On 13 October 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the meeting of the European Union General Affairs Council in Luxembourg. EU Foreign Ministers discussed and adopted a recommendation to promote a coordinated approach by EU Member States as well as criteria in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Latvia supports the need for greater and closer coordination between EU Member States concerning national measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs underlined.
By setting out common thresholds for the spread of the disease and criteria for travel restrictions, the recommendations will help avoid fragmentation and promote transparency and predictability for persons and businesses.
Next, EU Foreign Ministers were briefed on progress in the trilogue with the European Parliament about the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU. With the agreement still pending, the Ministers called for making every effort so that the agreement could be reached as soon as possible and EU funds would help EU economies recover from the crisis.
In a discussion with the Union’s chief negotiator on the future of the relations between the EU and the United Kingdom, the Latvian Foreign Minister expressed support for further negotiations and the efforts of reaching a comprehensive agreement between the EU and the UK on their future relationship.
At the meeting, the Commission presented its First Annual Report on the Rule of Law situation across the European Union, with a positive rating of Latvia’s efforts and achievements. The Member States had their first horizontal discussion, which covered general rule-of-law developments and challenges in the EU, while in the next meeting, discussion will focus on key developments in five member states, following the EU protocol order. The Minister expressed support for the Commission’s report and called on the Member States for a constructive and transparent dialogue to promote a common understanding of the rule of law and strengthening it in the European Union.
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