RIGA - On June 26, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, Gunda Reire, attended the meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) in Luxembourg, which completes the year of the 2023 European Semester process and approves the recommendations made to EU Member States, including Latvia, LETA learned from the ministry.
The recommendations envisage continued implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, as well as improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“The recommendations of the Council of the European Union are an essential element for Latvia in setting its national priorities and devising of reforms,” noted Reire. Recommendations have also been made to Latvia regarding fiscal and tax policy, public investments to promote the green and digital transition, improvement of the healthcare and social protection system, energy policy, and improvement of skills and competences needed in the green transition process.
The representatives of the Member States continued preparations for the European Council meeting on June 29-30. At the meeting, the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU also presented its report on revising the system of the European Parliament elections, as well as strengthening democracy and the rule of law across the EU.
The Council was then introduced to the work program and priorities of the three upcoming presidencies of the Council of the EU. The meeting also addressed the impact of the EU Emissions Trading System on various EU policies, and an informal discussion was held with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova on Moldova's efforts to implement recommendations in the context of EU enlargement.
The objective of the annual European Semester process is to assess the economic situation of the EU and to coordinate the economic policies of the Member States. The European Semester enables the Member States to discuss their economic and budgetary plans and to keep track of progress.
Latvia has received country-specific recommendations for 2023–2024 regarding fiscal and tax policy, public investments to promote the green and digital transition, improvement of the healthcare and social protection system, implementation of programs and plans related to EU funding, improvement of access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, energy policy, and improvement of skills and competences necessary for the green transition process.