On 9 March, in Riga, the new cooperation programme for the period 2018 - 2021 was signed by Secretary-General Verlaeckt and the Latvian Vice-Secretary of State for European Affairs, Lveiga Silkalna. Cooperation will take place in areas such as economic development and trade, agriculture and environment, mobility and ports, research and development, education, youth, culture, well-being and public health.
As proposed by the Flemish Land Agency, a cooperation concerning the nature reserve and former prisoner of war camp Vloethemveld in West Flanders was included. The idea is that in addition to nature, also art and heritage will be included in the collaboration. At the same time, attention will be given to the history of the Latvian prisoners of war.
Vloethemveld, originally a military domain, was used by the British as a prisoner of war camp at the end of the Second World War. A large group of these prisoners of war came from the Baltic States. Many of them could or would not return to their country after the war, given the annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union. In the end, most of them moved to the United States or built a new life in Flanders. In the municipality of Zedelgem there is even a square called Briviba square; briviba is Latvian for freedom.
Flanders and Latvia have been working together since 1996; this is the 9th work programme that was signed.
General Representation of the Government of Flanders to Poland and the Baltic States