Speaking at a video conference on Thursday, the speakers of the parliaments of the eight countries belonging to the Nordic-Baltic cooperation format NB8 underlined the need for closer parliamentary cooperation in planning the abolishing of restrictions established to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The situation and the measures implemented nationally differ by country, but the participants of the NB8 video conference discussed the stabilization of the situation, and also said that their countries remained cautious in mitigating restrictions, according to a Riigikogu press release. Nonetheless, they remained hopeful that restrictions could be eased in May, allowing for the possible step-by-step return to life as it was before the spread of the virus.
President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) emphasized the need to strengthen the exchange of information and cooperation between countries and parliaments in coordinating crisis exit strategies.
"We all live in the same world, and each decision we make has an impact on our neighbors, the economy, the movement of our people and their working in neighboring countries," Põlluaas said.
He pointed out that regional cooperation is essential for all countries in order to make exiting the crisis as fast and smooth as possible, a point with which the other participating parliament speakers agreed.
The speakers also exchanged experiences in organizing their parliaments' telework, as well as discussed the possibility of holding electronic sittings in national parliaments. Also underlined was the importance of democracy in times of crisis, the need for debate as well as preserving the capability to work in all situations. Further cooperation, upcoming meetings and possible future mutual visits were discussed as well.
The Nordic-Baltic cooperation format NB8 has brought together Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since 1992. Estonia is the primary coordinator of the NB8 this year.
Editor: Aili Vahtla