Riga: Latvia Thursday began its presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), declaring involvement, growth and sustainability as the presidency`s main principles.
Latvia will be presiding over the Council of the EU Jan 1-June 30. The approximately 200 events Latvia is planning to organise and host during this period include informal meetings of EU ministers and experts, conferences, seminars and other events.
The new building of the Latvian National Library, which opened in 2014, will be the main venue of these meetings, according to Xinhua.
The events planned during the Latvian presidency will be organised in four levels. The top level events will include the EU`s Eastern Partnership Summit, which Latvia will host in May, 10 informal meetings of EU ministers, as well as meetings of EU and Asian education and science ministers.
The Eastern Partnership Summit is expected to become one of the pivotal events of Latvia`s EU presidency.
The events of the second level will include 55 meetings of member states` top bureaucrats or state secretaries. These meetings will be organised in workgroups to prepare for the informal meetings of the ministers. The third level events will include 54 meetings at which experts from line ministries will be conferring in workgroups.
Latvia is also planning 37 events of the fourth level, including seminars, conferences, the assembly`s seminars with representatives of non-governmental organisations and various other events.
Apart from the events planned in Latvia, many events will be organised also in Brussels.
The trio of Italian-Latvian-Luxembourgish EU presidencies started July 1 last year when Italy took over the rotating EU presidency. Latvia will be holding the EU presidency in the first half of 2015, and Luxembourg will take over from Latvia in the second half of 2015.
The presidency trio means that three member states that are due to hold the presidency one after another cooperate among themselves to ensure the success of their successive presidencies.
The Council of the EU is an institution where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. The presidency of the council rotates every six months among the governments of EU member states.