Latvia has been a member of the European Union since 2004. EU investment in infrastructure, education and the labor market helped the country, which had to reorganize completely after regaining independence in 1990, to converge with the western countries of the Union on a socio-economic level. The accession to the eurozone in 2014 and to the OECD in 2016 could, like the accession to the EU, not have been realizes without the enormous efforts of Latvian politics and society. These were further milestones on the way to becoming a community of states at eye level. But despite comparatively high economic growth, the country is still struggling with problems such as social inequality, poor wage and pension levels and high emigration. In the future, Latvia should reduce its dependency on EU funding while developing strategies for the sustainable use of future EU budgets. The goal must be to improve the living and working conditions of the population. In this regard, the concept of the "European Pillar of Social Rights" presented by the EU in 2017 will also play a role.
In order to shed light on the current state of affairs and to be able to further improve the socio-economic situation in Latvia in the future, FES commissioned two studies, which were presented in an open discussion event. The high number of people who participated in the presentation and discussed with the authors of the studies, Elizabete Vizgunova, Sintija Broka, Karlis Bukovskis and Vineta Kleinberga, shows the relevance of these topics. The studies, which were published in English, are available for free download at the links below.
The post-2020 budget of the European Union http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/baltikum/14790.pdf
European Pillar of Social Rights and Latvia's Choices http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/baltikum/14789.pdf