The first of January not only marked the start of a new year, it was also when Latvia took over the presidency of the EU Council for the first time. The Baltic state will lead and coordinate member states’ work for the next six months and expectations are high. 

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma has referred to the Presidency as both a responsibility and an opportunity, placing the focus on the political and human courage needed to help ordinary citizens.

Earlier in December 2014, the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz said that “there is a great agreement in opinions about the Latvian EU Presidency and the EP’s priorities. Latvia has ambitious targets: Junker’s 300 billion investment plan, digital internal market, energy union. They will be ongoing for a longer time, but the first six months will be crucial for their launch. Government in Riga has decisiveness and courage to face these questions. My experience shows, that Presidencies from small countries are very much involved in the success of reforms.”

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