Press releases

On Thursday, 23 February, the Saeima ratified the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part. The SPA will provide a framework for multilateral political cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy, as well as economic and sectoral collaboration.
On Thursday, 23 February, the Saeima ratified the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Canada, of the other part.
“Proposals for the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive must be rooted in the realities of current situation – taking into account trends in the dissemination of fake news and interference with democratic processes in sovereign countries. For instance, member states must be given the right to promptly restrict the activities of audiovisual service providers that contain hate speech, threats to national security and public order, including cases where reports about offences are received from another member state,” says Lolita Čigāne, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima.
On Thursday, 16 February, members of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the European Union Crab Fishing Association to discuss the case of a Latvian snow crab fishing boat arrested in Norway. Latvia hopes to find a diplomatic solution, although international litigation cannot be excluded.
On Tuesday, 14 February, Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee, during a meeting at the Saeima with Victor Dolidze, State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, congratulated Georgia on the European Parliament's support for the introduction of the visa-free regime and stressed that it is a tangible result of the reform process.
On Thursday, 2 February, the Saeima adopted in the third and final reading amendments to the State Ensured Legal Aid Law, which provide that henceforth Latvian nationals living abroad will be able to obtain state funded legal assistance in solving legal disputes abroad pertaining to child custody rights (temporary or permanent revocation). 
On Thursday, 2 February, the Saeima ratified the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aimed at strengthening the global movement to counter climate change. 
On Wednesday, 1 February, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met at the Saeima with Marek Kuchciński, Speaker of the Polish Sejm, who, accompanied by a delegation, is in Latvia on an official visit. Speaker Mūrniece noted that defence and security issues are at the heart of the cooperation between Latvia and Poland, that the two countries are close allies, and that Poland is one of Latvia’s most important partners within NATO.
On Thursday, 19 January, the Saeima adopted Air Passenger Data Law in the final reading. The law creates a legal framework for the establishment of Passenger Name Record (PNR).
On Thursday, 12 January, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Saulius Skvernelis, the newly appointed Prime Minister of Lithuania, for whom Latvia is the first foreign visit in his office. Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that Latvia and Lithuania have always been close partners, but mutual support and coordinated action is even more important now in light of unprecedented geopolitical challenges.
On Thursday, 12 January, the Saeima adopted in the final reading amendments to the Law on the State Border; they provide that, with the aim of strengthening border security and facilitating the work of border guards, rivers along the Eastern border have now been included in the state border zone.
On Thursday, 22 December, the Saeima submitted for examination to the Citizenship, Migration and Social Cohesion Committee a draft decision on granting citizenship to the world renowned dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov based on his exceptional merits on behalf of Latvia. 
On Thursday, 22 December, the Saeima adopted in the third and final reading a law establishing stricter supervision of the work of insolvency administrators, as well as introducing free-market principles in the legal protection process. 
On Tuesday, 20 December, the Saeima adopted in the final reading the fast-track amendments to the Micro-enterprise Tax Law and the Law on State Social Insurance, according to which as of 1 January 2017 the micro-enterprise tax rate is set at 15% of turnover and the introduction of the proposed minimum social insurance contributions is called off. 
Latvia is ready for a close cooperation as Estonia will become the presiding country both in the Council of the European Union (EU) and in the Baltic region next year. This was stressed by Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Friday, 16 December, when meeting in the Saeima with Sven Mikser, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia.
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