The main discussion topic in this meeting was strengthening of administrative capacity of Eastern Partnership countries’ local and regional governments: efficient consultation mechanism between central government and local and regional authorities.
The event was opened by Juris Poikāns, Latvian Ambassador-at-Large for Eastern Partnership, by providing a short review on the Eastern Partnership summit held on Riga this May. Mr Poikāns emphasized that despite critics about lack of efficiency, achievements in Easter Partnership field are remarkable. “We would like to create a zone of stable countries along the EU borders. And we wish each country could choose its direction in foreign policy. We will never again divide and discuss zone of influence in Europe”, said Mr Poikāns.
Māris Pūķis, senior adviser of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, introduced the Latvian experience in negotiations with central government, and talked about cooperation mechanisms with line ministries and national parliament. Also colleagues from Lithuania, Estonia and Czech Republic – countries which also have developed system of cooperation between local authorities and central government - shared their experience.