|Egils Levits (Independent, since July 2019)
Krišjānis Kariņš (Unity, since January 2019)
|Size||34,300 km2 (88,900 sq. miles)|
|MEPs||8 (joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||July – December 2028|
|Last meeting with Boris Johnson||None held to date|
|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 Prime Minister Kariņš said on Brexit||
“The UK faces an immense challenge. Over a long period of time they have not decided exactly what kind of deal they would like to have but from the Latvian perspective the withdrawal of the UK is a very unfortunate fact. The UK is a very important strategic partner but we must take care of the European Union and its unity.”
“We agreed among the Baltic countries that it is very important that Europe remains united”
|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 (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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