On 9 December 2019, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andris Pelšs; the Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Latvia, Marta Rībele; and the Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, Andris Kužnieks; signed a declaration on cooperation in the communication of the European Union (EU) matters in 2020.
2020 will be significant for new policy initiatives to be launched by the European Commission later in 2019. Europe is currently experiencing a time when climate policy issues are coming to the forefront, negotiations are under way on the EU budget for 2021–2020, and challenges can be expected in relation to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU.
The Foreign Ministry is determined to go ahead with outreach activities on EU-related topics together with the European Parliament and the European Commission, said State Secretary Andris Pelšs, adding that it is if key importance to promote an active civic engagement towards shaping the EU’s future.
The Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Latvia, Marta Rībele, noted that people in Latvia appreciate opportunities offered by the EU; nevertheless, she would like them to stand up more actively for their interests in shaping a future Europe. Therefore, she said, it is very important to promote the understanding of EU affairs and to do it in a coordinated manner, so that people would see one Union instead of various institutions. Marta Rībele expressed special appreciation of partners for excellent cooperation before elections to the European Parliament: increased participation, she said, demonstrated that we can do more by working together.
The Acting Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia, Andris Kužnieks, underlined that the newly-appointed European Commission under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen has set ambitious goals in circular economy, digitalisation and other areas. Those goals can be achieved only by mutual cooperation - between countries, between institutions at the national and international level, through people-to-people contacts and cooperation in local communities. I am happy, said Andris Kužnieks, that, in 2020, we shall continue cooperating with the Foreign Ministry and the European Parliament Office in Latvia to move ahead together towards a better Europe, a Europe that enables us to achieve more and be leaders among other countries.
In 2020, the European Commission Representation in Latvia, the European Parliament Liaison Office in Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with their cooperation partners, will organise a number of events on developments in EU policies. Special attention will be devoted to regions. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU House in Riga will host two traditional EU information providers’ forums in spring and in autumn. Other events include the Europe Day with a wide-ranging programme of events in May, participation in the annual “Back to School” campaign, regional discussion sessions, a seminar for educators and information campaigns and discussions on Europe’s future. And the magazine “Latvia’s Interests in the European Union” will continue to be published twice a year.
A declaration on cooperation in the communication of EU matters is being signed for the sixth consecutive year.
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