(Riga, LFM September 28, 2005) The Foreign Ministry has invited Latvian residents to participate in the survey Latvia in the European Union – Goals, Priorities and Activities to gauge public opinion on significant issues related to Latvia’s European Union membership.
This survey will play a significant part in the drafting of the strategy Latvia in the European Union as well as promoting debate on the future of the European Union.
The strategy will define Latvia’s interests and priority tasks in the EU and its aim is to maximize the use of opportunities offered by the EU and to increase Latvia’s influence in the EU. The strategy is being drafted under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry and should be completed by January 2006. There have been wide consultations with leading Latvian experts on the EU and international matters, representatives of non-governmental organisations and interest groups during the drafting of the document. The developers of the strategy have interviewed groups of interested residents in Latvian regions including cities such as Valmiera, Jekabpils, Talsi, Jelgava, Daugavpils, and others.
On 23 September 2005, the Foreign Ministry also launched a series of round table discussions in regions of Latvia, the discussion topic being What are Latvia’s priorities in the EU? The discussions are being organised in conjunction with municipalities, EU information centres and Europe Direct information centres.
Round table discussions have already taken place in Kuldiga, Madona, Cesis, Rezekne, and will be held in Bauska on 5 October. The collated opinions of Latvian residents gathered from these events will be used in defining Latvia’s interests in the European Union.