On 12 May, Madrid will host a high-level conference entitled The Future of the EU’s Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood. Speakers at the conference will include former President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. The event will be opened by Latvia’s Ambassador to Spain, Jānis Eichmanis.
The conference builds on Latvian EU Presidency priorities in both the eastern and southern dimensions of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The conference is even more important since it comes at a time when a review of the European Neighbourhood Policy has commenced, and its participants will be able to contribute to the assessment of the policy and the search for solutions. The conference in Madrid connects the informal meeting of the EU and southern neighbourhood foreign ministers in Barcelona on 13 April and the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Riga on 21-22 June. As the conference concludes, recommendations for the Riga Summit will be presented.
The developments in regions neighbouring the EU will be analysed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Libya, Bernardino León; former Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Pierre Vimont; the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia, Andrejs Pildegovičs; the Secretary of State for EU Affairs of the Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ministry of Spain, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo; the State Secretary for European Affairs of Portugal, Bruno Maçães; as well as a researcher at the European Policy Centre, Rosa Balfour; a researcher at Carnegie Europe, Richard Youngs; former Director of the Anna Lindt Foundation, Andreu Claret; and the Ambassador of Sweden at the EU Political and Security Committee, Anna Jardfelt. The debate will be moderated by the Foreign Minister of Spain, Secretary General of the Madrid Club, Carlos Westendorp, and Director of the Elcano Royal Institute, Charles Powell.
The livestreaming of the conference will be accessible at www.mfa.gov.lv.
The programme of the conference is attached (the time in Spain, -1h compared to Latvian time).
The Conference is organised by the Embassy of Latvia in Spain, the Elcano Royal Institute and the Madrid Club with support from Fundación Botín, and is held under the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council.