On Europe Day, the 9th of May, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the the launch, in the presence of the authors, of a book entitled “Return to Europe 1990-2015. From International Recognition to the First Presidency of the European Union” (Atgriešanās Eiropā 1990-2015. No starptautiskās atzīšanas līdz pirmajai prezidentūrai Eiropas Savienībā).
The book is a collection of essays of Latvia’s Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, senior officials in EU institutions, MEPs, diplomats and public figures. Latvia’s path to membership in the EU and NATO and the first decade of Latvia as an EU member has been outlined and presented by Valdis Dombrovskis, Sandra Kalniete, Edgars Rinkēvičs, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Guntis Ulmanis, Valdis Birkavs, Māris Riekstiņš, Andris Ķesteris, Ilze Juhansone, Inna Šteinbuka, Kristīne Kozlova, Solvita Harbaceviča, and Edvīns Inkēns. The book has been compiled by Kristīne Kozlova.
The book was prepared for publication through joint efforts of the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the European People’s Party Group (Christian Democrats) of the European Parliament, and the Latvian Association of Political Scientists. The anthology is intended for broad audiences – researchers, teachers and students at higher and secondary education institutions, public officials, the media, and the general public – all those interested in the foreign policy and history of Latvia.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said at the book launch ceremony that the purpose of this book is meaningful from various aspects. Firstly, it is valuable reading for anyone interested in political and historical processes of the renewed Latvia and their connection with the development of Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. Secondly, it contains historical evidence of challenges to international relations that our Latvian diplomats and officials were encountering as they helped strengthen and integrate Latvia while bringing it back into the European family of nations.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President of the European Commission, noted that from the day Latvia joined the European Union, Latvians have experienced years of rapid growth and faced serious tests. The Latvian economy has completed a full cycle – from overheating to deep recession – and return to growth over the past four years. Latvia is a country showing how tough reforms are in fact possible. And Latvia also show that reforms yield results, said Dombrovskis, in close partnership and with the engagement of the government, social partners, non-governmental organisations and civic society as a whole. An effective process of change calls for a dialogue – political, economic and social. This book is a valuable historical evidence of the path Latvia has taken to return to growth and to where we naturally belong – to Europe. Only economically developed and financially powerful countries are able to counter all risks to their national independence and ensure the well-being of their people, EC Vice President concluded.
In a campaign jointly supported by the European Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the European People’s Party Group (Christian Democrats) of the European Parliament, the book, “Return to Europe 1990-2015. From International Recognition to the First Presidency of the European Union”, will be donated to all higher institutions of higher education, secondary schools, vocational secondary schools and to the public libraries in Latvia. The online version of the book will be freely accessible in the digital collection of the National Library of Latvia at http://dom.lndb.lv/data/obj/67712.html
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