RIGA - On 1 December, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics presented to ambassadors from the European Union member states the priorities for Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the main events on the schedule.
The Foreign Minister emphasised that Latvia intends to focus on three groups of priority issues: promoting competitiveness and growth in the EU; utilizing digital potential to stimulate the EU’s growth; and strengthening the role of the EU on the global stage.
The Minister stressed the dynamism of the Latvian Presidency and the need to adapt to changing conditions. Latvia wishes its Presidency to be an active and result-oriented EU semester focusing on cooperation and mutual support.
The Minister stressed the important mission of enhancing the EU’s global role by attending to priorities of the EU’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods. It is in these areas that the EU encounters major challenges that affect our daily life in the European Union.
The Riga Summit will be an important forum to analyse progress and outline new strategic moves. The EU’s eastern partners are different and their involvement should be appropriate, the best cooperation formula tailored for each country. The EU’s involvement in Central Asia, a region of geostrategic importance, is also important. Latvia is hoping for a constructive common sense approach to the solution of the Ukrainian crisis; aggression must stop, responsible action must be taken that would solve problems instead of aggravating them.
The Minister said Latvia was prepared for its EU Semester, and thanked the Italian Ambassador for cooperation as part of the Trio Presidency. Italy, Latvia, and Luxembourg together form the “trio”.
A presidential website to match
Latvia’s official EU presidency web-site eu2015.lv, is expected to be up and running later this month, press secretary of Latvia’s presidency Kaspars Ruklis informed Leta news agency
‘’It is important to emphasize we have combined two projects - the EU presidency web-site, as well as the Foreign Ministry’s new web-site,’’ the Latvian presidency’s spokeswoman Linda Jakobsone told LETA, adding that the web-site will be one of the most important tools to ensure the necessary communications between all the sides involved, while at the same time serving as a digital business card for Latvia.
Ruklis said that the new web-site should be up and running by mid-December.
‘’The web-site will have all of the necessary information about Latvia’s presidency, and will also include live broadcasts, official photographs, as well as a contact list,’’ Ruklis added.
Latvia will takeover the rotating presidency of the EU Council on January 1 of next year for a six-month period. This will be the first time Latvia will preside over the EU.