The motto set up by Latvia for the term of its Presidency of the EU Council: “Competitive, Digital and Engaged Europe” expresses a deep and critical reflection on the realities we live in. It demonstrates will for finding new solutions and new ways of development in a world that is becoming more and more complicated", Tsetska Tsacheva stated on 4 February, 2015, while opening the forum at the National Assembly, held to present the priorities of Latvia’s Presidency of the EU Council. The forum was attended by members of the Foreign Policy and European Affairs and Oversight of European Funds committees.
The Chair of Parliament has outlined three important issues for Bulgaria during the Latvian EU Council’s Presidency. Firstly it is the support declared by Latvia for the accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen area. She pointed out that Latvia is encouraging the dialogue with countries outside of the EU with regards to granting visas and is in favor of the successful enlargement of the Schengen area. In the words of Tsetska Tsacheva, the accession of Bulgaria to the area was important to the security of Europe as a whole.
The Chair of the National Assembly underscored that the Presidency of Latvia is firm in its position for creating European Energy Union and added - setting up such union that would ensure accessible, secure and sustainable supply of energy gets more and more important. She said Bulgaria was planning to take active part in the discussions on these matters. Tsetska Tsacheva also said the focus on improving the EU competitiveness is top condition for attaining economic growth and greater employment. We share completely the idea that the Investment Plan of Europe will provide an impetus to the economic growth in the EU.
The Ambassador of Latvia in Bulgaria, H.E. Ilgvars Klava, presented the priorities of his country’s EU presidency. He pointed out to the 3 basic priorities: Competitive Europe, Digital Europe and Engaged Europe. He noted the Investment Plan would be the most important engine for revitalizing the economy of the EU. We will continue to work for establishing a European Energy Union and added in March a summit is to be held to discuss and find out solutions for the future strategy of the Union in this respect. As per the diversification of the providers, the idea is to ensure more of them, and to ensure more sources of energy supply. This is what will provide our energy security, the Ambassador commented.
As far as the second priority – digital Europe, the Ambassador noted Latvia was, rather advanced in this field, something that had improved the coordination between the ministries but was important for the business as well.
For the third priority – Engaged Europe, the Ambassador reminded about the important event of the Eastern Partnership, set to take place in Riga, in May 2015.
The Chair of the parliamentary Foreign Policy committee Dzhema Grozdanova praised the priorities of the Latvian EU Presidency. She added at present the EU was in need of effective common foreign policy, better mechanisms for predicting the events and finding fast solutions of the common challenges faced by Europe. It must work as one entity in the defense and security areas and to develop its strategic partnerships, noted Grozdanova.
The forum was also attended by the Vice Premier in charge of coordinating the European polices and institutional matters, Meglena Kuneva, and the Ambassadors of Italy and the Netherlands in Bulgaria, H.E. Marko Contichelli and H.E. Tom van Oorschot.