On 11th and 12th of October 2019, the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) leadership, faculty and students participated in the Rīga Conference 2019 at the National Library of Latvia. The annual conference brought together political, academic, and business leaders from all around the globe to engage in a lively dialogue in which to discuss key regional, international security, and policy issues.
The participants of the Rīga Conference 2019 were welcomed by Mr Toms Baumanis, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Transatlantic Organization, while the opening remarks were delivered by H.E. Mr Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of Latvia. The programme of the conference included 11 panel discussion sessions, Night Owl sessions and Future Leaders Forum. The topics of this year’s conference ranged from the challenges of the European Union and NATO's future defence strategy to changes in Europe’s political elites. The visionary minds discussed how the digital age transforms political power, the West’s relations with Russia, and how new powers are shaping up regions of influence. In the concluding session, President of the Republic of Latvia H.E. Mr Egils Levits had a conversation with Mr Edward Lucas, Senior Vice-President of Center for European Policy Analysis. Concluding remarks of the conference were given by H.E. Mr Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.
Established in 2006, the Riga Conference serves as a leading foreign and security policy forum where an exchange of views takes place on international dimension. The conference is organised by the Latvian Transatlantic Organization in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia. The Riga Conference with its wide range of topics supports the professional development of BALTDEFCOL academics and the education of Joint Command and General Staff Course students. It also offers excellent networking opportunities.