European Union News

On 9 May 2024, we mark Europe Day. Moreover, throughout 2024, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the enlargement of the biggest economic and political union – the European Union – on 1 May 2004 when Latvia, too, became its Member State.

We are part of Europe with diverse opportunities to build our own and a shared future. We are part of a European family rooted in democracy.

Baiba Braže, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “It’s already 20 years since we all, ten new countries, joined the European Union. We returned to that freedom, we returned to that family that we belonged to before the Soviet regime occupied us. That's the freedom to choose, and we chose Europe. We are stronger together and we are different, but we are all Europeans. We are more secure, more prosperous and also more united.”

Membership of the European Union is not just a geographical designation. Membership is an indication of our commitment to common European values and to standing together with countries that respect and protect human dignity, advocate for human rights, freedom, equality and solidarity. Solidarity with Ukraine in its fight for freedom, democracy and a rules-based international order.

In the field of foreign affairs, after 20 years, we welcome the opportunities that Latvia has been provided with upon joining the European Union. Membership of the European Union gives us access to the largest network of global trade agreements with more than 70 partners. It is based on open, free and fair trade. Entrepreneurs have new opportunities for exports, investments, as well as access to raw materials. Consumers, on the other hand, have a comprehensive range of goods and services. We also have protection against unfair competition.

Latvia has evolved from a beneficiary country into a donor for global security and sustainability. In 20 years, development cooperation funding has increased to 131 million euros in 2023. Latvia participates in large-scale EU-funded development cooperation projects and activities. Ukraine has been a key priority in Latvia’s development cooperation, providing it with valuable experience and knowledge, which comes in very useful to Ukraine on its path to the EU. The overall EU support to Ukraine totals 144 billion.

If we find ourselves in emergency situations while travelling abroad, we can receive assistance in a diplomatic mission of another EU Member State in a country where Latvia does not have its own mission. If a personal identification document has been lost, we may receive a temporary travel document at the representation of any EU Member State in a country where Latvia is not represented diplomatically.

By exercising our civic duty and making a political choice, we can participate in the European Parliament elections on 8 June at 50 polling stations, both in the EU and beyond.

I am the EU. We are Europe! #LV20EU

Events dedicated to Europe Day and the 20th anniversary of Latvia’s EU membership

To celebrate Europe Day, the European Union Information Points organize creative events in all Latvian municipalities with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Daugavpils hosts a “European Courtyard Festival 2024”, Dobele – a quiz, an event “With a Book Around Europe” is organised for pupils at Jelgava Primary School, an event “European Union and You” for young people, and a meeting with the European of the Year in Latvia, Ralfs Eilands are held in Jūrmala.

In Limbaži, those are training sessions on the role of social networks, in Ludza – an intellectual game What is the European Union?, in Madona – an event “A European Saturday for Families, in Rēzekne – a debate on 20 years in the European Union achievements and the way ahead and a creative workshop European symbols with your own hands”, in Smiltene – a word game Me and the EU That’s Us”, in Staicele – a discussion From 500 landfills to circular economy, or how the 20 years in the EU have changed the way we manage”.

An event in Talsi European values in a conversation with journalist Ina Strazdiņa, in Tukums – a drawing contest and an exhibition My greetings to the European Union on its 20th birthday!”, and a crossword competition “I – a resident of Tukums in the European Union, as well as in Valka “Find out what Valka municipality has accomplished together with the EU!

More about Europe Day events in Riga and elsewhere in Latvia (in Latvian): Eiropas diena 2024 - Eiropas Komisija (

Events planned

  • In Helsinki, Finland, until May 13 – a touring exhibition, “EU Big Bang 2004” with photos from 1 May 2004 when Latvia joined the EU.
  • In Brussels, Belgium, the works of students of the Latvian Academy of Art are displayed in a special exhibition on the premises of the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU. The exhibition will be open for viewing until November on a prior booking.
  • In Malmö, Sweden, on Europe Day, 9 May, the singer Dons will represent Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest.
  • In Luxembourg, on 9 May, representatives from the Embassy of Latvia will participate with a special stand in the annual Europe Day event, European Village.
  • On 11 May, the Latvian Embassy in Georgia will provide a Latvian stand at the Europe Day celebrations in Tbilisi. A European Village will also be set up in Tokyo, Japan. In Washington, D.C., the Latvian Embassy in the US will participate in “EU Open House 2024” in cooperation with the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and Latvian businesses in the US.
  • In Budapest, Hungary, on May 12, the Embassy of Latvia will participate with a special stand to promote the international visibility of Latvia at the Europe Day Festival.
  • From 12 to 16 May, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is to host a European Film Festival. A Latvian animated film, “Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs”, will be screened on May 14.
  • On 15 May, the embassies of the three Baltic States in Warsaw, Poland, hold a Baltic Grill&Chill event with the aim of expanding cooperation between Baltic and Polish businesses. In Yerevan, Armenia, the Latvian Embassy will support a seminar organised by the Euroclub of Armenia on EU-related topics and current developments.
  • A festive concert will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 22, to mark the 20th anniversary of the EU membership of Latvia and other countries that joined the EU in 2004.
  • In Budapest, Hungary, on May 26 the Latvian Embassy will take part in a “Boulevard of Nations” hosted by the International Children’s Safety Service.
  • On 1 June, Kazakhstan will host a special Europe Day event in the Astana Central Park, as well as the AgriFood Forum to promote EU products.
  • The Latvian Embassy in Greece, along with the other nine countries that joined the EU in 2004, will take part in an art project. In early June, murals will be painted in the Old Town of Nicosia, Cyprus, depicting the dancers of each country.

Events held

With the participation of, and support from the Embassies of Latvia, celebrations have already taken place in the capitals of Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Croatia, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Canada, Cyprus, Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, and Sweden. In Germany, events were held in Berlin and Hamburg. An Austrian newspaper, Die Presse, published a joint article by the Baltic Ambassadors on modern-day Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

More about the Europe Day events abroad: Europe Day 2024 (