President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis emphasises, “It is a great honour for our country to host the Presidents of the Arraiolos Group in Latvia on its centenary of statehood. At the same time, it is also an assessment of the accomplishments Latvia has reached after the restoration of the independence of the country and the testimony of Latvia’s ability both advocate its national interests and facilitate the common dialogue of the European Union on the future of Europe.”
On Thursday, the Presidents from the EU Member States will meet at the Rundale Palace, where the solemn welcoming ceremony is scheduled and the first working session “Building Societal Resilience: From Hard to Soft Security” will be held. This working session will be devoted to discussing the modern security challenges and the necessary national responses to them. At the end of the day, the gala dinner hosted by President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis and First Lady of Latvia Iveta Vējone will take place on the occasion of the 14th Informal Meeting of the Arraiolos Group.
On the second day of the meeting, on Friday, the Presidents of the EU Member States will meet in the Riga Castle, where the second working session “Europe After 100 Before” will be convened and where the Presidents will discuss the future of the European Union and the role of citizens in shaping the future of Europe.
In its turn, the Riga Castle will host the press conference of President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, President of the Republic of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulous, and President of the Republic of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The Arraiolos Group is a meeting of the Presidents of the EU Member States, where the Presidents of parliamentary republics having no executive powers participate traditionally. The first group meeting took place in 2003 in the town of Arraiolos, Portugal, upon the incentive of then-current President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio.
The Arraiolos Group includes Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Hungary, and Germany.