President Levits thanked Madam President for the opportunity to visit the Federal State of Bavaria and its parliament.
President Levits and President Aigner talked about Munich Security Conference, which brings together heads of state and government, ministers and experts from around the world, and current democratic and security challenges that are reinforced by constant technological development. Egils Levits and Ilse Aigner discussed NATO’s efforts to guarantee collective security of the Baltic region through its deterrence policy. President Levits praised the work of Riga-based NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence. Discussion also focused on various activities aimed at countering disinformation and hate speech. President Levits explained how media literacy programmes are rolled out across Latvian schools and members of Bavarian Landtag expressed their admiration for this programme’s success.
Other key topic of the meeting was economic transformation in Europe. European economy is changing due to development of artificial intelligence (AI), innovations and European Green Deal. Egils Levits and Ilse Aigner both acknowledge the huge potential of AI for development of new products and services. ‘At the same time, we do not want the AI to replace, for example, human judges,’ said President Levits. ‘Yes, empathy and creativity are still those two human traits that make us different from AI, and that is something we should preserve as AI moves forward,’ pointed out President Aigner. According to Egils Levits, politicians should make sure that there are clear lines that are not crossed when formulating national policies and new AI services can be smoothly integrated into the everyday life of democratic societies.
President Aigner presented the achievements of the State of Bavaria in research and IT areas. She underlined that all programmes are geared towards greater involvement of women in IT. Egils Levits responded by telling about ‘Riga TechGirls’ movement that brings together active women who work in IT.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included the European Green Deal and economic outlook of Latvia and the federal State of Bavaria, which is based on greater use of renewables, better mobility and promotion of environmentally-sound business practices.
President Levits and President Aigner both praised successful cooperation in education. Almost 1,000 students from Germany are currently studying in Latvian universities. Most of them study medicine at Riga Stradiņš University, but there are also students studying other subjects at University of Latvia, Latvian University of Life Sciences and Technologies and Riga Technical University.