On 5 and 6 December, members of the Saeima will visit Brussels and defend Latvia’s interests regarding the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU. The Latvian delegation will insist on altering the unequal distribution of direct payments to farmers and will object to proposed cuts in the cohesion funding available to Latvia.
Members of the delegation – Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Chairperson of the European Affairs Committee; Atis Lejiņš, Deputy Chairman of the Committee; and Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Chairman of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee – will meet with high EU officials and express Latvia’s position on these issues.
“The goal of this visit to Brussels is to defend Latvia’s interests on the highest level. We have to do our utmost in voicing a uniform and firm position in the European Union and ensuring that the next Multiannual Financial Framework serves Latvia’s interests to a larger extent,” Kalniņa-Lukaševica said.
On 2 December, the European Affairs Committee unanimously adopted declarations requesting the EU institutions to eliminate the unequal distribution of direct payments to farmers and of the Cohesion Policy funding; during the visit, this message will be conveyed to high EU officials in person, indicated Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
MPs will meet with two EU Commissioners whose support for Latvia’s position is essential, namely, Janusz Lewandowski, Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy.
As the clout of the European Parliament in the budgeting process is increasing, members of the Saeima will meet with the top officials of the European Parliament. It is planned to meet with Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament; Danuta Hűbner, Chairperson of the Regional Development Committee; Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, MEP and rapporteur on the direct support section of the CAP after 2013; and Georg Häusler, Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner on Agriculture and Rural Development.
The delegation will also participate in several interparliamentary meetings devoted to social cohesion and demographic growth in a sustainable Europe.
During their visit to Brussels, leaders of the Saeima committees will also meet with Latvia’s representatives at the EU, namely, Sandra Kalniete, member of the European Parliament from Latvia, and Ilze Juhansone, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, permanent representative of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union, and discuss how to defend Latvia’s interests.
Furthermore, MPs will give interviews on EU matters to the online newspaper EUobserver, as well as Ina Strazdiņa, correspondent from Latvijas Radio to Brussels.
Saeima Press Service