The city of Riga, Latvia, is organising with the European Committee of the Regions on 7 March a stakeholders' debate on "The EU investing in our security". This debate is taking place in the context of the Opinion on the European Defence Fund
(EDF) and our broader "Reflecting on Europe" campaign.
This campaign aims at bringing the EU closer to its territories and citizens by organising events on-site instead of in Brussels.
The event in Riga will welcome all defence stakeholders from Latvia and beyond: companies, universities, the cluster of security and defence in Latvia, local journalists, and local and regional authorities.
A first session will inform stakeholders on EU security and defence issues, and on the EU added value of the EDF. A second session will focus on EU business opportunities for companies in the defence and dual-use sectors.
Moderator: Dr Daunis Auers, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Latvia
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 09:40 Welcome by Mr Dainis Turlais, member of the Riga City Council and rapporteur on defence at the European Union Committee of the Regions
09:40 – 09:50 Keynote speech by Mr. Raimonds Bergmanis, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia
09:50 – 09:55 Address by Mr Gints Kaminskis, Chairman of the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments
09:55 – 10:05 Introduction to "Reflecting on Europe" campaign by moderator
10:05 – 11:15 Panel 1. The EU protecting its citizens and reinforcing security at our borders
Keynote speech by Mr Maciej Szymanski, policy officer - Defence Aeronautic and Martime Industries Unit, European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Jānis Karlsbergs, Deputy Secretary of State - Policy Director, Ministry of Defence of Latvia
Aldis Gulbis, Chairman of the Board, DATI Group
Arnoldas Abramavičius, member of the European Committee of the Regions, local councilor of Zarazai, Lithuania
Māris Andžāns, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Riga Stradins University
11:15 – 11:45 Family Photo and
11:50 – 12:50 Panel 2. EU financial opportunities to support Latvian industry
Keynote speech by Maciej Szymanski, policy officer - Defence, Aeronautic and Maritime Industries Unit, European Commission, Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.
Discussion and debate with panellists and audience
Gunnar Muent, Director for Innovation and Competitiveness, European Investment Bank
Elīna Egle, chairwoman of the Federation of Security and Defence Industries of Latvia
Tālis Juhna, Vice-Rector for Research, Riga Technical University
Gaidis Zeibots, Council Member, Riga Shipyard
12:50 – 13:00 Closing remarks by Dainis Turlais, member of the Riga City Council and rapporteur on defence at the European Committee of the Regions
Future challenges and opportunities for the security of the EU
13:00 – 13:30 Press briefing
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch
- Intepretation will be available in English and Latvian