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Latvia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union

Latvia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015. The Presidency is an opportunity for every member state, regardless of its size or length of membership, to influence the EU agenda and guide EU endeavours.

The basic principles for Latvia’s Presidency will be involvement, growth and sustainability. These principles will be applied in the development of the Presidency’s work programs and priorities, as well as in building up culture and communication programs.

Ministries, the Saeima and various public institutions are involved in preparation of the Presidency. An extensive cooperation with the society, social partners, non-governmental organisations and businesses will take place in preparing the programme and events.

The Presidency organises and provides leadership to the EU Council, COREPER (Permanent Representatives Committee), and working group meetings. During the Presidency around 200 events at different levels will be organised in Latvia and around 1500 meetings will be held in Brussels and Luxembourg.

The Presidency of Latvia will hold the Eastern Partnership Summit, the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Education of the ASEM countries and the Conference of European standardization.

It is also planned to ask the European Commission to support organisation of the Digital Agenda Assembly in Riga as the industry in Latvia has made an excellent progress and in many areas is ahead of Europe. The event traditionally takes place in Brussels.

During the Presidency Latvia is also planning to hold a high level e-health summit and the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day event.

Overall the Latvian Presidency will hold around 200 meetings.

On the Presidency:

Every six months, on a rotating schedule, an EU member state becomes the presiding state and is leading the work of the EU Council. Since 2010, when the Lisbon Treaty came into force, a trio principle was introduced. That means that the Presidency's work program is developed by three countries. During the second half of 2014, the Presidency will be held by Italy, Latvia will take it over during the first half of 2015, but the second half of 2015 will be held by Luxembourg.

The work of the Latvian Presidency is coordinated by the Secretariat, the aim of which is to ensure a timely and qualitative preparation of Latvia for its first Presidency of the EU council in the first half of 2015, as well as coordinating the work during the Presidency.

To find out more about the Latvian Presidency, click on: http://www.es2015.lv/en/in-english