and implementation schedule;
–    to prepare an assessment of the feasibility of creating a common Baltic system for procuring state-funded medicines and medical equipment, establishment of an interstate sperm bank and a system for exchanging organs for transplantation, as well as establishment of joint specialised medical centres in the region;
–    to coordinate the provision of emergency medical services in border towns and settlements adjacent to borders;
Regarding science and research:
stressing the fact that targeted development of science and research is one of the main factors in strengthening competitiveness;
calls on the parliaments and governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Baltic Council of Ministers:
–    to strive for simplification of the rules for participating in EU-funded programmes and their harmonisation with the new model based on trust;
–    to improve the use of public resources allocated for science and research;
–    to ensure advance and interim payments from the national budget for projects co-financed by the EU;
–    to exempt state-funded higher educational establishments from VAT.
Riga, 22 October 2010