The priorities of Latvia as it holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union will be outlined by the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, His Excellency, Andris Teikmanis.
The Ambassador will address the European and External Relations Committee at its meeting on Thursday 12 March. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Committee Convener Christina McKelvie MSP explained:
“The country holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union sets the political agenda during its term of office. This is the first time Latvia has held the presidency since joining the EU and I look forward to hearing more about its aspirations and priorities.
“Developing and evaluating Scotland’s influence in Europe is a key aspect of the Committee’s work and we will also be interested to look back with the Cabinet Secretary on the Scottish Government’s engagement with the Italian presidency in the latter half of last year.”
Latvia took over the six monthly Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2015, from Italy, and has detailed its priorities as driving toward a more competitive, digital and engaged Europe.
Ahead of the Ambassador’s evidence, the Committee will hear from the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Relations Fiona Hyslop MSP on the issues that the Scottish Government has identified as being of importance to Scotland during the Latvian Presidency. The Committee will scrutinise the Scottish Government’s engagement activity in the four policy areas where it seeks to play a distinctive role: Energy and Climate Change; Marine Environment; Research and Creativity; and Freedom, Security and Justice.
The European and External Relations Committee Meeting, Thursday 12 March 2015, The Robert Burns Room, Committee Room 1 begins at 9:30 am with evidence from Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs. The Latvian Ambassador’s evidence is expected to commence from 10:20 am.
Photographs of the event will be available free of charge. Please contact the Parliament’s Media Relations Office to obtain.
Committee twitter feed: @SP_European