Project Brexit

Latvia

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President

Prime Minister

Raimonds Véjonis (Latvian Green Party – Centrist party, since 2015)

Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity, since January 2019)

Population 1,973,700
Size 34,300 km2 (88,900 sq. miles)
MEPs 8 (joined the EU in 2004)
Next presidential election

Next legislative election

July 2019

2022

Presidency of the Council July – December 2028
Last meeting with Theresa May 16 December 2016, at EU Summit
Brexit priorities The UK has always been an ally for Latvia, particularly in terms of trade and promoting the importance of the internal market.

It will be crucial for the Latvian Government to keep cooperating closely with the UK in the area of defence and security, as the UK is an important NATO partner that Latvia needs now it is facing security threats from Russia.

As Latvia receives many EU funds, it will also look closely at how Brexit might impact the EU’s budget, as the UK is a large contributor and there is a chance that the funds allocated to certain countries will have to be reduced.

Furthermore, with 80,000 Latvians living in the UK, the Latvian Government will seek to protect their rights as residents of the UK.

What former PM Kučinskis said on Brexit 3 February 2017

“What is most important is to think about a beneficial partnership (and) find an amicable solution to all of this.”
“There are negotiators who are taking care of the best possible deal for both sides so that’s the top priority at the moment.”
“Every member state is looking to build the best possible trading relationship with the UK and I think that the whole union will also benefit from a strong trading relationship with the UK,”
21 February 2017
“We see an opportunity for our companies and organizations to use Brexit for the creation of new synergies – we offer Latvia as a convenient place for opening businesses, education institutions and representations of financial services in EU territory.”
Latvia’s priorities On 8 October 2018 Latvia held elections. The pro-Russian Harmony party polled 19.8%, ahead of the populist KPV LV (14%) and New Conservatives (13.6%). Former Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis’s governing coalition, comprising the Union of Greens and Farmers, the National Alliance and the Unity party, won about 27%. A new coalition was formed on 23 January 2019 and consists of the centre-right (New Unity, New Conservatives and Development/For!), one national conservative party (National Alliance) and the KPV LV.

The Government will focus on the alignment of the financial system, the strengthening of the national security and the rule of law, the implementation of the administrative-territorial reform, the improvement of the quality and accessibility of the health care system and the education system.. Latvia will increase its defense budget to 2% of GDP in 2018, as stipulated by NATO rules. NATO has more than 1000 troops in Latvia.

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