Chairman of the Welfare Committee of the Baltic Assembly Urmas Espenberg said that besides the future scenarios, recent events would also be spoken about at the video conference, and the MPs and the ministers of social affairs of the Baltic States would be given an overview of the crisis readiness of health care institutions at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis as well as of the measures for combating the crisis. “It is clear that none of us was actually ready for such a large-scale crisis, regardless of the tangible signs of danger. Blocking of information by China and the inaction of the WHO also had a certain role here. In order to manage the possible future crises successfully and quickly, it is necessary to take steps and share experience with colleagues so that we all could learn from the mistakes. Especially if human lives are the price of the mistakes,” Espenberg pointed out.
Member of the Welfare Committee Helmen Kütt added that, at the meeting, the lessons of the crisis would also be discussed in the light of the social crisis and from the aspect of employment. “We will focus on ensuring the livelihoods of people through different measures, and exchange information about best practices of neighbouring countries. Many lost their jobs because of the crisis, and unfortunately, many people may still have to face it, because redundancies and closures of companies are not over yet. Although the number of infections has dropped almost to minimum, it does not mean that we can consider the issue closed, because the health crisis will be followed by both social and economic crisis,” Kütt said.
The Baltic Assembly is a consultative cooperation organisation of the parliaments of the three Baltic States, which discusses issues of mutual interest. A 12-member delegation of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) represents Estonia in the Assembly. This year, Estonia is holding the Presidency of the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers.