Today, on 28th September, the largest security and foreign policy forums in the Baltic Sea region – The Rīga Conference 2018 – commences at the National Library of Latvia. Over the next two days the conference will welcome heads of states, experts, diplomats, academics and media representatives together with some 700 experts from around the world discussing touching questions to the Western alliances.
The conference will be opened by President of the Republic of Latvia H.E Mr Raimonds Vējonis. The former President of the Republic of Latvia, Prof. Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, together with the former Minister of National Defence of Poland, Mr Antoni Macierewicz, and Director of the International Centre for Defence and Security, Mr Sven Sakkov will look back over the last century, seeing what lessons we can learn and whether sovereignty of states in Europe can be secured in a hostile environment.
After looking back, the second panel will see whether we can count on NATO for the century ahead. The ministers of Defence of Latvia and Lithuania, Mr Raimonds Bergmanis and Mr Raimundas Karoblis, respectively, will join Lt.Gen (Ret.) Frederick Benjamin Hodges, of CEPA and Prof. Dr Julian Lindley-French to assess whether NATO can remain an important player in defence of peace in the region.
The first day of the conference will be concluded by understanding the mid-term economic outlook for the European Union. The Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, together with Ms Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Latvia, Mr Christian Whiton, Senior Vice President at Banner Public Affairs, and Prof Dr Michael Eilfort of Market Economy Foundation will provide their opinions.
The conference discussions will be streamed live on the DELFI portal/ our informative partner portals and The Rīga Conference 2018 website www.rigaconference.lv. As always, the online audience is encouraged to participate in discussions via Twitter, using #RigaConf18. The language of the conference is English. The live stream will offer simultaneous interpretation into Latvian.
The conference is supported by:
Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Embassy of the United States of America in Latvia, European Commission Representation in Latvia, Askaneli Brothers, Amber Distribution Latvia, Wines of Georgia, Embassy of Georgia in Latvia, Embassy of Canada in Latvia, Embassy of Italy in Latvia, Saab AB, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia, Swedbank, the Riga City Council, Milrem Latvia SIA, National Library of Latvia, Riga International Airport, LMT Straume, Audi Latvija.
Latvijas Televīzija, DELFI, LETA Latvian Information Agency, Magazine IR, Hromadske International, The Lithuania Tribune, Postimees, New Eastern Europe, Spektr.Press, iPress.ge, Latvijas Radio, LSM.lv, Baltic Defence College, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Riga Graduate School of Law, Vytautas Magnus University.